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Box Office Predictions: Can The Flash overcome controversy?

Box Office Predictions: Can The Flash overcome controversy?

This weekend sees the release of one of the most controversial films ever, not for its on screen content but for its stars off screen behavior.

This is going to a busy weekend at the movie theaters. In addition to strong holdovers such as Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse and The Little Mermaid, there are three new wide releases all aimed at different audiences. The one that will unquestionably win the weekend will be The Flash, but with how much? Tracking has the film hitting the mid $70 million range which would put it slightly above the debut of Black Adam ($67 million) and well above the debut of Shazam! Fury of the Gods (30.1 million) both of which dropped significantly in subsequent weeks and have been deemed box office bombs, signaling the demise of the DCEU as we had come to know it. 

Both of those films had people showering them with praise before they were released at which point it seemed everyone just cut ties. Will The Flash have the same fate? Prior to its release we have heard nothing but great things from the studio in regard to the films star Ezra Miller, but once the film is released and the money is tabulated, will Warner Brothers be singing a different tune about their embattled star? The bigger question is: is the general public even aware of the controversy surrounding the person playing the title character? For movie fans like us, we are aware of the absolutely abhorrent things Ezra Miller has (allegedly) done. Some of you may have even watched our WTF Episode about Ezra Miller that we released nearly a year ago (that was written by yours truly and expertly edited and narrated by Taylor James Johnson.) At the time of the video, the big questions was whether or not Warner Brothers would even release The Flash due to Ezra’s headline making behavior. Well, the answer to that question is: of course they are releasing the movie! The studio isn’t going to just eat over $220 million (before marketing costs) (unless they get a hefty tax write off.)

The studio smartly shifted its marketing to really playing up the return of Michael Keaton as Batman, a role he hasn’t played since 1992’s Batman Returns and one that in that time frame last year we weren’t really sure we would ever get to see as he also played Batman in the scrapped Batgirl movie. It seemed like Keaton’s Batman return was cursed. For many people, seeing Keaton donning the cape is reason enough to see The Flash, no matter our feelings on the films main star.

The good news is that The Flash has been garnering some decent reviews including a strong 8/10 from our own Chris Bumbray. Critics have been hailing it as one of the best DC films in recent years (if you exclude films like The Batman and Joker) which isn’t a very high bar to pass. There has been praise for Miller’s performance in the film, which to be fair, Miller was solid in both Justice League movies. This one will be interesting to see how it all plays out. Will people rush to theaters to support someone who has paid no price for their transgressions? Especially when you consider the price others seem to have paid for far less.

Having said all of that, the movie does look pretty good and I will be seeing it later tonight! (100% because of Michael Keaton playing Batman again.)

elemental trailer

But The Flash isn’t the only new release hitting theaters this weekend, we also have the latest from Pixar with Elemental which looks like a good old fashioned Pixar movie. The covid pandemic seems to have hit them pretty hard with Disney deciding to release their films directly to the Disney+ streaming service, meaning films such as Soul, Luca and Turning Red had virtually no box office presence while creating an audience that expected to see the latest Pixar film on streaming, which would lead to 2022’s Toy Story spinoff Lightyear becoming one of their worst performing movies ever. So the question is: can a new fresh original idea return the Pixar brand to its former glory? The last few films released before the pandemic were Toy Story 4 which opened with $120.9 million and The Incredibles 2 which opened with $182.6 million. Of course those were highly anticipated sequels that were destined to open huge. The last original concept Pixar film was 2017’s Coco (I don’t count Onward in this because that film opened like a week before the pandemic hit so those numbers are skewed) which would open with $50.8 million on its way to a solid $210.4 million domestic gross ($814.3 million worldwide). Sadly it doesn’t look like Elemental will be hitting those same highs with the film currently tracking to do around $35 million. However, as we have seen with animated fare recently, early tracking can be a bit light as many families aren’t the “buy tickets weeks in advance” types and are more likely to be walk up business that I think will help get this one to at least $40 million. 

The last wide new release of the week is the horror comedy The Blackening. Directed by Tim Story, who has seen his fair share of hits over the years as he directed Barbershop, Fantastic Four and its sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Think Like a Man 1&2, Ride Along 1&2 and 2021’s Tom & Jerry. The concept of the film is actually pretty clever in its comedic take down of the notion that the black character is always the first to die in horror films, with a main cast of all African American performers, the tagline is quite simply: We Can’t All Die First. The film is currently eyeing an opening around $7 million, which may seem soft, until you realize that it reportedly cost just $5 million to make, meaning if it has good word of mouth, this one can potentially leg out to be one of the more profitable movies of the summer.

Are you planning on seeing one of the new releases this weekend? Has the controversy surrounding Ezra Miller dampened your anticipation of The Flash? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to check back on Saturday when we have a brief update on the box office numbers.


  1. The Flash$75 Million
  2. Elemental$40 Million
  3. Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse$30 Million
  4. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts$25 Million
  5. The Little Mermaid$16 Million

Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/box-office-predictions-can-the-flash-overcome-controversy/