Even though Warner Brothers representatives seemed relatively dismissive of Batman V Superman’s moderate box office drop after opening weekend, and ultimately positive in the face of deriding critical reviews, there are hints of a reaction that tell a different tale; Warner Brothers could be doing a little reevaluating based on Batman V Superman‘s performance.
According to our friends at THR, it seems Warner Brothers is focusing more on their tentpole franchises like DC, LEGO, and Harry Potter, and producing a smaller number of “homegrown” movies. This scaling-back could be a direct result of BvS’s underwhelming return. Now, BvS wasn’t a flop; the darn thing is looking to bring in $800-$900 million, but it’s not the $1-billion they were banking on.
THR sources also state that there’s a tacit understanding that Warners won’t be releasing the 21 films it managed to release in 2015. One particular insider mentioned the studio would remain a competitive distributor, but “when you get to almost a movie every other weekend or a period where there’s a movie three weeks in a row, that’s too much.”
Warners maintains there has been no reactionary upheaval, stating, “Warner Bros. has historically had the biggest, most diverse slate in the motion picture industry.” We did last year, we will this year, and we will continue to do so into the foreseeable future.”
But a source that does business at Warners says it has entered a mild phase of uncertainty, stating, “It’s not dramatic, but it is uncharted territory for them. They were always filmmaker-driven — that might now not be the case as much.”
Another executive offered, “They had a bad 18 months. How could there not be some kind of reaction to that? It’s a strange path to a greenlight now. It takes longer.”
Hmmmmm, it looks like there might be a subtle bit of inside reconfiguring, but nothing too jarring. Whew! I’ll take my Granny Goodness movie now, please.