What’s next for the DCEU

When new Warner Bros. Discovery chief David Zaslav canceled the $90 million production of the direct-to-streaming Batgirl movie, there were concerns that the larger DCEU might be in for a rough ride. But in October, when Zaslav tapped James Gunn and Peter Safran to run the studio’s DCEU efforts, those worries largely evaporated. Gunn, known for steering Marvel’s hit Guardians of the Galaxy film franchise, along the well-honed big budget producing talents of Safran, may finally put the DCEU on firmer competitive footing with its comic book rival.

The latest DCEU film, Black Adam, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, has done well, earning $143 million globally during its opening weekend and $255 million overall since its release on Oct. 21. However, the other superhero films currently in development may not reflect the larger plans Gunn and Safran have for the DCEU. Among those plans: Replicating the box office returns of the Marvel Avengers saga.

Meanwhile, four more Avatar films are coming to challenge Marvel’s reign

If there is anyone equipped to disprove the Russo’s claim, it’s James Cameron, director of the most successful film of all time, Avatar, which has earned $2.9 billion since its release in 2009. The film had a $241 million opening (about $335 million adjusted for inflation), a figure that was somewhat boosted by slightly higher ticket prices for the film’s 3D presentations. Still, betting against Cameron isn’t wise, as he is also the director of Titanic, the first film to earn $1 billion at the box office.

Avatar: The Way of Water | Official Trailer

The director has taken nearly 13 years to deliver the sequel to Avatar, Avatar: The Way of Water. That’s a long gap, one that potentially threatens to limit the franchise’s future success in theaters. Are moviegoers still eager to visit the world of Pandora and its blue-faced aliens? So far, the answer appears to be resounding yes, as re-release of the original Avatar in September pulled in $30 million during its opening weekend alone.

20th Century Studios released the second trailer for the forthcoming Avatar film on Nov. 2 on YouTube, and so far it has racked up over 20 million views. (The first teaser snagged 25 million views.)

When Avatar: The Way of Water hits theaters on Dec. 16, presumably free of covid-19 restrictions, Russo’s prediction will likely face its first real challenge.

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