Black Adam is not the smash hit that DC and Dwayne Johnson were likely hoping for and it recently had a total box office failure in Japan. According to The Direct, the film only managed to pull in $452,000 at the Japanese box office on opening day, making it the lowest opening-day total for the DC Cinematic Universe. While Japan isn’t a deciding factor for a film’s success, it’s undoubtedly less than DC Films would like to make from that market.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that Black Adam is a financial bust by any means. The Dwayne-Johnson vehicle has made over $378 million worldwide so far. Reportedly, the budget for the film is around $200 million, so there’s no doubt that the project is profitable.
While turning a profit is important to studios, that $378 million Black Adam made isn’t quite as impressive when compared to other superhero films released this year. Specifically, Marvel continues to outperform DC Films at just about every turn. Their most recent release, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, is already sitting at $682 million worldwide and counting.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is another benchmark for superhero films this year, pulling in $955 million worldwide. Still, DC and Warner Bros don’t have it all bad thanks to The Batman pulling in $770 million at the global box office.. Unlike Black Adam, The Batman is largely separated from the connected DCU films.
It’s clear DC Films would prefer for their universe-building films like Black Adam to pull in as much as these standalone projects (like The Batman and Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker), but they’ve long struggled to find the same level of Marvel-like commercial and critical success. However, it seems like DC is looking to right that ship by bringing on James Gunn and Peter Safran as co-chairs and co-CEOs of DC Studios. This move has largely been praised by fans and there is a lot of hope for the DC film universe going forward.
James Gunn brought DC some of their best projects yet in the form of The Suicide Squad and the even better Peacemaker series starring John Cena. With Gunn in the driver’s seat, there’s a chance that things will start going in the right direction. Whether Black Adam will be a big part of that plan remains to be seen, but if anyone could make a character more interesting, it’s Gunn.
It’s worth noting that Black Adam wasn’t reviled or anything by fans — quite the opposite. Many audience members found the movie enjoyable, with solid action and effects. It wasn’t anything that blew people’s minds, but it was a fun movie nonetheless.
Black Adam also brought Henry Cavill back into the fold as Superman, something that fans have long been hoping to see. Despite being in some rough films like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, fans really enjoy Cavill’s portrayal and have been waiting to see if and when he would return to the role. Hopefully, Gunn has a strategy that will take all of these characters that have been set up and create something that fans and critics will both love (and spend money on).