Here's What 'Justice League' Needs to Make to Be Profitable

Making big superhero films is expensive. From talent to effects to promotion and all of the [...]

Making big superhero films is expensive. From talent to effects to promotion and all of the details in between, when studios pour money into a project they aren't just doing it to entertain the masses. They want to make a profit, too, and when it comes to franchise films, the profitability of a film can influence what films come after it.

Justice League opened in theaters this weekend and despite being highly-anticipated by fans, the movie's opening weekend prospects which were initially projected to make $100-120 million were tracking towards a much-lower $93.5 million. This reduced outlook sets the movie up to be the lowest opening weekend yet for the DC Extended Universe and calls into question what the superhero team up flick needs in order to turn a profit.

According to a new report from Deadline, that number is between $700 and $750 million global and even at that, the profit is small.

"I hear from credible financial sources who have sharp knowledge of Justice League's budget that if the film clears $700-$750 million global, after ancillaries, it will turn a profit, but not much," the report said.

With Justice League having cost $300 million to make and the P&A [prints and advertising] budget likely on par with that of Suicide Squad's $150 million range, not to mention that the report indicates that Justice League talent costs do not cut in until profit, the movie may have a hard road to truly making money.

And the success of Justice League could have larger implications for the rest of the films planned for the DC Extended Universe. In a recent episode of the Meet the Movie Press podcast, Variety's Justin Kroll said that future DCEU movies that haven't already filmed may not happen if Justice League doesn't perform.

"A little insider tidbit, so I've been tracking various movies in this world, director-wise, specifically Flashpoint," Kroll said. "I've heard they've slowed that search down to see how this film does because I don't know that they're giving everyone their own movie now. Aquaman is already shot."

It's not all doom and gloom for Justice League and the larger DCEU films, though. The Deadline report pointed out that if Wonder Woman's audience demographics hold true, the so-called Gal Gadot quotient may be slow to show up for Justice League, but could still do so, increasing the percentage of female viewers over time. Also, the foreign box office is sitting at $70.7 million through Friday for Justice League, a number that will rise as the movie makes its way through opening weekend.

Justice League is in theaters now.