The Batman – The UnderperformanceThe Dark Herald
Final numbers are in for The Batman’s theatrical run. Well, technically it’s still in the theaters but since it has started streaming on HBOmax, let’s face it, the curtain is down.
Anyway, the grand total is $368 million domestic, and $760 million worldwide against a budget of god-only-knows. The official budget was originally supposed to be $150 million but it was in mid-production when Covid hit. The finance money on movies has very high interest due to the fast payoff time and the inherent high risk of film ventures.
In this case, the interest payments were piling up for a couple of years. And that is just the moneymen problem, there are a megaton of other expenses that start snowballing on a significantly delayed film.
So, pulling a number out of my butt, we’ll say it was around $250 million. Given the rule of thumb that a film needs to make double its budget to be profitable, The Batman obviously earned out at $760 million.
However, nobody at Warner Brothers is doing their happy dance over that one because they were expecting it to break a billion dollars. When Superman Vs. Batman made $827 million worldwide the executions got underway in no time. That won’t happen in this case because turnaround CEO David Zaslav’s axe is already dripping red.
Given how extensive the mass firings are at the moment there is no need to add any more heads to the pyramid Zaslav is building over that one. Besides, the idiot most responsible for it, Ann Sarnoff, is already out the door. She is the reason that the director was overruled on his choice of Batman. You know the only reason she thought Robert Pattinson would blow the doors off was because a decade ago she was #TeamEdward all the way.
Missing its goal by $250 million is a significant underperformance. Given that Zaslav has emphatically stated that brand coherence is a major goal of his new regime, I have serious doubts about there being a second movie in this off-shoot universe. The buzz isn’t there and the DC fans that interested after Catwoman’s social justice diatribe against Bruce Wayne.
And speaking of off-shoot universes, there is apparently a different Wonder Woman than Gal Gadot in the Flash movie. Given the nature of the Flashpoint storyline, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Saoirse-Monica Jackson has a part that is uncredited in that movie at IMDB and at this point, they are cast crediting by name roles like; Bar Customer, Desert Soldier and Police Officer. I assume that means they want her part to be a big surprise so my guess is that she’s the ElseWorld Wonder Woman everyone started talking about.
But they wouldn’t replace Gal Gadot, would they? Well…
They might have had some plans in that direction at one point. There was a huge drive to get rid of the Snyderverse under Sarnoff and Hamada. Saoirse-Monica Jackson wouldn’t have been my choice for the role. She’s too short and not to be brutal but she doesn’t have the looks for it either. But given all the weird ideas about “not attracting the male gaze” that DC has had during the #MeToo era you can’t discount the possibility. And Gal herself is now three years away from her fortieth birthday, there are worse actresses out there, but her thespian skillset is limited.
In any case that is all might have been stuff. The Snyderverse appears to be back on the table as the main DC timeline. Note the use of the word appears.
Okay, I’m done here.