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Ranked: the worldwide box office gross of Zack Snyder's DC Universe movies

by Carlton Whitfield. Published Fri 18 Sep 2020 13:16

With the upcoming release of Zack Snyder’s ‘Director’s Cut’ of his 2017 film ‘Justice League’, focus has returned to Snyder’s overall legacy with DC Comics properties.

Involved as a producer on several DC projects, Snyder has directed four films in the Universe. Here we rank his efforts in terms of their overall gross at the box office.

Watchmen ($185,253,487)

Released in 2009, Zack Snyder’s adaptation of the Alan Moore graphic novel ‘Watchmen’ was generally well-received critically. Snyder was certainly courageous to take on the source material which is considered one of the all-time greatest examples of its genre; dealing with deeply serious themes like nuclear armageddon, sexual assault and vigilantism.

Although the film was Snyder’s least commercially successful (still hugely profitable, however), it remains celebrated for its superb cast and unapologetically faithful commitment to the adult themes of the original graphic novel. It is still considered by many to be Snyder’s best work.
Justice League ($657,924,295)

The 2017 release of Justice League, DC Comics' answer to The Avengers franchise, was regarded as a critical failure. Snyder’s involvement in the project was marred by deep personal tragedy, the loss of his daughter, which led to his withdrawal half-way through filming.

The subsequent introduction of Joss Whedon understandably left the film feeling somewhat disjointed as differing ideas and directing styles clashed. Despite this, however, the clamour for the upcoming ‘Snyder cut’ of the film indicates that Justice League struck a chord with many fans and contained a great deal of potential.

Indeed, the franchise remains an influence in several areas of popular culture including video games, action figures and online casinos. Bonusfinder UK, for example, compares generous sign-up offers amongst online casinos including William Hill which offers a hugely popular Justice League jackpot slot.

The slot uses stars of the film like Aquaman and Wonder Woman to create an immersive environment which appeals to fans of DC Comics and the associated film itself. The continued prevalence of Justice League as a source of inspiration for cultural touchstones like online casinos reflects the film’s commercial success and the appetite for more amongst worldwide audiences.

Man of Steel (668,045,518)

Man of Steel, grossing slightly more than Justice League, was a successful reboot of the Superman series starring Henry Cavill in the lead role. Snyder does a commendable job with the exposition of Planet Krypton and Superman’s origin story in Smallville. The film has been accused of being too by-the-numbers in parts but it does an effective job of working towards a dramatic, action-packed climax.

Batman v Superman ($873,634,919)

Derided in some quarters as a flop, in a commercial sense the long-awaited Batman v Superman movie was an unqualified success. Despite some misgivings over the quality of the script (see: the infamous ‘Martha’ scene), there are plenty of brilliant performances particularly from Ben Affleck as a world-weary and ageing Bruce Wayne. Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman also makes an instant impact on her debut in the franchise, bringing dynamism to an action-heavy plot.

The ‘Ultimate Edition’ of Batman v Superman included an additional half an hour compared to the original theatrical release and certainly helped to create a more coherent narrative. Fans must hope that the Snyder cut of Justice League has a similarly transformative effect.

Although Snyder’s DC movies have consistently divided opinion, there is no doubt they have magnetism at the box office and an unerring commitment to explosive action scenes. Whether Snyder will come back for a fifth DC movie remains to be seen, but given his huge grossing figures some sections of the fandom will surely have their fingers crossed.


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