Superman star Henry Cavill has responded to the poor critical reception earned by Justice League, a failure Cavill said can be used as a teaching moment.
“I think all these things have their place and their time,” Cavill told Empire Magazine (via CBM). “There are many reasons why the audience have responded in the way they responded. It’s all lessons learned.”
Justice League has a 40% “rotten” from critics on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and pulled in just $657 million worldwide — making it the lowest-grossing installment of Warner Bros.’ shared DC Extended Universe.
The superhero crossover came in just behind 2013 franchise launcher Man of Steel ($668m), and far behind hits Suicide Squad ($746.8m), Wonder Woman ($821.8m) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($873.6m).
Despite the star power of newly minted A-list superhero Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and the collective star power of the globally-recognized Batman and Superman brands — as well as the novelty of having the collection of iconic DC Comics superheroes assembled for the first time in live-action on the big screen — Justice League failed to hang with its competitors.
It earned significantly less than Warner Bros.’ own solo standalone Wonder Woman by $164 million, and failed to match the same heights reached by that years’ top superhero performers Thor: Ragnarok ($841.8m), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($863.5m), and Spider-Man: Homecoming ($880.1m) — all belonging to Disney-owned Marvel Studios.
Justice League traded hands from original director Zack Snyder to The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron writer-director Joss Whedon last May when the Snyder family suffered personal tragedy.
In November — right after Justice League’s opening — an in-depth write up from The Wrap detailed the drama around the DC project, claiming members of Warner Bros. approached studio president Greg Silverman about unseating Snyder from the director’s chair before he opted to step down.
Refusing to push Justice League from its November 2017 release date, Warner Bros. tapped Whedon to rework the project. The filmmaker oversaw reshoots and post-production at what was described as a hurried pace, reportedly because releasing the film later than expected would have affected annual bonuses owed to Warner Bros. executives Toby Emmerich and Kevin Tsujihara.
Cavill has since called the decision to hide his then-dead Superman from trailers and TV spots and various marketing “ridiculous.”3comments
Cavill next stars alongside Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible — Fallout, in theaters July 27.