If nothing else, the forthcoming Justice League movie is going to be long. Reportedly, the running time clocks in at 170 minutes. This would make it longer than Batman v. Superman and The Dark Knight Rises. At nearly three hours, Justice League would be the longest theatrically-released superhero movie. Watchmen does have the longest runtime thanks to a home video release that runs more than 200 minutes.
The heavy running time of the extended Watchman cut does bring up a point. What if the running time listed for Justice League turns out to be overstated? The rough cut of the film may run this length, but the theatrical release could be edited. After all, Suicide Squad was drastically edited by the studio.
Then again, Warner Bros. and D.C. Comics may want to release a very lengthy Justice League film in order to make it appear to be more of an event that previous comic book movies. The “event nature” of the project might assist with further garnering a buzz.
There are definitely risks associated with releasing such a huge-budget film with such a long running time. Lengthier running times mean fewer showings per day. Many believe Peter Jackson’s King Kong suffered at the box office for just such a reason. Still, Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies did massive box office with their three-hour durations.
Warner Bros. and D.C. Comics both need a major hit with the film. Previous entries in the D.C. Cinematic Universe were not critically well received although the box office returns were good. Suicide Squad and Batman v. Superman were absolutely trashed by critics, but the films pulled in a lot of money. This is why the established chain of D.C. projects was not broken or revamped.
Wonder Woman hits theaters before Justice League does. The trailers for Wonder Women are quite good. The film should be a hit, which would aid the box office for Justice League.
Justice League will not be a box office flop regardless of reviews or running time. Hopefully, the film does end up receiving good reviews and the three hours spent viewing it reflect time well spent.