Stakes Are High This Week For WB CEO Kevin Tsujihara

– by Joseph Medina

This is a big week for DC Comics fanboys. For the first time, we get to see Batman and Superman together on the big screen in the live-action film. BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE is a movie that's been a long time in the making, and it comes well into Marvel's Cinematic Universe, which now has a whopping 12 films under its belt, including two AVENGERS movies. Considering how far behind they are in this game of shared universes, it makes sense that they'd opt for a different formula. Rather than using the tried-and-true Marvel formula of standalone film-standalone film-standalone film-standalone film-standalone-film-TEAMUP, they've decided to go all in almost from the start, pitting Batman against Superman in their second film, and introducing most of the future Justice League superheroes.

It's an ambitious movie, to say the least, and WB has definitely paid a pretty penny to make it a reality. While the reported budget is around $250 million, we've heard numbers as high as $410 million for BATMAN v SUPERMAN alone, which is quite the investment on the studio's part. It's no secret that 2015 wasn't kind to WB. Between films like JUPITER ASCENDING and PAN, they were definitely hit pretty hard.

At a recent industry press conference (via LA Times), Time Warner's (WB's parent company) CEO Jeff Bewkes stated that he expects WB to make record profits this year. This undoubtedly puts a lot of pressure on BATMAN v SUPERMAN to not only meet, but exceed expectations. 

"If you're Kevin Tsujihara, you need to have a good year," said Doug Creutz, a media analyst at Cowen & Co. "This is his time to shine, or not."

Unfortunately, Zack Snyder is caught in the middle of all this. To call the director polarizing would be an understatement. Practically every film he's made following 300 has been both loved and hated by almost an equal number of people, and his interpretation of Superman in MAN OF STEEL still remains one of the more controversial ones in recent memory. The fact that they're continuing in this universe has most definitely rubbed many fans the wrong way--including co-contributor Mario, who loathes how the super was handled in the previous film, and refuses to see BvS for the first few weeks of its showing.

And he won't be the only one.

WB is definitely going into this with many fans being skeptical of this universe, as it seems more like a desperate cash grab than a well-planned universe. To many, WB seems to be rushing the process to get to that AVENGERS money Marvel is making, rather than taking the time needed to set up their world strategically.

Michael Nathanson, a media analyst with MoffettNathanson Research, had the following to say regarding that.

"They really want to build DC into a cohesive universe the way Marvel has done. There's a lot of pressure on the studio and Kevin to deliver what we expect."

Kevin Tsujihara only took over as CEO back in 2013, and after the lackluster 2015, the man needs a hit, and these DCEU films will be a huge part of that, no matter if they succeed or fail. 

Greg Silverman, president of creative development and worldwide production at WB had the following to say:

"Some people might look at it as pressure, but that's where you want to be. You want to be involved with something that people care about. That makes it exciting."

No doubt about it, we're all invested.

Do you think BATMAN v SUPERMAN will be marked off as a success for WB in the annals of history, or something more on the scale of, say FANTASTIC FOUR? Let us know in the comments down below!

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SOURCE: LA Times

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