There is no sugar coating it: The Flash massively tanked with just a $55 million opening weekend.
Once upon a time if a weekend had both a new Pixar release and a new super hero movie, it meant the box office was going to be in for a massive influx of cash. This weekend is proving that the two once mighty titans have fallen pretty mightily.
On Thursday, we asked if The Flash could overcome the controversy surrounding it. In short, the answer to that question appears to be a resounding no, as The Flash came out and completely bombed with just $55.1 million for its three day opening weekend. That is below what I think anyone predicted and is quite shocking if I am being completely honest. Sure this movie had an upward climb with the headlines being garnered by its main star and the fact that it was part of a cinematic universe that is all but completely dead. The trailers actually looked really good and it was playing on a big nostalgia kick featuring the return of the legendary Michael Keaton as Batman.
So what went wrong? You definitely can’t count out the fact that many people just don’t want to see a movie where basically every single frame is filled with a person that has so much off screen turmoil, that they just don’t want to spend their money on supporting that person. It could also be that after it was announced that the DCEU was being rebooted, the remaining films that had already been filmed as part of that universe simply don’t matter and as such why spend money to see them on the big screen when we can just wait a few months and catch them on a lazy Saturday night. Or perhaps the writer’s strike has actually affected the promotion for this film. I never really thought publicity tours for a film were all that important. Theatrical trailers, TV spots and online presence are always how I figured general audiences learned about new films, but maybe those late night talk shows are actually a huge part of how the masses learn of new films.
Of course, it was probably a big relief to Warner Brothers that they didn’t have to explain why their main star wasn’t making the talk show rounds, and let’s be honest, had there been no strike and the stars of the film were able to make the rounds, is that really going to yield another $20 million in ticket sales? Doubtful. WB also had numerous people calling this movie “the greatest comic book movie ever made” with stars like Tom Cruise tailking about how much they loved it. And the thing is, The Flash is actually a decent movie. Far better than the last few DC and Marvel movies (with the exception of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 which stuck the landing and The Batman and Joker which are stand alone films in their own universes.) The question now is can International audiences save this film from complete failure? Doubtful. And with a summer packed full of big tent pole sized movies, these movies need big opening weekends, and sadly The Flash just failed to deliver.
The other dropped ball this weekend is Pixar’s Elemental which opened with just $29.5 million. A far cry from when Pixar films would open to near or over $100 million. Their last original IP title was Onward from 2020, that opened with $39.1 million, even though that was at a time when Covid was brand new and some people just weren’t sure about going to theaters. No such excuse for Elemental. Reviews have been mixed, leaning positive, currently at a 76% on Rotten Tomatoes with a 91% audience score (our own Chris Bumbray gave it a 7/10 in his review.) Next week sees the release of the R rated comedy No Hard Feelings, so this one will have some extra room to breathe, but Spider-Man really is taking all the animated dollars. In two weeks we have Ruby Gillman: Teenage Kraken, but I’m not sure how much competition that one will actually be.
The next new release of the week, The Blackening isn’t so much a dropped ball with $6 million, when you consider its low $5 million budget. The Tim Story directed horror comedy in the vein of Get Out should post some solid profit when all is said and done, and that is all that matters. This isn’t a Blumhouse production, but it is following that Blumhouse model of low budgets turning out solid profits.
As far as limited releases go, Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City looks to be pulling in massive numbers at just six theaters in New York and Los Angeles with what is looking like a $120,000 per screen average, which would make it the best per screen average in the post pandemic age (since 2019’s Parasite). Pretty solid for a movie that is getting mixed reviews, with our own Chris Bumbray giving it just a 6/10 in his review (while fully admitting it is a movie that could improve upon further viewings.) General audiences will have the chance to see the film next week when it goes wide.
Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse continues its stellar run with an additional $27.8 million. Proof positive that if you make a really good movie, and Across The Spider-verse is a really good movie (don’t just take my word for it, take the 96% Rotten Tomatoes score or the 95% audience score or the A cinemascore or the 9/10 review from our own Chris Bumbray!) It may be early, but mark my words, this will be the Academy Award Winner for Best Animated Film, becoming The Godfather and The Godfather Part II of the animated world!
The remainder of the top five belong to Transformers: Rise of the Beasts taking a pretty substantial tumble in its second week with a 67% decline and just a $20 million second weekend. People may have talked a lot of trash about the Michael Bay Transformers movies, but they made money! The Little Mermaid rounds out the top five with an additional $11.6 million, continuing its stellar domestic run.
Spots seven through nine belong to your holdover titles Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 ($5 million), The Boogeyman ($3.8 million) and Fast X ($2.02 million) while spot ten belongs to the Indian action film Adipurush with an estimated weekend take of $1.6 million, once again proving that when Hindu language films get released stateside, their audiences show up (especially when you consider this one clocks in at a healthy two hours and fifty nine minutes!)
Did you see one of the new release movies this weekend? If so, let us know in the comments and don’t forget to take our weekly poll where we ask: Who is the best Batman?
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/weekend-box-office-the-flash-becomes-the-next-dceu-bomb/