It is difficult to think of any movie that has undergone such a rapid and dramatic reversal of fortunes as The Flash. A few months ago, we were reporting on long-range predictions that spoke of over $100 million opening weekends. Meanwhile, a universally stellar response from a CinemaCon screening was then backed up by everyone from Tom Cruise to Stephen King breathlessly declaring its genius. It was going to be a massive triumph for Warner Bros. And then, suddenly, it wasn’t.

Normo audiences got hold of it, and the response became notably diluted from the overwhelming praise. Reviews became decidedly mixed, and it pulled in a B CinemaScore. Now it has come in well below expectations at the box office. The Ezra Miller-led DC Comics adaptation snared just $55 million for the three-day domestic haul, way down from the $75 million projections being talked about last week. Internationally things are no better, with $75 million from 78 markets and a global total of $139 million.



“Maybe she knows where all the money went?”


The movie had a budget of $220 million. Be under absolutely no illusions here this movie is in deep, deep trouble and is staring down the barrel of a Black Adam-style cratering.

Another make-or-break movie this weekend was Elemental, as Pixar attempts to get back some of the magic that seems to have completely deserted them in the past decade. This was also not good news. Elemental earned just $29.5 million domestically, down from the $40 million projections and easily the worst Pixar theatrical opening to date, behind even Onward and The Good Dinosaur. Disney+ has completely broken Disney and Pixar’s model, with a fast-release window to the streamer robbing all but the most dedicated cinema-goers of the need to get out to a movie theater to watch this stuff.

Sony’s Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse came in third with $27.8 million in its third weekend, taking it to $280 million domestically and $489.3 million worldwide so far. Paramount’s Transformers: Rise of the Beasts was fourth with  $20 million, now totalling $103 million domestically and $174.3 million internationally.

The Little Mermaid closed out the top five with $11.6 million in the fourth week of release, taking it to $466 million worldwide. It cost $250 million to make, budget, it may not break even in its theatrical run.

With even heavy hitters like Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny now expected to underperform at the box office, it is starting to appear as if Top Gun: Maverick may not have saved cinema after all, merely placed it on life support. With $200 million budgets or higher now seemingly the norm, even for run-of-the-mill family movies, the simple fact that Hollywood needs to wake up to is that moves are simply too damn expensive now. Something, somewhere, is going to have to give.

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