This week has seen the release of the latest DC movie, Justice League. It has, so far, performed as expected; that is to say, it has made a good amount of money ($281.5 million worldwide) but is critically underwhelming. And DC knew that this would be the case.

We expect bigness in our Summer films

Superhero movies tend to be Summer event movies. Think about the last Spiderman movie, or Wonder Woman, or almost any big budget action release. They are summer movies. Why? Because ever since 1975, when Jaws came out as the first Summer event movie, we expect bigness in our films.

Big good guys, bigger bad guys, big explosions, blood, punching, and more big explosions. But Justice League was released in November.

In America, it is nearly Thanksgiving. A time when families come together to celebrate things they are thankful for, and then get bored with each other’s company, but feel obligated to spend the time together anyway. OK, that’s a cynical view of it, but it has a nugget of truth to it. So, let’s say you’re a family, stuck together for a couple of days; uncles and aunts visiting from another state, adult kids home from university, teenagers uninterested in anything anyway, so what do you do? What if there was a place you could go for three hours or so where there would be no arguing, no rudeness, no discussion of awkward political topics, or sensitive social issues?

Even better, you’ll be in a comfortable seat. You could just nap if you want to!

DC released Justice League now to capitalise on the Thanksgiving boredom market. They know that, if they were to release it in Summer, they would get embarrassed by whatever brightly coloured Marvel movie is scheduled for world domination in May or June.

Right now, it has no competitors in its genre.

At a time of year when millions of American families are being forced together, somewhat begrudgingly, and from various parts of their vast country, is it any wonder that they retreat to the dark comfort of a cinema, in which they can relax and watch a dysfunctional group of misfits band together in order to defeat a looming monster who threatens to end the world?

It’s a movie you can eat a bucket of popcorn to

The movie itself is fine. There is little to no chemistry between the actors, plot points that don’t make sense, superpowers that are never explained, and some jokes that never really land. But it is a couple of hours of big good guys, big bad guys, big explosions, blood, punching, and more big explosions. It entertains for an evening. And it gives you something you often don’t get from better movies: something to talk about. I left the movie happily discussing the good and bad points of the movie; the awkward dialogue, how cool Jason Momoa seems, the awful CGI, and how great I thought Ray Fisher was as Cyborg.

It’s an action movie. It’s a movie you can eat a bucket of popcorn too. It’s unlikely to break any records. If you like superheroes, or just need something to do for a few hours one wet afternoon, then turn your brain off, sit back, and enjoy.