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DCEU Box Office Ranked From Best to Worst

Justice League (2017) - Arthur Curry / Aquaman (Jason Momoa)

Aquaman currently has the biggest box office of any movie in the DC shared universe and is close to a billion dollars worldwide. How does it's box office compare with the other DCEU (DC Extended Universe) movies?

Since 2013 Warner Bros and DC Comics have been pushing hard on a shared movie universe to rival Marvel Studios. Critically the movies haven't fared well but financially the movies have been marginally successful. From blockbusters to bombs and everything in between. It's easy to look at the total gross as an indicator of success but what about other factors? Here's how the movies fare once you look at a few more numbers. From the worst to the best.

6. Justice League (2017)

Justice League (2017) - Arthur Curry / Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Clark Kent / Superman (Henry Cavill), Diana Prince / Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Barry Allen / The Flash (Ezra Miller), Arthur Curry / Aquaman (Jason Momoa)

Worldwide Gross: $655,953,446
Domestic Box Office: $229,024,295
International Box Office: $426,929,151
Opening Weekend: $93,842,239
Budget: $300,000,000.00

The DC team-up movie was supposed to be the culmination of the DC shared universe and had been hinted and teased from the beginning. Unfortunately, the movie fell flat and became the DCEU's biggest disappointment. Its opening weekend was a disappointing $93,842,239 thanks to the horrendous reviews of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Suicide Squad (2016).

From there it limped forward and managed to pull in $229,024,295 in the U.S and $426,929,151 from other markets. That's less than the first movie in the franchise both in gross and domestically although it did do better internationally.

Where it really got clobbered is when you compare the budget to the total. Not only did Justice League make less in total gross it also cost more to make meaning it pulled in less than Man of Steel. These numbers led to big changes in the DCEU and all the better.

5. Man of Steel (2013)

Man of Steel (2013) - Clark Kent / Kal-El (Henry Cavill)

Worldwide Gross: $667,999,518
Domestic Box Office: $291,045,518
International Box Office: $376,954,000
Opening Weekend: $116,619,362
Budget: $225,000,000.00

Man of Steel was the first Superman movie since Superman Returns (2006) and was a gamble. Audiences had soured on the franchise since the 1970s. First came Superman III with the goofy slapstick comedy of Richard Pryor. And that movie is a highlight. After that came Superman IV: The Quest for Peace which had the distinction of being poorly written, acted and directed all while trashing the franchise. Plus, it has a woman breathing in space. Superman Returns didn't do the movies any favors.

Zack Snyder was rewriting the character and that intrigued audiences enough to give it a decent opening weekend. The flick was savaged by critics but it brought in enough that it warranted a sequel.

Even now it's total box office gross is decent but nowhere near the high point. In the US it did ok and is still higher than a few others. Its international returns are only slightly higher than it's domestic run, so it's nothing to write home about.


4. Suicide Squad (2016)

Suicide Squad (2016) - Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinzel / Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), George Harkness / Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje)

Worldwide Gross: $746,069,242
Domestic Box Office: $325,100,054
International Box Office: $420,969,188
Opening Weekend: $133,682,248
Budget: $175,000,000.00

Suicide Squad was supposed to be the flagship movie in the DCEU for one very important reason: villains. The trademark look of the DCEU is it's "darker" than Marvel and this movie was supposed to solidify that stamp on the franchise. Marvel has some OK villains but nothing that can compare with DC. Joker alone would make the movie bankable.

Unfortunately Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice bombed a few months before and spooked everyone from studio executives to audiences. It was the third movie in the series and people began wondering if it was headed in the right direction.

The panicked studio dumped a bunch of money into reshoots while spiraled the cost way too high. Audiences were excited enough by the first trailer that it had a good opening weekend ($133 mil) but as word of mouth spread every other weekend fell flat. But it did well overall and has the third highest box office in gross returns.

3. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) - Bruce Wayne / Batman (Ben Affleck), Clark Kent / Superman (Henry Cavill)

Worldwide Gross: $867,500,281
Domestic Box Office: $330,360,194
International Box Office: $537,140,087
Opening Weekend: $166,007,347
Budget: $250,000,000.00

After Man of Steel did well the studio greenlit a sequel but decided to focus on Batman and introduce the other members of the Justice League like Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg. The plan worked and everyone was buzzing about the climactic fight between the two titans of the DC universe. The opening weekend is the biggest in the franchise.

US audience warmed to the movie and it brought in over $300 mil and internationally enough interest in the movie led to a solid international cume ($537 mil) and its final gross was the biggest of the franchise. That is until Wonder Woman.

2. Aquaman (2018)

Aquaman (2018) - Arthur Curry / Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Mera (Amber Heard)

Worldwide Gross: $940,720,880
Domestic Box Office: $259,720,880
International Box Office: $681,000,000
Opening Weekend: $67,873,522
Budget: $160,000,000.00

Aquaman is the second of the soft reboot films in the DCEU after the critical and financial disappointment of Justice League. A new tone and more creative control gave it a new feel to the universe. Audiences, while jazzed by the success of Wonder Woman, stayed back in its opening weekend and gave it the smallest domestic opening of all-time.

But word of mouth quickly spread and the movie pulled in domestic and international audiences to bring it the first movie to get over $900 mil. It has the highest international cume of any other movie in the franchise ($681 mil). Pundits are saying the movie will easily cross the one billion mark and it's a critical darling meaning it's one of only two of the six movies to get a fresh rating at currently 65%.

It's a huge win for the franchise except for one big winner.

1. Wonder Woman (2017)

Wonder Woman (2017) (2017) - Diana Prince (Gal Gadot)

Worldwide Gross: $821,133,378
Domestic Box Office: $412,563,408
International Box Office: $408,569,970
Opening Weekend: $103,251,471
Budget: $150,000,000.00

Wonder Woman is a movie that should have flopped and a lot of people thought it would. Not because of the cast, director or stars, but the movie concept. While audiences loved Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman no one thought a movie focused on a female superhero would work. Let alone one with a female director and following the one-two gut punch to the studio of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Suicide Squad (2016).

Even today the percentage of female directors of Hollywood blockbusters dropped from a paltry 11% to 8%. Both Sony and Marvel thought female superhero movies don't make money.

The opening weekend was soft ($103 mil) but word of mouth and critical accolades quickly pushed it to the third highest box office in the DCEU. While it doesn't have the highest international cume ($408 mil) it's still the leader in the domestic box office ($408 mil).

Considering everything that was against it this box office return is not the highest in the DCEU, but the most important.


Which movie do you think had the greatest success at the box office? Let us know in the comments below!

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