DC Exec Debunks Claim About Zack Snyder Movies' Profitability

By David Thompson Updated:
Zack Snyder next to Justice League heroes, money flying

A former DCEU executive just set the record straight on how profitable Zack Snyder's Warner Bros. (WB) films have been.

Snyder began the DCEU with Man of Steel, starring Henry Cavill, in 2013. The universe kickstarter grossed $668 million at the worldwide box office. This was a $277 million improvement from 2006's Superman Returns.

The highly-anticipated crossover sequel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, earned $873.6 million globally, the fifth-highest-grossing DC movie of all time.

To the disappointment of WB, the Justice League team-up starring Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, and Ezra Miller earned $657.9 million.

Former DC Executive Claims Zack Snyder's Films Were Profitable

Justice League trinity

Former President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production at Warner Bros. Pictures Greg Silverman responded to an X (formerly known as Twitter) post that claimed Zack Snyder lost money for Warner Bros.

Silverman wrote that besides Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole and Sucker Punch, "the rest of [Zack Snyder's] films at WB were very profitable. Very:"

"Not true. We lost some money on GAHOOLE and a fair amount on SUCKERPUNCH. The rest of his films at WB were very profitable. Very."

Considering many feel like Zack Snyder's run at DC was a failure, this debunks the idea that the filmmaker didn't make the studio money.

His first DCEU film, Man of Steel, turned a small $42.7 million profit, according to Deadline. While certainly better than losing money, the studio had higher hopes for this Superman reboot's money-making ability.

2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a bigger commercial hit, earning WB a net profit of $105.7 million, according to Deadline.

It's unclear whether Silverman is considering 2017's Justice League as a Snyder film because director Joss Whedon took over that project before its theatrical release.

Justice League lost WB money, per Deadline, at an estimated $60 million loss. This may forever go down as DC's biggest failure as the Justice League is the team-up equivalent to Marvel Avengers, which is one of Disney's most profitable franchises.

Defining the Success of the SnyderVerse

In addition to mixed box office success, Zack Snyder's Justice League (which went straight to streaming) brought in less viewership than Matt Reeve's The Batman in its first-week streaming. 

According to Deadline, The Batman brought in 4.1 million viewers during its first week compared to 2.2 million from the four-hour Snyder Cut.

Greg Silverman made a point to respond on X, defending Snyder's time at Warner Bros. as a director who made the studio money. 

This isn't the first time Silverman has defended Snyder, as back in January 2022, the former exec said that the director's "kindness" ultimately "created an environment for critics to undervalue his work:"

"Zack’s kindness openness and enthusiasm created an environment for critics to undervalue his work. Because he is a decent approachable humble human, he didn’t fit the mold of an auteur."

Snyder certainly has a fan base that will go out of its way to defend the director. There are also those that aren't supporters and are celebrating the new direction of the DCU with James Gunn.

Polarizing is the best way of defining the SnyderVerse. Some will always defend it, but others hated nearly every second of it. 

The studio drama surrounding the cinematic universe will be a defining part of the era as well, never finding the perfect executive to lead the comic book adaptations like Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige.

Warner Bros. Discovery's newly titled DC Studios hopes to steer the ship back on track for quality DC films that fans will rally behind and, of course, turn a profit.

- About The Author: David Thompson
As an editor, writer, and podcast host, David is a key member of The Direct. He is an expert at covering topics like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and business-related news following the box office and streaming.