Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes Admits "Room for Improvement" in DC Universe Movies

The Hollywood Reporter

After gushing about successes across Time Warner's television properties, Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes had to acknowledge at an investor conference on Wednesday that the reception - at least, the one from critics - was less than stellar for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad.

"Every panel I think requires me to talk out of both sides of my mouth," said Bewkes at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference in New York. "This is part where I say, 'Pay no attention to the critics.' It's true: Critics didn't think it was good."

Bewkes apparently has gotten the message that bad reviews could haunt the plan to make multiple films out of the DC Extended Universe. 

"We do think there is room for improvement," he said.

On the other hand, Bewkes quickly boasted about the films' financial performance.

"Everyone see the papers yesterday?" he asked, referring to news that Suicide Squad has passed $700 million in worldwide box office. "They're laughing at the critics. It's passing Iron Man and The Avengers. Let's remember that."

Actually, Captain America: Civil War is at $1.15 billion in worldwide gross. Maybe he was referring to this Forbes article talking how Suicide Squad is now ahead of Iron Man 2.

Bewkes said the important thing was relaunching the characters for film, and particularly nodded to Ben Affleck's Batman and Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman as successes that would help drive the future for the company.

During the conference, the exec also sang CNN's praises - "We are having a killer year at CNN with breaking news and originals. The ratings up a lot" - and hinted that the company would like to eventually use in-house technology to power HBO Now instead of relying on BAMTech, which just sold a 33 percent stake to Disney. 

Bewkes also spoke glowingly about Hulu and believes that the digital platform will eventually return a profit.