The Flash


  • Release: June 16, 2023
  • Director: Andy Muschietti
  • Studio: Warner Bros
  • Franchise: DC

The Flash movie was supposed to be a massive box office bonanza for Warner Bros and DC. But it ended up falling flat despite a fantastic cast.

Barry Allen/ Flash

Ezra Miller

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Supergirl

Sasha Calle

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Batman

Ben Affleck

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Zod

Michael Shannon

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Batman

Michael Keaton

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Iris West

Kiersey Clemons

Warner Bros.’ latest superhero installment, The Flash, directed by Andy Muschietti, began with great promise. However, as the dust settled on its theatrical release, it stands out not for its velocity, but for its hurdles and unexpected turns.

The Flash Was A Box Office Disaster

The production cost for The Flash was a staggering $200 million, with an additional $65 million pumped into marketing. This would necessitate a break-even point of around $550 million in earnings.

Yet, it opened with a disappointing $55 million, a shadow of what blockbusters of its caliber often rake in. By its fifth weekend, this speedster was rapidly fading, headed towards being labeled one of the biggest flops in Warner Bros.’ century-long history.

Further cementing its disappointing run, the film experienced a sharp decline of over 70% in its second weekend. Comparatively, even past films with lackluster performances like Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad managed to cover their production and marketing costs.

Ezra Miller Had Numerous Off-Screen Issues

Behind the film’s tumultuous journey is a series of unfortunate events and decisions. A significant shadow was cast over its release due to controversies surrounding the lead actor, Ezra Miller. Allegations of harassment, assault, and a widely circulated video of Miller appeared to impact the film’s reception, making it a topic of contention rather than anticipation.

Additionally, The Flash had been ensnared in what the industry terms “development hell” for many years. Initially conceptualized during the Zack Snyder era of the DCU in 2013, the film underwent several changes in hands, with multiple writers and directors contributing to its evolution.

This often viewed as a curse in Hollywood, did the movie no favors. The project’s continuity faced further disruption when Zack Snyder, originally at the helm of the DCU’s vision, departed from 2017’s Justice League due to personal reasons, leading to tonal inconsistencies and production challenges.

Adding to the complexity, The Flash ambitiously aimed to be both a solo showcase for Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen and a multiverse-spanning spectacle bringing in a roster of heroes from different eras. This in itself might have been a compelling narrative, had the DC Universe not been in a state of flux.

The Flash was not just a narrative of speed and time-bending scenarios; it also brought together a constellation of actors and actresses from various eras of the DC Universe, assembling alongside Ezra Miller.

Michael Keaton Returned As Batman

michael keaton batman

Michael Keaton returned to his iconic role as Batman, a nod to Tim Burton’s 1989 rendition of the Caped Crusader. Keaton’s involvement was seen as a potential draw for long-term fans of the franchise and a bridge across multiverse storylines.

Sasha Calle also made her debut as Supergirl, bringing a fresh face and energy to the ensemble and establishing her character for potential future outings in the DC Universe.

James Gunn, known for his work with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, was ushered in as the new creative head of DC. Under his leadership, the direction for DC was to start afresh, implying that The Flash would be among the last remnants of the old DC Universe or “Snyderverse.”

However, every cloud has a silver lining. As The Flash found its way to the streaming platform Max, its narrative took a turn. Climbing its way to the top 10 and eventually securing the #1 spot, the film seemed to have found its audience in the digital realm. It’s uncertain whether this resurgence in popularity was due to genuine appreciation, curiosity, or a mix of both.

Further, in a bid to capitalize on the NFT trend, Warner Bros. Discovery announced The Flash as a “blockchain movie,” offering fans a new form of ownership and exclusive content. This move, however, has garnered mixed reactions, reflecting the volatile nature of the NFT market and its alignment with film distribution.

In the end, while The Flash might not have been the box office sensation Warner Bros. had hoped for, its story is a testament to the unpredictability of the film industry.

With change, controversy, and digital landscapes redefining the rules, The Flash might just be the precursor to a new era of cinematic experiences.

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