It’s no secret that Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe has had a bit of a rocky start in some ways. That said, both Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad have made quite a bit of money at the box office, so the studio has no reason to think Wonder Woman won’t be able to do the same. That is not to say there isn’t room for improvement, but a key player at Warner Bros. seems to think that Wonder Woman is very much a step in the right direction.
Warner Bros. Chief Executive Kevin Tsujihara recently did an interview with The New York Times. During the interview, inevitably the subject of the DCEU came up and despite many people acting like the barn is burning so to speak, he feels things are going very well for the studio and that the future looks bright for their DC Comics movies. Here is what he had to say.
“Quietly, we’ve been having an amazing year, the narrative, over all, has not reflected that… The thing that really makes me confident is that I’ve seen ‘Wonder Woman,’ and it’s great.”
There is a general sense that by some metrics, the DCEU is currently failing pretty badly. If Rotten Tomatoes is solely to be believed, that may seem like the case. However, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad brought in a combined $1.6 billion at the box office this year. No small feat. Perhaps rightfully so, Kevin Tsujihara pointed out that the studio must be doing something right. Part of the problem certainly comes from the fact that both of these movies were trashed by critics, but another part comes from expectations. There was a feeling that Batman V Superman would easily sail past $1 billion at the box office on its own. It didn’t. Still, even with a reported $250 million production budget, $873 million worldwide is nothing to scoff at.
As for Wonder Woman? That movie has a lot of expectations placed upon it that stretch far beyond that of box office success. It is going to have to shoulder the responsibility of being the first female-led superhero movie of the modern era and that is not something fans will take lightly. Especially with a character as beloved as Wonder Woman. So to hear Kevin Tsujihara speak about the movie so confidently should offer some reassurance. That being said, it isn’t as though he would say anything negative even if he thought the movie was a complete dumpster fire.
He did acknowledge that some changes needed to be made so that these movies don’t continue to be thrashed by critics when they come out. That is why Kevin Tsujihara promoted Geoff Johns to oversee the DCEU for Warner Bros. A move he is confident will help to right the ship in that sense. It isn’t hard to imagine that at some point if these movies keep disappointing a large percentage of people that see them, or at least fail to meet expectations, that the box office will drop. If Wonder Woman and Justice League burn fans, it is difficult to think that won’t have more long lasting effects. But the powers that be, including Zack Snyder, have acknowledged a lot of the issues that plagued Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and seem to be doing their best to try and not make the same mistakes.
It is tough to judge a movie solely by a couple of trailers, especially in the case of the DCEU so far. With that said, the response to both of the Wonder Woman trailers we have seen so far by the movie community and fans has been overwhelmingly positive, which has helped set expectations for the movie very high. As they probably should be. We’ll have to wait and see what director Patty Jenkins was able to do with Wonder Woman, but Kevin Tsujihara is confident and that is something. The movie stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, David Thewlis, Elena Anaya, Danny Huston, Ewen Bremner and Lucy Davis. Wonder Woman is set to hit theaters on June 23, 2017.