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Warner Brothers Pictures to Cut Back on Film Releases

Warner Brothers Pictures

Warner Brothers Pictures is having one hell of a year. With a number of their films flopping in 2016, they are hoping that Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be the film to save the year for them. The numbers looked great for the film in its first weekend, but after a big drop-off during the second weekend, it might be time for the studio to panic.

Batman v Superman’s third weekend number have yet to be released, but if they continue on the downward spiral that they had during the film’s second weekend, the movie will barely look to break even. This would be the absolute worst scenario for Warner Brothers. According to a report at THR the studio is taking its film’s performance throughout the year into consideration, they may cut back on their film slate in 2016. This is something that Disney previously did, and it ended with the studio bouncing back.

Batman v Superman, Warner Bros. Pictures
Let the bat bruising begin as Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill face-off in ‘Batman v Superman’. Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner’s studio chief, Kevin Tsujihara, says that the studio is concentrating on DC Comics, Harry Potter, and LEGO spin-off films. This release strategy will be sparingly peppered with original live-action films, but the focus will be on capitalizing on established franchises. This is a model that is currently succeeding for Disney, and Warner Brothers might look to embrace it as well.

With the critical panning of Batman v Superman, despite studio executives praising the film, there was a dramatic reduction in ticket sales.  There are a number of reasons that a film’s numbers would drop significantly, but Batman v Superman had very few of these hurdles to deal with. This is showing audience apprehension to seeing the film. Numbers are waining, and the film is struggling to appeal to fans, critics, and even newcomers to the franchise. Warner Brothers had all of their chips in the basket for this film, and the result could see the studio change its release strategy.

According to Warner Brothers, there is currently no strategic changes, and the studio is currently set to release 18 films this year, and 19 in 2017. The studio recently has set two new dates for DC Comics films on October 5, 2018 and November 1, 2019, essentially solidifying their continued track to set up a DC film universe that will rival Marvel. These films are untitled, but speculation says that one of these film’s is the rumored standalone Batman film, directed by Ben Affleck.

Brad Repka
I am an avid lover of all things Movies, TV, Games, and delicious other randomness. Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave comment!