The Flash Finally Finds An Audience Now That It’s Streaming

By TeeJay Small | Updated

The Flash

When Andrés Muschietti’s The Flash first premiered back in June, the film failed to garner the necessary fanship required to make a sizable return on investment at the box office. In fact, the film famously bombed, costing the studio an estimated $200 million in losses. However, now that The Flash has finally become available to stream on Max, the film seems to have found its audience, ranking in the top 10 on HBO this week, according to figures reported by FlixPatrol.

The Flash is now the #1 movie on Max, as finally, people are watching the movie.

In hindsight, it seems that The Flash was doomed from the very beginning. For starters, the film had been in development hell for a number of years, first beginning production during the apex of the Zack Snyder era of the DCU all the way back in 2013. The film was passed around to a number of writers and directors, seeing a semi-frequent reworking of the material with each new filmmaker set to helm the production.

While it is widely regarded as a hex on a film’s production to be passed around by multiple writers and directors, many fans assumed The Flash would remain in good hands. This good faith was mostly due to the overarching plans of Zack Snyder and executives at Warner Brothers, who were in production crafting an interwoven series of films to rival the Marvel cinematic universe. Of course, the slate of live-action DCU films continued to face heavy criticism throughout the mid to late 2010s, culminating in the cinematic disaster that is 2017’s Justice League.

Michael Keaton in The Flash

Though Zack Snyder eventually returned to reshoot and edit the Justice League film to better suit his vision in 2021, he initially left the project after suffering a personal family tragedy. This change saw former MCU architect Joss Whedon completing production on the film, leaving a number of significant tonal inconsistencies and production nightmares. 2017’s Justice League broadly marks the beginning of the end for the former DCEU, with The Flash specifically disregarding the film from the DC canon in favor of the Snyder cut.

The Flash is both the first solo film for Ezra Miller’s character and also a multiverse-spanning event bringing in generations of heroes.

The Flash finally entered principal photography in April of 2021, nearly ten years after it had first been announced by the studio, with Ezra Miller in the lead role. Unfortunately, the behind-the-scenes drama didn’t stop when the cameras began rolling, much to the chagrin of DC executives and decision-makers. Ezra Miller spent most of 2022 embroiled in scandal as the lead actor engaged in a bizarre rampage of alleged crimes, suffering frequent public arrests.

Sasha Calle in The Flash

DC was also seeing a massive change in leadership during this time, as Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker James Gunn was appointed as the new creative head of development at the studio in November of 2022. Due to the poorly received and disjointed outings, the DCU had suffered up to this point, Gunn felt it would be best to wipe the slate clean and begin anew with an all-new DC film and television universe, independent of the previous outings. As a result of this shift in leadership, it was announced that The Flash would be one of the final films to take place within the Snyderverse canon, effectively undercutting any stakes the film may have carried.

After a dismal box office performance, The Flash is going to remain a flop no matter how good the streaming numbers get.

When The Flash finally opened to abysmal box office numbers in June 2023, many fans saw this as the final dying breath of the previous franchise. However, the film’s recent addition to the Max streaming service seems to be stirring up a great deal of audience fervor. While it’s impossible to know for sure if fans love the new film or simply watch it on streaming as a means to cement their own footholds in this historic production train wreck, the film seems to be excelling in the digital medium.

The Flash is still a far cry from being a financial success for Warner Brothers, though they may be able to recuperate some of their losses on the film through streaming revenue. As James Gunn continues plugging away at his newly formed DCU, it remains unclear at this time how much of the material from the former universe he plans to carry over into the new franchise, if any. If you’re interested in seeing the nearly decade-long production finally come to life on your home screen, The Flash is currently available to stream on Max.