On the surface, $93.8 million doesn't sound so bad for an opening weekend. But if this movie follows a drop pattern anything like Batman v. Superman in the coming weeks, that will translate to the movie making less than $200 million for its domestic run. To put things in perspective, The LEGO Batman Movie pulled in $175 million. It might do slightly better than that thanks to the Thanksgiving holiday, but it will almost surely be leaving theaters by the time.
That would almost be acceptable if disappointing, but this movie cost $300 million to make before marketing. That's the 3rd highest budget ever behind only a couple of Pirate of the Caribbean sequels. The old rule of thumb is that movies need to make back double what they cost before seeing a profit. Foreign takes can be lucrative, but the studio usually has to take a smaller share. The movie will probably make back its investment in the end, but not by much. And certainly not by the amount the studio was hoping for when they invested in it.
Worse, Warner Bros. was using this movie as a springboard to all the other heroes that aren't as instantly bankable as Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. This was supposed to be so big that everyone would want to run out to see an Aquaman movie next year. Good luck with that one. The only bankable product they've got right now is Wonder Woman, and that just can't be replicated.
I mentioned it last year that DC would be wise to simply drop the whole shared universe concept altogether and start tailoring each movie to an original take like the animated movies are doing. Personally, I don't think Man of Steel was all that bad of a movie. It was its own take on Superman and, while not my favorite, was worth doing. Where I do have a problem with it is that it became the template. And then the only thing DC seems to know how to do is to make that template bigger.
The only exception to their problem is Wonder Woman. And it's easy enough to see how it escaped and did well. While Wonder Woman showed up in Batman v. Superman, her movie told its own story a hundred years in the past. It wasn't a confused mess of trying to set everyone else up and was easily the best quality movie of the lot.
I'd much rather they get some good directors and writers together and just produce some dream projects with these characters. For example, I'd love to see a Shazam movie, but I'd like for it to be on its own terms. Not if its using the same basic design and the Flash and Aquaman are set to make cameos and remind us about Justice League 2 coming out next year. If Batman shows up, it's another actor in another costume just letting the audience know that there are other superheroes in this world and giving Billy Batson a chance to fanboy it up. Give me some bright colors! Take the comic book tales for each of the characters that would best fit the big screen in a unique way and just retell the stories.
Or, they could keep making the same super-budget stuff based on Snyder's aesthetics.