The Flash Is A Box Office Disaster

The Flash earned a disappointing $60 million at domestic box offices during its opening weekend.

By Phillip Moyer | Updated

The Flash, the much-hyped dimension-hopping conclusion to the current iteration of the DC Universe, has failed to attract a large audience. Box Office Mojo reports that the big-budget superhero extravaganza has only earned around $60 million domestically its opening weekend.

The Flash was supposed to be the movie that turned everything around for DC. The hype from the likes of James Gunn, Stephen King, and Tom Cruise made it seem like it was the type of movie everyone would love, and the studio’s willingness to stand behind the film despite the endless controversy surrounding its star showed that the execs believed it would bring in droves of money. However, it was not to be. 

News of The Flash‘s poor reception comes after initial estimates stated that the film DC lead James Gunn claimed was one of the best superhero films ever made would bring in between $115 – $140 million its opening weekend. Those estimates were later slashed to a modest $70-75 million after Friday receipts came in.

While critical reception for The Flash hasn’t been bad, per se, the mixed reviews following its release demonstrate that not everyone agrees that it’s the best superhero movie ever. With a 66 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s better than the critical duds that were Shazam: Fury of the Gods and Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania.

But it’s far from the universally-acclaimed masterpiece we were promised. Its “B” CinemaScore shows that audiences generally agree: the movie is fine, but it’s not great. 

ezra miller the flash dc

Moviegoers’ lack of enthusiasm has an effect, especially at a time when theaters have no shortage of superhero films in theaters. While The Flash might benefit this Monday from the three-day weekend brought about by Juneteenth, current trends show that it’s unlikely to break $70 million by the end of the day.

While this is a significantly better showing than the unmitigated disaster that was Shazam: Fury of the Gods’ abysmal $30 million domestic opening, it’s still a bad sign for the struggling DC franchise.

Notably, The Flash‘s $60 million opening is lower than another recent DC flop: 2022’s Black Adam, led by superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The $195 million film, which cost less than The Flash’s massive $200-225 million budget, made $67 million its opening weekend.

In the end, Black Adam was enough of a failure to justify Warner Bros. Discovery completely scrapping its plans for the DC franchise and hiring Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn to fix things.

It’s possible that The Flash will pull through and gain a larger audience as time goes on, but it’s not likely. The film will probably follow in the footsteps of Black Adam and Marvel‘s equally-disappointing Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, with box office numbers that quickly drop off in the coming weeks.

While Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 demonstrates that the moviegoing public will still show up for great superhero films, it seems clear that the world has lost its appetite for mediocre ones.