Just yesterday an article was released from Screen Rant stating that Zack Snyder’s Justice League has nearly doubled its viewers within its thirty-nine days to total around 3.9 million. This is a significant number!
In the age of streaming there is a nebulous definition as to what constitutes “success.” With theater releases we have a black and white/clear as day measurement; studios cannot hide or fabricate revenue from releases! Theaters are third parties that show studio projects and are more than willing to share publicly how movies perform. We know movies have a budget and the name of the game is to make a profit on what was invested.
With streaming, what exactly is the formula? Subscription increases? Streams during release? Streams over time? The formulas are foggy, but for the sake of this topic we’ll use these elements to make the point.
Internal Competition: It is no secret that Warner Media is beyond done with the Snderverse. They want nothing to do with it and are dedicated in their vow of silence and in moving forward with the plans they have for the future of the DCEU. Where the performance numbers for ZSJL have been missing there have been very clear reports on how other HBOMax releases have done such as this years Godzilla vs. Kong and Mortal Kombat.
These both had HBOMax releases along with ZSJL and both were able to make around the 3.9 million mark within their opening weekends compared to the 39 day window for the DC project. So, from that angle, the league is left in the dust! However, a caveat to this is the reminder that both kaiju and MK projects were initially never intended for a hybrid release. Both were to be exclusively for theaters where ZSJL was indeed an HBOMax exlusive. By considering this angle, no other HBOMax exlusive property has been able to replicate the success of ZSJL. The monsterverse is already confirmed for a sequel and an announcement for MK shouldn’t be too far behind. However, by the time those projects are ready to release the pandemic should be well behind us. Will HBOMax have smash hits in their library by that time?
A Project with Legs: According to HBOMax at the time of writing this article, Mortal Kombat continues to sit at the number one spot on trending movies. That’s fantastic! I’m beyond glad that a dominantly asian ensembe film (with quite a restricted budget) has been able to generate the buzz and success as this has.
What has caught my attention is the reports for this weekend’s box office; Both Mortal Kombat and Demon Slayer released together and according to numbers, for their second weekends, Demon Slayer has beaten out Mortal Kombat for the number one spot. This is crazy!
As reported for opening weekend Mortal Kombat indeed took first place but it was no flawless victory (sorry, had to do it). Demon Slayer gave it a run for its money and was able to come out on top for its second round. Now, the anime film is not on HBOMax nor on any other streaming service at this time. Therefore, competition on that level can’t be measured. The thing here is, do Mortal Kombat and other Warner Media projects have the same level of clout over time?
ZSJL continuing to bring in strong/decent streaming numbers 1.5 months after release seems like good news to me! Curious to see if we will get some number for these other two projects at the end of Q2.
The Silence: This is not a commentary with a tin foil hat; Warner Media will never release official streaming numbers for ZSJL. The reports of the double in streaming views is taken from third party data analysis. As said, Warner Media has taken a vow of silence on Snyderverse and will likely white knuckle this approach until it goes away. Will this work? It can! More on that in another article. The thing to note for those Snyderverse supporters is that the lack of reporting on official ZSJL streams is that the movie clearly did very well. Had the movie tanked in performance, Warner would have released that stuff IMMEDIATELY as it would have been what they needed to really sink the ship.
HBOMax is gearing up for its release in Latin America this June and release for Europe later this year; both markets had strong viewership for ZSJL through partnered streaming services back in March. It will be interesting to see if the Snyder Cut will gain another wave of HBOMax support come June and to see how it will compete with Godzilla Vs. Kong and Mortal Kombat together for launch.
Opening weekend streaming, and streaming over times are factors we have an idea of regarding the Snyder Cut. Unfortunately the one thing it will not be able to prove is box office clout. Yes, the film will have a limited theater event this fall as part of Snyder’s fundraising efforts for Suicide Prevention. However, because of the very limited theaters and occupation time, the numbers won’t be able to compare to regular theatrical releases. Yet, who knows! Perhaps it cane make enough of an impact to estimate.
Does this performance mean anything fore #RestoretheSnyderverse? Most likely not. Remember that the movement broke twitter records for 24-hour activity for a film beating Avengers: Endgame. HUGE accomplishment but Warner has not budged on fan demands. The only thing these numbers will likely do is confirm the validity of Snyder’s vision.