“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” was not the start Warner Bros. was hoping for in the launch of the DC Comics franchise, the studio’s direct competitor to Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Nearing the end of its theatrical run, the movie has grossed only $869.8 million worldwide. For a superhero movie of its size, in which the two best-known comic book characters of all time go head-to-head, that just doesn’t cut it. The movie really needed at least $1 billion to be a success.
Meanwhile, “Captain America: Civil War” has almost reached the billion-dollar mark worldwide in less than two weeks.
Though Warner Bros. has been putting on a strong face in public, it looks as if the studio has decided to shake things up.
The studio just created a separate division for the releases of its DC properties, called DC Films, and has hired two executives to run it, according to news of the shake-up at The Hollywood Reporter.
Executive vice president at WB Jon Berg and Geoff Johns, the DC Comics chief content officer who launched the comic book company’s foray into television, will run the new division.
The shift is similar to what Disney has done with Marvel Studios, whose president, Kevin Feige, oversees all aspects of adapting the comic book characters to the screen, from choosing the producers and filmmakers to making key casting decisions.
According to THR, Berg was already involved in “Batman v Superman,” “Suicide Squad,” the Wonder Woman standalone movie, and “Justice League.” He also has a close connection with the current Batman, Ben Affleck, as he has worked on the star’s movies including “Argo” and the coming “Live by Night.”
Johns has been a key member in the launching of DC Comics’ TV series including “Arrow,” “The Flash,” and “Supergirl.”
It was essential for Warner Bros. to show that it has a cohesive unit running the DC properties. It has numerous projects traveling through that pipeline, including the highly anticipated “Suicide Squad” — which is set to open in August and has already undergone expensive reshoots — and the recently announced standalone Harley Quinn movie starring Margot Robbie.