In Wake of ‘Batman v Superman,’ Warners Launches ‘DC Films’ to Oversee Comic Book Movies
Success is relative. A lot of movies would kill for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’s box-office grosses. $869 million worldwide and counting? That’s got to be a hit, right? Yes and no. That total’s short of the $1 billion worldwide that has become the new benchmark for mega blockbusters. And in just 11 days of release, it’s already been surpassed by Captain America: Civil War, which has earned almost $100 million more. Then there are the film’s tepid Rotten Tomatoes and CinemaScores. This is the movie that’s supposed to launch at least a half dozen other franchises in the DC Extended Universe. So while the results weren’t disastrous, they weren’t outstanding either.
With so much riding on these DC movies, The Hollywood Reporter says Warner Bros. is reorganizing their executive ranks in the wake of the company “[suffering] a disappointing run of movies and has vexed producers and filmmakers, some of whom complain about a murky greenlight process.” Most significantly for DC fans, the studio is “creating a dedicated division” for the DCEU called “DC Films”:
Current executive vp Jon Berg and Geoff Johns, DC's chief content officer who successfully launched the comics label's foray into television, will co-run the newly created DC Films, according to multiple sources.
THR describes Berg as a “conduit to Ben Affleck” who was already working on Batman v Superman, Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, and Justice League. And Johns, the Chief Content Officer of DC Comics, has had a major role in bringing the company’s properties to TV, where shows like Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl have been received much more warmly, both from longtime fans and casual viewers. (He’s also written some great comics, like Green Lantern, Justice League, and The Flash.)
Outside observers have noted that Warners doesn’t have a central, stabilizing overseer for its DC movies, the way Kevin Feige ensures every Marvel film maintains a level of quality (and fidelity). Johns and Berg were both already in place at Warners; will they now have enough power to keep these movies in line? That’s the big question mark (scrawled repeatedly across a green leotard, possibly worn by Jim Carrey or maybe Frank Gorshin) that needs to be answered before DC Films can start pumping out unqualified successes.