Is Warner Bros. Planning to Release Fewer Films?

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has been out for a couple of weeks now and, while it’s been a box office success, critics have not been kind. The film holds a 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and is the latest in a string of critical failures for Warner Bros. Entertainment. In 2015 alone, the company put out several big budget flops, including Jupiter AscendingPan, and In the Heart of the Sea.

Warner Bros. flops
All three films hold Rotten Tomatoes scores of under 50%.

Now, The Hollywood Reporter is reporting on rumors that the studio is planning on making “adjustments,” which may include removing director Zack Snyder from the two upcoming Justice League films.

THR acknowledges that the rumors have no basis in facts, and that many experts actually predict the opposite reaction:

…sources with firsthand knowledge of the situation say the studio has no such plans. One says the filmmakers naturally will evaluate what went wrong with BvS, but when it comes to Justice League, “we’re not going to take a movie that’s supposed to be one thing and turn it into a copycat of something else.”

The report also cites “many top industry executives” who say that the problems with BvS are just the latest indicators of instability within the company. Warners is supposedly greenlighting fewer original movies, choosing instead to focus on tentpole franchises like DC Comics, Lego, and Harry Potter.

 

Warner Bros. themselves have denied these claims:

“Warner Bros. has historically had the biggest, most diverse slate in the motion picture industry,” says a rep in a statement. “We did last year, we will this year, and we will continue to do so into the foreseeable future.” (The studio says it will release 18 movies this year and is projected to release 19 in 2017.)

There is no stopping baseless rumors in Hollywood, and that’s all that these statements seem to be. However, while they may not be 100% accurate, they do point to a very real problem that Warners is facing with their bid budget pictures. Only time will tell if the production company can get back on the right track, or if they will actually end up having to make some major adjustments.

Warner Bros. upcoming film slate can be seen here. Up next is Barbershop: The Next Cut on April 15.

Anthony Composto - EIC
Anthony Composto - EIC
Editor-in-Chief for Monkeys Fighting Robots. A lifelong fan of Spider-Man and the Mets, Anthony loves an underdog story. He earned his B.A. in English because of his love for words, and his MBA because of his need for cash. He considers comics to be The Great American Art Form, and loves horror movies, indie dramas, action/thrillers, and everything in between.

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