Taylor Swift Demolishes DC Superheroes

in Entertainment, Movies


Credit: ITM

When James Gunn took over as the co-chief of the recently revamped DC Studios, he announced that the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) was the past and the DC Universe (DCU) was the future. Even with this monumental regime change, rumors floated that he was willing to transition some DCEU characters into this new direction. Unfortunately, this has not been DC’s year, as their last three entries have now been outperformed by a concert film by global music superstar Taylor Swift.

Taylor Swift in "I Bet You Think About Me"
Credit: UMG

Warner Bros. originally introduced audiences to the first DC Comics-inspired cinematic universe with Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel in 2013. This success would enact the era of the DCEU. It was intended to be the direct competitor to the thriving Marvel Cinematic Universe. Snyder’s vision eventually raised eyebrows at Warner Bros. when Batman v. Superman (2016) failed to meet box office expectations.

Superman and Batman about to fight
Credit: Warner Bros.

This distrust in his creative direction hit its apex with the theatrical release of Justice League (2017). Joss Whedon was hired to finish the remainder of the film. Yet, this was a rouse as studio executives had him rewrite and reshoot a large portion of the film. This generated a tonally and narratively “bipolar” final cut. This move prompted Snyder to leave Warner Bros., except to return to finish his director’s cut of Justice League.

The Justice League
Credit: DC Studios/Warner bros.

The DCEU would ultimately end up in 15 films, three of which were released this year – Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash, and Blue Beetle. Fury of the Gods was the first DC release with $30 million opening week. Yet, the following weeks would have the movie plummet as it finished with $133 million worldwide. The Flash faired better in its first week with $55 million, but bad reviews, poor fan reception and Ezra Miller’s reputation tanked its potential. It only earned $270 million total.

Credit: ITM

Blue Beetle was an unfortunate conundrum. The premiere of DC’s first Latino superhero was met with rave reviews and positive audience reception. It even had such promise, that after a screening, James Gunn had declared that Blue Beetle would be the DCU’s first hero. However, not even good word-of-mouth helped it at the box office as it had the worst performance of the three DC movies. It only grossed $25 million its debut week, then only grossed nearly $130 million overall.

/credit: Warner Bros.

To the untrained eye, these movies should not be considered failures since they earned hundreds of millions of dollars. This would be true depending on how much was invested in their budgets. Most superhero blockbusters have a starting budget of over $100 million at the very least before post-production and marketing. So often these movies need to earn double or triple what they were made for just to breakeven or even be declared profitable.

The Flash (Ezra Miller) in shock at what he is seeing
Credit: Warner Bros.

By contrast, concert films usually can never compete with major studio blockbusters. Their budgets are too small and the format is not constructed to do anything more than showcase a musical act’s performance. Well Taylor Swift is no ordinary musical act as her concert film, Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour has become the highest grossing concert movie of all time. It only had a budget of $15 million and went on to rake in $92 million opening week. In less than two weeks, sales have continued to increase as it has currently made $121 million.

Credit: CNBC

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour has not only crushed the opening week box office revenue of three DC Superhero “blockbusters,” but it is expected to match or surpass Fury of the Gods and Blue Beetle‘s worldwide grosses by the end of its theatrical run. It does not bode well for the future of these DCEU superheroes to transfer over to the DCU if they cannot financially compete with a concert film.

Taylor Swift Eras Tour
Credit: ABC

Currently, Gunn will initiate the DCU’s first chapter by writing and directing Superman: Legacy. Andy Muschietti will helm Batman: The Brave and The Bold and James Mangold will lead Swamp Thing. The two remaining movies that are part of the Gods and Monsters Chapter are The Authority and Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow. There have been no updates on who will write or direct the last two entries, but rumors have circulated that The Flash‘s Sasha Calle could reprise her role as Supergirl.

Should any of the DCEU heroes be carried over to the DCU? Should Taylor Swift make another concert movie?

in Entertainment, Movies

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