On the road to release for The Flash, Ezra Miller’s superhero solo debut was catching plenty of praise, with scores from test screenings coming in on par with Christopher Nolan's acclaimed Dark Knight trilogy.
DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn continually praised the flick as “fantastic,” while it also caught praise from renowned creatives like actor Tom Cruise and author Stephen King.
Even critics delivered strong reactions calling it “tremendous” and even “one of the very best DC movies.” But since its release, the response from audiences has been far more mixed, with opinions heavily split on the movie.
The Flash Receives Disappointing Audience Score
The Flash has officially been awarded a CinemaScore of a “B,” drawing the DCEU’s latest flick with its worst score of all-time, which was given to 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
A movie’s CinemaScore is calculated based on an average of the letter ratings given by audiences straight out of the theaters, essentially meaning it is based on the initial reaction of the general public.
The disappointing score comes in contrast to its impressive 86% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and fairly average 66% critic score.
Comparing The Flash’s CinemaScore to this year’s other superhero releases, the Multiverse event draws with the "B" score of the widely-panned Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, but falls below Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ “B+” and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s “A.”
The full list of the DCEU’s CinemaScores from 2013’s Man of Steel to 2023’s The Flash can be read below:
- Man of Steel: A-
- Batman V Superman: B
- Suicide Squad: B+
- Wonder Woman: A
- Justice League: B+
- Aquaman: A-
- Shazam!: A
- Birds of Prey: B+
- Wonder Woman 1984: B+
- The Suicide Squad: B+
- Black Adam: B+
- Shazam! Fury of the Gods: B+
- The Flash: B
Why Aren't Audiences Liking The Flash
Although an audience rating of "B" may not sound awful, The Flash's CinemaScore comes in shockingly low after how strongly critics praised it. With some going as far as to call the speedster blockbuster among the best to come out of DC, it's surprising to see the general public find it to be among the worst.
For further context on how low The Flash's CinemaScore truly is, a "B" places it even lower than some of the superhero genre's worst-regarded movies such as Superman Returns and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and on par with the likes of Daredevil, Elektra, and Catwoman.
But this doesn't necessarily mean audiences consider The Flash to be as bad as movies like that, as the massive critical buzz surrounding the movie may have led to fans setting expectations too high, and therefore offering a lower initial reaction straight out to the theater due to disappointment.
Recent years have seen an increasing trend of movies with worse word-of-mouth and lower audience scores seeing a more drastic box office drop-off. This score may spell trouble for The Flash's chances of becoming a financial hit in the weeks to come, potentially destroying its sequel chances.
The Flash is playing now in theaters worldwide.