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The DCEU Movie That Made The Least Amount Of Money In Theaters

With a history dating back decades, the DC Comics universe boasts an incredible roster of heroes, villains, locations, and more. This wealth of assets has made for a remarkable catalog of comic books, but that's not the only storytelling medium where they've come into play. The movies has become a second home for them over the years, with adventures like "The Dark Knight," "Superman," and more captivating viewers and expanding on DC's overall legacy. Strangely, however, when adapted to a shared universe format, DC hasn't enjoyed the smoothest run at the cinema.

The DC Extended Universe launched in 2013 with director Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" and has since gone on to include a wide variety of titles. While some projects have reached incredible heights by all metrics, too many of their contemporaries have stumbled to a disheartening extent. Nevertheless, in the face of frequent fan scrutiny and critical coldness, the DCEU trudges on and likely will for years to come. After all, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is still going strong, and the overall endeavor continues to make some kind of money, so why not keep the ball rolling for as long as possible, right? 

If Warner Bros. wants to keep the DCEU thriving, though, turning a profit on its entries is paramount. So, the studio likely wants to avoid disappointing grosses like this one, which stands out as the lowest in the franchise.

Wonder Woman 1984 fought an uphill battle at the box office

Upon hitting the big screen in 2017, "Wonder Woman" immediately earned its place as the most praised DCEU flick to date. Moviegoers loved Gal Gadot's take on the titular heroine, the film's World War 1 aesthetic, and Patty Jenkins' directorial touch, so it came as no surprise when a sequel received the green light shortly after. That continuation arrived in 2020 in the form of "Wonder Woman 1984": the lowest-grossing DCEU movie so far. It only wound up earning just under $167 million on a $200 million budget, largely thanks to factors outside of just about everyone's control.

When "Wonder Woman 1984" premiered in December of 2020, HBO Max was the main place to watch. At the time, the vast majority of theaters worldwide had closed their doors in response to the rise of COVID-19, so most people elected to stay home and stream instead of buying a ticket. Therefore, the highly-anticipated sequel couldn't even earn back its budget, in addition to leaving most audiences and critics unimpressed. A similar fate befell the much more well-received 2021 feature "The Suicide Squad," which only narrowly avoided falling below "Wonder Woman 1984" on the DCEU worldwide gross scale (via The Numbers).

At the end of the day, money isn't the best indicator of how "good" or "bad" a film is. At the same time, when you're trying to keep together a saga like the DCEU, it's worth keeping an eye on your investments. We can only hope that "The Flash," "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom," and other future franchise installments won't fight a losing battle against the box office like "Wonder Woman 1984."