Following a troubled 2015 with several high-profile flops, Warner Bros. Pictures got a shot in the arm with the release of Zack Snyder’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”… at least in its opening weekend. The film’s subsequent post-opening weekend plunge indicates that, though likely to end up in profit, it will not be a major money spinner for the studio.
Now, THR reports that this has all had a ripple effect within Warners with the studio potentially doing what Disney did towards the end of last decade – cut back on its slate. Current chief Kevin Tsujihara is said to be concentrating on three areas – DC Comics, LEGO, and “Harry Potter” spin-offs – as the key to their film strategy with only a few original live-action films complimenting that.
It’s a strategy not unlike Disney which these days is essentially Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar/WD Animation and a few films based on their own properties such as the live-action takes on fairy tales. The report indicates that Warners seems to be greenlighting fewer homegrown movies with aim to release fewer than the twenty-one they did in 2015, those few originals they do go with will most likely be from directors in their stable like Nolan, Eastwood, Affleck and Todd Phillips.
Warners maintains there has been no change in policy and currently has eighteenfilms on the cards this year and nineteen in 2017. The report comes as the studio has set two more release dates for currently untitled DCEU films – October 5th 2018 and November 1st 2019, both bookending the second part of “Justice League”.
One of them is likely to be Ben Affleck’s standalone “Batman” film, but whatever it is it will be a part of no less than ten films based on DC Comics properties that currently have scheduled release dates over the next four years.