Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX) DC Entertainment has signed Man of Steel director Zack Snyder to direct the Justice League movie, which appears on track for a 2017 release. Does fast-tracking amount to a good strategy for DC and Warner investors? What, if any, difference would involving the DC television universe make?
Host Ellen Bowman puts these questions to Fool analysts Nathan Alderman and Tim Beyers in this episode of 1-Up On Wall Street, The Motley Fool's web show in which we talk about the big-money names behind your favorite movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.
Nathan says that Snyder's effort on Man of Steel deserved the mixed reviews it received, and history shows that viewers tend to keep the prior entry in mind when making the decision to buy a theater ticket for the sequel.
Look at the X-Men movies, Nathan says. Moviegoers didn't show up for X-Men: First Class in the sorts of numbers that they had for prior films in the series, no doubt influenced by poor reviews and lukewarm audience reception to X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Warner's Man of Steel rates only a bit better among viewers tracked at Rotten Tomatoes.
Tim says there's no doubt risk to the strategy, but Warner also has a long history with filming franchises on a concurrent schedule. Fast-tracking to a Justice League movie amounts to reversing Walt Disney's (NYSE:DIS) strategy with its Marvel properties, whereby Batman vs. Superman and then Justice League act as platforms for spinning off into solo films starring popular DC Comics characters.
Nathan says that's a huge and perhaps unnecessary risk. Yet he and Tim agree that using DC's proven television properties -- Arrow, and soon to come, The Flash -- could enrich the DC Cinematic Universe, boost ratings for The CW network, and create pent-up demand for the Justice League movie in a manner similar to how Marvel's Agents of SHIELD has boosted Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Fans and investors should be on the lookout for news about this sort of cross-media cooperation as we get closer to San Diego Comic-Con.
Now it's your turn to weigh in. How do you expect Snyder's Justice League movie to pay off for Time Warner? Would you weave the DC TV universe into the narrative? Click the video to watch as Ellen puts Nathan and Tim on the spot, and then be sure to follow us on Twitter for more segments and regular geek news updates!
Neither Ellen Bowman nor Nathan Alderman owned shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Tim Beyers owned shares of Time Warner and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.