Zack Snyder’s Justice League viewership numbers have finally been revealed. According to reports, The Snyder Cut of Justice League was viewed 2.2 million households in its first week, as one of HBO Max’s big blockbuster theatrical offerings on streaming throughout 2021. In fact, the viewership numbers for Zack Snyder’s Justice League were only released in reference to how Warner Bros. and HBO Max’s currently big DC movie offering, The Batman, is faring. Comparatively, The Batman was viewed by 4.1 million households in hits first week, marking a new high for DC/WB and their brand strategy for balancing streaming and theatrical success in the post-pandemic era.
Here’s the report that appeared in Deadline: “The Batman‘s first week was even bigger than Zack Snyder’s Justice League which pulled in 2.2M US households, that pic a direct to HBO Max title.”
Zack Snyder’s Justice League and The Batman are actually an interesting comparative case study when you step back and really examine it. Both were highly-anticipated DC tentpole films; both were hit with big release hurdles and/or delays (albeit for very different reasons); and both were lengthy movies, with Batman clocking in at about 3 hours, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League runs 4 hours. And yet, the reaction to the films seems to have been distinctly different with most mainstream viewers: The Snyder Cut received an entire meme-wave of criticism and mockery for offering a four-hour movie experience (broken into clear chapters) on streaming; meanwhile, many are celebrating the fact that The Batman on HBO max allows them to enjoy the movie’s 3-hour runtime at a leisurely pace.
It all goes to show how much of a “Wild West” phase the movie industry has truly been in since COVID-19 shut down everything. The advance of streaming has jumped forward exponentially faster, and studios, talent, and analysts have all been scanning and measuring to see how (if?) the old revenue models like theatrical release still hold up now. Movies like Spider-Man: Now Way Home and The Batman have both shown that big global theatrical box offices are still the most desirable model for big profits – with the latter now demonstrating that theatrical success is also the best kind of promotion for successfully launching a premium piece of blockbuster content on streaming.
That all said, Warner Bros. was only able to achieve the current streaming success of The Batman due, in part, to the major “event” release that was Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Justice League gave HBO Max the biggest increase in downloads of any streaming service up to that point, and definitely gave HBO Max a timely bump in its subscriber base.
What’s interesting about these latest figures for Zack Snyder’s Justice League first week numbers is that they actually match first week numbers for DC’s Wonder Woman 1984 release on HBO Max. Wonder Woman 1984 was the first big blockbuster film to use streaming as its debut platform – and that offering was certainly a big draw during end of 2020, when new movies had become a scarce commodity. At first it was reported that Justice League Snyder Cut fell short of Wonder Woman 1984, it’d be nice to know if that’s still true…