The film was neither a critical nor a box-office success. In his review of the film, noted critic Leonard Maltin found that "the 'story' [his scare-quotes] often makes no sense" and that the "action and effects are loud, gargantuan, and ultimately numbing." Published financial figures indicate that the movie was made on a budget of US$110 million, and collected a gross US$130 million worldwide as of January 1998. Studios usually expect summer movies to earn more profit than that.
The impact of this film was multifold. All the principle actors, especially involved George Clooney, lost credibility as serious actors. Schumacher found his already questionable artistic reputation ruined and Warner Brothers was the focus of much derision for producing such a poorly received blockbuster film.
However, it has been speculated that the film in the long run was good for the future of comic book films. This was because this flop treated the comic book inspiration with such contempt, other filmmakers were encouraged to treat the source material with more respect in their own films. This respectful attitude has lead to successful and acclaimed film adaptations like Blade, X-Men, Spider-Man, Ghost World and Road to Perdition.