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DC Cinematic Universe - Wonder Woman, Justice League and More


Not me personally. I understand that a huge chunk of an Avengers budget is the cast salaries before they even start filming.

Despite that though you do see films in new franchises with similar level casts and effects quality and one came in $40-50m higher than the other. It’s that kind of thing I am thinking about rather than unrealistic ideas like an Avengers movie for the cost of Logan.

…and yes in the end we shouldn’t care but it hasn’t stopped us discussing them for 27,000 posts in the box office threads often getting worked up about it. :smile:


I think new properties have no hope in movies these days. It’s been forever since a brand new property would have made a profit on a $200 million budget. Their future is clearly streaming, leaving the cinemas to just showing the big box franchises.

No way I’d invest $200 million on any new franchise. I think that’s why the Millar properties have gone anywhere. Netflix is perfect for him.


I can’t wait for all of this Millar gold to start pounding Netflix.




I thought that bit of phrasing was fairly spot on.



That looks great. The show is on constant rotation in my house so we’ll definitely see this.



Well, as far as the movies are concerned, both Wonder Woman and Ant-Man (to a greater extent) could be called new properties. But, okay, leaving aside superhero universes, Dunkirk made a profit on a 100$ million budget. And, well, Get Out! was a low-budget production that made back fifty times what it cost. Same goes for Split or Baby Driver. And The Greatest Showman is a bid-level budget production (about 100$ million) that looks like it’ll do fine. Atomic Blonde’s budget was 30 million dollars, which is why it’s done fine with only 90 million gross.

I don’t know, it doesn’t look like the actual movie numbers support the picture you’re painting there. If you’re producing a good movie on a small budget, chances are you’ll be doing fine, and you’re not risking taking a huge hit when a movie with a big budget fails.


There’s nothing new about Wonder Woman or Ant Man - both properties have been around for 50+ years and both are extensions of a running cinematic brand. I’m talking about a brand new creation, like we used to have with Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, Predator, Aliens and all the other classics from the 80’s and 90’s. Today everything is an adaptation. People are going to see the familiar. It looks incredibly hard to create a new franchise in this market.

You missed the bit where I was talking about a $200 million budget.


Ah, okay, I thought there was an “or less” implied, because you said cinema should only be for the big budgets and the rest would migrate to streaming. Which is why I went for those lower-budget movies making a profit with a cinematic release.


There are a few active franchises that seem to work. The Conjuring and Purge series come to mind. They’re low budget affairs that aren’t going to need to do ten figures at the box office to turn a tidy profit.

Creating new sci-fi/fantasy franchises, like Alien, Star Wars, Terminator, seems more difficult. Harry Potter worked, but the books were already huge before the first movie came out.

It’s even difficult to get classic science fiction novels adapted, like Stranger in a Strange Land, Foundation, Rama, etc.

It seems that before someone drops hundreds of millions of dollars into a property, they want it to be something that is proven, like Harry Potter or Tolkien, and not something new.


I do wonder whether, as things evolve, Netflix and the like might become a testing or development ground for new properties to bounce out to the big screen.


[quote=“Jason, post:3547, topic:7572”]
Creating new sci-fi/fantasy franchises, like Alien, Star Wars, Terminator, seems more difficult. [/quote]

I guess the last successful sci-fi franchise launch was Pacific Rim? And the last big failure was Jupiter Ascending.


Right now it’s the other way round, with amazon producing movies and giving them a limited cinematic release and then put them into their streaming service.


[quote=“Christian, post:3549, topic:7572, full:true”]

Eh, I think Pacific Rim did a bit over breakeven. The sequel barely has anyone from the original (unless they show up in surprise cameos).

Unless it surprises everyone and does gangbusters (which I doubt will happen), it’s over with this one.


Bad terminology really but that is actually what I meant in my post. Non-sequels where the escalating cast costs aren’t an element.

However Jim does make a very good point on original properties. There are very few if you think about it, it is all franchise or sequels or book adaptations with a built in audience and proof of concept built in.


Yeah, it’s been difficult to get orginal sci-fi movies off the ground for ages. Last years probably had more than many before, what with stuff like Interstellar and Arrival (Arrival being an adaptation, but one without a built-in audience), Passengers and Midnight Special.

Anyway, it’s true that things may get more diverse with Netflix getting into this game with Bright.


Yeah, I meant successful in that there is a sequel at all. But given that this is now Stephen S. DeKnight, who has only done TV up to now, I’m guessing we may actually be looking at a sequel with a smaller budget than the first one - but then, that might be the way to make a profit with this franchise. The gross was decent, if they can get the cost down to a hundred million or so and still get a similar intake, they’d be doing fine.


Back when cinema was all there was, the studios had to produce far more movies and the Story Department was the place they went out and looked for ideas to be made into films.

They read books (often before publication) saw plays and scanned through piles of newspaper cuttings prepared by third party research companies.

Writers worked on staff and were assigned projects, rarely generating their own material.

‘Casablanca’ was a play first, ‘Gone With the Wind’ was a book, as were the ‘Wizard of Oz’ and ‘Ben Hur’, Pick a big, classic, successful movie from the Golden Age and there’s a good chance it was derived from something else before it was a film. Not all, but more than we often think.