Last year was not necessarily a pleasant one for Warner Bros. Sure, the studio released 35 films and made a bundle at the box office, but any successes were overshadowed by the negative reaction to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. It got so bad that even I was calling for WB to scrap its DC Extended Universe. We haven’t even mentioned other D.O.A. tentpoles like The Legend of Tarzan.
Like I said, it wasn’t necessarily a pleasant year for Warner Bros. even if they made some money. Hell hath no fury like a fanboy scorned.
But perception in Hollywood is everything, and the short-term perception surrounding Warner Bros. is beginning to change. Casual fans don’t care about questionable behind-the-scenes decision making, they just care about pre-release hype and final products. In that department, WB is riding high at the moment.
June’s Wonder Woman was met with widespread praise and recently passed Suicide Squad at the box office. It is, without a doubt, the most complete and enjoyable entry in the DCEU to date. As a result, fans are once again excited for November’s Justice League after it looked like the team-up movie could be in jeopardy following BvS.
Elsewhere, WB has some other biggies on the horizon. This weekend will see Christopher Nolan’s breath taking Dunkirk hit theaters and, given the movie’s World War II setting and early critical reactions, award nominations are likely to follow. Nolan has been a consistent performer for WB and Dunkirk should post a rock solid showing.
In October, the 1982 sci-fi Hall of Famer Blade Runner will finally get a sequel. Blade Runner 2049 is one of the most anticipated films of the year, and it looks absolutely gorgeous. Not only does the film have decades of original fans already in the bag, but it also has the opportunity to fill 2017’s vacuum for “original sci-fi blockbuster” where May’s Life and June’s Transformers: The Last Knight failed.
Throw in potential mid-level hits like Annabelle: Creation, It and The LEGO Ninjango Movie and it’s clear that WB’s 2017 slate is a strong one from beginning to end (shout out to the underrated Kong: Skull Island).
After a “down” 2016, Warner Bros. Studios is on the up swing.