Justice League’s embargo lift date has been set to Wednesday, November 15 2:50 AM. This means that the studio is allowing reviews to go up roughly one day and 16 hours prior to the film’s release into theaters. Actually, when taking Thursday screenings into account, it’s even less.
We all know what this usually means. A late embargo lift means that the studio has no confidence in the film. It means they think critics will hate it, and are virtually doing everything they can do to sell as many tickets as possible before those bad reviews hit audiences. So, consider this case, open and shut. Justice League must suck, right?
Maybe. But maybe not.
Warner Bros. and DC Films have kind of a love-hate relationship with critics. Hell, let’s be real, they have kind of an antagonistic relationship with critics. With the exception of Wonder Woman, all of their films have received a “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, meaning that the majority of critics disliked the film.
It’s very clear that their films tend to be polarizing. While there are plenty of people who consider Man of Steel a modern classic, there are an equal number of people who lament what they feel is a misuse of the character. I’m one of the few who not just enjoy, but LOVE Man of Steel and Batman v Superman (the Ultimate Edition), and to me, what this shows is not that Warner Bros. has no faith in the film, but that they don’t trust critics to understand their film.
I get the impression that the studio was truly baffled by the overwhelmingly negative response to Batman v Superman, and as such, don’t really get what critics want from these superhero movies. With the stakes so high for Justice League, they think that it’s probably best not to take any chances and keep the embargo lift as far back as humanly possible.
That being said, there is one hole in this theory: Wonder Woman. Early screenings made it clear that Wonder Woman was a crowd-pleaser, and as such, the studio allowed social media responses over two weeks prior to the film’s release. The fact that social media responses aren’t even allowed yet may not bode well for Justice League.
It is worth noting that Wonder Woman’s initial embargo was slated for the Wednesday before its release, but was moved up to Monday literally the weekend before release.
So what does this mean? I’d keep an eye out to see if they end up pushing up the embargo lift. If they do that, then it’s a good sign that the film is being received well. If not, while I wouldn’t say that means the film as garbage (at least not to me), I would say it is a bit of a red flag.
All in all, this isn’t a comforting move from Warner Bros., no matter how you slice it.
Justice League hits theaters on November 17, 2017.
Don’t forget to share this post on your Facebook wall and with your Twitter followers! Just hit the buttons on the top of this page.