Comics help give birth to many a feature on the silver screen, sometimes good and sometimes bad. The past year is a huge debate issue on this when it comes to WB’s new DC Extended Universe. Just in time for a Good Friday release Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice released in the U.S. market on March 25 2016. Bringing back Henry Cavill, Amy Adams and introducing Ben Affleck as the new Bruce Wayne/Batman, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and debuting Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Zack Snyder returns to the directing chair, with his Man of Steel writer David Goyer and Affleck’s new pal from Argo – Chris Terrio. The film had an opening of over $166 million its first weekend. It set a new record for March/Spring opening weekend as #1 until it was just recently knocked down a peg by Disney’s Beauty and The Beast. Though #5 of all time it was the number one ranked foreign weekend opening film of last year. The film would go on to gross over $873 million in its lifetime at the worldwide box office on a $250 million production budget. Unfortunately, the film was met with very harsh criticism, sitting with a 28% approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes critics. Amongst fans and general audiences the film seemed rather split and decisive, in fact it remains that way.
Come in time for August was the silver screen debut of the Suicide Squad on August 5 2016. Directed and written by film maker David Ayer, it features beloved Will Smith as Deadshot, the young Margot Robbie as the fan adorned Harley Quinn, Jared Leto as the Clown Prince of Crime Joker and many, many more. It had an opening weekend of over $133 million, setting a new #1 record for opening weekends in the month of August. Though it saw no release in China the film still managed to pull in a worldwide box office total of over $745 million on a $175 million budget. Again, the critics weren’t kind as it got a 25% approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Though young fans were open to the film. In fact, it drew in a diverse crowd of young Hispanics, African-American and even young ladies.
Therefore, it is safe to say DC was critically a failure for 2016. However, thanks to the Ultimate Extended cut release of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice some people have opened up to it. Overall, the audiences seem to approve just not the critics as both films do carry a 60% + approval rating from the audience. And though some people may try to paint the two films as box office bombs, who also posted crazy numbers and equations stating Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice must make $1 billion just to break even are far from the truth. In fact, the film made a profit of little over $105 million and Suicide Squad turned a profit of over $158 million. One could argue sure, not huge numbers, you expected bigger and better but money in the bank is still money in the bank and beats Man of Steel’s net profit of just over $43 million. By the end of 2016, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad were #8 and #9 respectively at the worldwide box office.
In addition to the box office, both films made a killing on the home market Blu-Ray & DVD sales for the year. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice was #1 in DVD sales for four consecutive weeks, managing to sell over 1.2 million copies, resulting in more than $20 million in consumer spending and got the #10 spot in best selling DVDs for 2016. It was #1 in Blu-Ray sales for three non-consecutive weeks. In the end it sold more 2.2 million copies, generating over $53 million in consumer spending and earning the #6 spot in best selling Blu-Rays of 2016.
Suicide Squad got a holiday time release which certainly gave it some extra dough and attention. Though it struggled to sell 1 million DVDs it generated more than $18 million in consumer spending. Meanwhile, it cracked the #8 spot for best selling Blu-Rays of the year, selling more than 1.5 million copies and generating more than $44 million in consumer spending.
In the end, total combined Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice sold almost 3.5 million copies, making more than $72 million at the #7 spot. Whereas Suicide Squad got the #10 spot, selling over 2.4 million copies and making more than $62 million. Again, these numbers are not to be scoffed at.
But that is not all! In late July was the release of the animated feature Batman: The Killing Joke. Much like the controversial comic is what not without its critics and commentators. The casting of Kevin Conroy & Mark Hamill of animated fame did smooth over some. Nonetheless, it got a small window of time of two days in the box office as a treat for fans. It managed to make over $3 million and was took the #3 spot on its opening night. That is saying a lot for a film that was barely marketed, made with one audience in mind and was based to be a direct-to-video release. On video release it brought in an extra $8 million and was #1 in Blu-Ray sales its debut week. In fact, this is why Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice was #1 for week one, week two and week four. I assume you know what happened during week three.
Finally, there was Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, which a throwback to good old campy days of the sixties. In fact, the legendary Adam West and Burt Ward return to reprise their role as the Dynamic Duo, as well as Julie Newmar as Catwoman. It had one night only at the box office and barely did much. Meanwhile, it barely cracked much in the sales department either once it came to DVD & Blu-Ray, just barely making over $1 million. However, critics lauded over this one unlike all the other above features with an 89% Rotten Tomatoes approval rating.
In the end, DC made a complete total box office gross of over $1.6 billion for the year and plus over $144 million in Blu-Ray/DVD sales. Whatever your opinion may be, one cannot look at the numbers and deny DC is doing just fine.
Check back with us and we will look more into other ventures of DC Comics for the year of 2016. Feel free to leave any comments, and we will respond promptly. We would love to hear from you. And thank you for reading The Comic Scene of 2016 in Review Pt. II (DC) here at The Chico Comics Page. We appreciate your viewer-ship and invite you to come back soon. We post most everyday.