Ezra Miller-starrer superhero adventure “The Flash” won the battle of the box office lightweights over Pixar’s “Elemental.”
This weekend’s two new releases were once expected to ignite the summer box office, but completely missed that mark as “The Flash” faltered with $55 million and “Elemental” grossed just $29.5 million in their respective debuts. Both those films had already fallen short of low expectations. And worse, they were expensive ventures, costing $200 million to produce and about $100 million to market, so they were huge disappointments in theaters.
Ahead of “The Flash,” Warner Bros. executives worked hard to convince the public that it was “one of the greatest superhero movies ever made.” Directed by Andy Muschietti, the story travels back in time when Miller’s Barry Allen, aka The Flash, prevents the murder of his mother and inadvertently causes a crack in the DC Multiverse. (Cameos galore!) But its modest “B” Cinemascore from weekend gatherings suggests that the moviegoing masses didn’t quite buy into the lavish praise the filmmakers gave the film. Without positive audience scores or strong word of mouth, “The Flash” will struggle to recover in the coming weeks, especially as the summer heats up with the release of “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” on June 30 and “Mission: Impossible 7” on July 12. , and Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” on July 21.
“It’s a weak three-day start for a superhero [film]David A. Cross, who runs the film consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, says. “There are similar openings that have grown in big numbers,” he adds, noting that 2015’s “Ant-Man,” which opened to $57 million and ended with $519 million worldwide, as well 2018’s “Aquaman” debuted to $67.4 million and finished with $1.15 billion worldwide. “But we’re not seeing that here.”
“The Flash” also stumbled at the international box office with $75 million in 78 markets, bringing its global tally to $139 million. Unless its box office fortunes recover, “The Flash” looks set to be very close to Dwayne Johnson’s $200 million budgeted “Black Adam,” which opened to $67 million last year and failed to reach $400 million worldwide, ultimately losing its money. Drama flow.
Analysts believe that a number of factors, one of which was uninterested audience reaction, are responsible for the film’s weak opening reception. Another roadblock is that “The Flash” landed on the big screen without a traditional promotional push. That’s because Miller has become a controversial figure in recent years due to legal troubles and assault allegations. The actor, who has apologized for past erratic behavior and is seeking treatment for “complex mental health issues,” made a rare public appearance at the premiere of “The Flash” on Monday, but did not engage in press or other promotional efforts. To the tabernacle of this purpose.
Also, “The Flash” is the second of three DC films opening in 2023 before the studio’s new bosses, James Gunn and Peter Safran, take the comic book universe in an entirely new direction. “The Flash” and “Shazam: Fury of the Gods” hang in the balance in one of the biggest superhero misfires in recent memory. It’s hard to get comic book fans to care about an interconnected universe. “Blue Beetle,” starring Xolo Maridueña as the alien symbiote, opens Aug. 18.
“Elemental,” an animated adventure about opposites that attract, added $15 million at the international box office for a worldwide total of $44.5 million. Unlike “The Flash,” “Elemental” was well received by moviegoers, who gave the film an “A” CinemaScore. So ticket sales are likely to pick up a bit in the next few weeks, especially as there isn’t much competition for family films.
But there’s no sugar-coating the debut of “Elemental,” the worst opening in Pixar’s modern history, ranking below some of the more memorable efforts like 2015’s “The Good Dinosaur” ($39 million) and 2020’s “Onward.” ($39 million). The animation empire behind “Toy Story,” “Up” and “Ratatouille” has not recovered from the pandemic, sending many of its titles directly to Disney+ and training family audiences to watch its movies at home.
This weekend, Lionsgate’s horror satire “The Blackening” opened in sixth place with $6 million in its debut. Directed by Tim Story, the film pokes fun at the common horror trope of black characters often dying first and follows a group of black friends who gather at a remote cabin to celebrate Juneteenth. It cost just $5 million.
Elsewhere at the box office, Sony’s “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” landed in third place, earning $27.8 million in its third weekend. The superhero sequel has already been a big box office hit, grossing $280 million in North America and $489.3 million worldwide.
In fourth place, Paramount’s “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” added $20 million as ticket sales fell 67% in its sophomore run. However, Tentpole has crossed the $100 million mark at the domestic box office with $103 million.
The seventh “Transformers” movie was made on a budget of $200 million. It needs to resonate at the international box office to justify that huge price tag. Over the weekend, “Rise of the Beasts” earned $37.2 million from 68 markets, bringing its international tally to $174.3 million.
Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” rounded out the top five in its fourth weekend in theaters with 11.6 million. The live-action remake has grossed $253 million in North America and $466 million to date, which would have been a good finish… if the movie hadn’t cost $250 million. At this rate, “The Little Mermaid” will struggle to top its theatrical run.
A lot more to come…