The Flash's box office take drops 73 percent in its second weekend.
Like a dumpster fire on wheels, The Flash continues to crash and burn at the movies. Even the return of Michael Keaton as Batman wasn’t enough to stop the scarlet speedster’s box office take from shrinking by 73 percent in just its second weekend of release. The Flash dropped even further than recent DC flops Black Adam and Shazam! Fury of the Gods did in their second weekends, putting it in the running for the biggest DCEU flop of all time.
The Flash was defeated by fellow superhero movie Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, which amazingly climbed back into the number one spot despite being in theaters for nearly a month at this point. Also claiming victory over the DC trainwreck was the latest offering from Pixar, Elemental, which claimed the number two spot over the weekend.
Despite fans treating it like number two, The Flash limped into number three this weekend, bringing its domestic gross to an unimpressive $87 million. Not too good for a $200 million dollar would-be summer tentpole film.
Unfortunately, The Flash was doomed from the start. With Ezra Miller’s laundry list of alleged public offenses hanging around the movie’s neck like an Albatross, the film was coming out of the gate with a major handicap.
Add to that the bullet new co-leader of DC studios, James Gunn, lodged firmly in his own foot by announcing plans to reboot the newly renamed DCU, effectively making The Flash non-canon before it even came out, and you have a movie that was essentially dead on arrival.
It also doesn’t help that Warner Bros. has been cultivating an antagonistic relationship with DC fans ever since the merger with Discovery. DC was in trouble the minute that newly appointed Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav started canceling projects and removing content from streaming, essentially making enemies of the very people who consume DC properties like The Flash.
Several fans that would have seen the movie just for the nostalgia of seeing Michael Keaton suit up as Batman for the first time since 1992 already likely had a bad taste in their mouth from the Batgirl cancellation.
The Leslie Grace-led film would have featured Keaton as that universe’s Batman following his re-introduction in The Flash movie.
Instead, after months of reading about their favorite live-action Batman returning for an extended run of appearances across multiple DC properties, fans were told his appearance in The Flash would be a one-off, essentially bringing the Mr. Mom actor back for what could be seen as just a glorified cameo. After all that, it’s no wonder that many DC fans decided to pass on The Flash.
One thing that can’t be blamed for The Flash‘s poor performance is so-called “superhero fatigue” that critics and internet doomsayers are always warning us about. The continued success of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse should be proof enough to even the most cynical naysayer that a superhero movie done right can still bring fans to the theaters in droves.
Ultimately The Flash‘s failure can be blamed on a number of external factors, which is a shame because when judged solely on its merits as a movie, The Flash isn’t all that bad.