Dwayne Johnson Just Achieved A New Personal Best, Breaking His Old Records
Black Adam pulled in $67 million over the weekend, making it the biggest opening weekend at the box office for any Dwayne Johnson-led flick.
Fans and critics may not be able to agree on Black Adam, but the numbers are in and the returns agree with audiences. As Rotten Tomatoes and others report, Dwayne Johnson’s first entry into the DC Cinematic Universe made $67 million at the box office over the last few days, making it the most impressive opening weekend for any Johnson-led film. Before now, the closest The Rock got to Black Adam‘s numbers was in 2019, when Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw opened with a $60 million weekend.
The site also notes that Black Adam makes for another nice round number as The Rock’s 10th film to get an opening weekend to score more than $30 million.
Rotten Tomatoes’ Erik Childress cautions that while Black Adam‘s opening weekend is an unquestionable for Dwayne Johnson’s box office ambitions, the film will need more than a good opening weekend to turn a profit. The film’s second weekend, Childress argues, will give us a much clearer picture of whether or not Black Adam can go the distance. He reminds his readers that earlier this year Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore raked in a worldwide gross of $405.1 million, and yet was largely considered a financial disappointment.
In order to do well, Childress argues, Black Adam will have to break even more records and get the same kind of astronomical numbers earned by blockbusters like Top Gun: Maverick and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. While he hints Dwayne Johnson may have reason to worry about the box office considering the film’s low Tomatometer score of 39%, the low opinions of critics are hardly automatic Kryptonite to films, particularly superhero blockbusters. Both 2018’s Venom and the 2021 follow-up Venom: Let There Be Carnage made serious bank, in spite of dismal reports from reviewers.
Likewise 2016’s Suicide Squad was eviscerated by critics and still made $747 million before it left theaters. If Dwayne Johnson’s latest action film has any box office woes, it probably won’t solely be the words from reviewers that causes them.
If Black Adam performs like Dwayne Johnson’s previous few box office wins, then it should have the legs to make Warner Bros Discovery happy and secure the future of Black Adam 2. Hobbs & Shaw, the previous record holder, took home $759 million; the same year Jumanji: The Next Level opened with $59.3 million and ended with $800 million; and in 2015 San Andreas made $54.6 million on its opening weekend and made a worldwide gross of $474 million.
As for why critics seem to think the Dwayne Johnson flick shouldn’t be doing quite so well at the box office; many are calling Black Adam a lot of flash and very little substance. Critics seem to enjoy the action–and Pierce Brosnan‘s performance as Dr. Fate is a common standout in reviews–but otherwise feel it’s bland and predictable.
One thing no doubt driving Dwayne Johnson’s box office success this past weekend has more to do with another actor. It was widely reported before the film’s release that Henry Cavill makes his long-awaited return as Superman in a cameo, teasing a future battle between his character and The Rock’s.