The Flash Movie Suffers Worst Drop In DC History (Box Office)

By Sam Hargrave Posted:

The Flash took a dive in its second weekend at the domestic box office, beating out an unfortunate DC record.

DC has had a tough year at the box office so far as it releases the final four movies of the old studio regime ahead of James Gunn's DCU reboot.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods became the worst earner in DCEU history with a disappointing worldwide haul, something the studio reportedly, at least partly, blames on the imminent superhero reboot.

Despite plenty of anticipation and critical buzz, The Flash looks on course to go the same way with a disappointing box office opening despite previously positive projections for the movie's gross.

The Flash Takes Historic Dive at the Box Office

Flash Justice League

As shared by box office expert Luiz Fernando, The Flash suffered a massive drop at the domestic box office in its second weekend, grossing an estimated $15.3 million after an already disappointing $55 million opening weekend.

The massive decline means The Flash faced the biggest second-weekend box office drop in DC history with 72.5%, beating out the previous record of 71.5%, which was set by The Suicide Squad during the height of the pandemic.

The biggest second-weekend drops for DC movies at the domestic box office can be seen below:

  1. The Flash - 72.5%
  2. The Suicide Squad - 71.5%
  3. Jonah Hex - 69.7%
  4. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - 69.1%
  5. Shazam: Fury of the Gods - 69%

Even going beyond that, The Flash suffered the third-worst second-weekend drop in superhero movie history at the domestic box office, only being beaten by Morbius' 73% and Steel's 78%.

The worst drops for superhero movies domestically are listed below:

  1. Steel - 78%
  2. Morbius - 73%
  3. The Flash - 72.5%
  4. X-Men: Dark Phoenix - 71.5%
  5. The Suicide Squad - 71.5%
  6. Hellboy II: The Golden Army - 70.7%
  7. Jonah Hex - 69.7%
  8. Hulk - 69.7%
  9. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - 69.1%
  10. Elektra - 69%

The Flash currently has a domestic total of $87.6 million and is said to be eyeing a total U.S. run of around $110-120 million on an insane budget of $220 million, not including marketing and other major costs.

The Multiverse blockbuster has also crossed the $200 million mark worldwide, now sitting at $210.1 million across all territories, including the U.S.

The total will likely leave The Flash as the ninth-highest-grossing of the 13 DCEU movies at the domestic box office when all is said and done:

  1. Wonder Woman - $412.6 million
  2. Aquaman - $335 million
  3. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - $330.3 million
  4. Suicide Squad - $325 million
  5. Man of Steel - $291 million
  6. Justice League - $229 million
  7. Black Adam - $168.2 million
  8. Shazam - $140.4 million
  9. The Flash - $110-120 million (estimated)
  10. Birds of Prey - $84.2 million
  11. Shazam! Fury of the Gods - $57.6 million
  12. The Suicide Squad - $55.8 million
  13. Wonder Woman 1984 - $46.8 million

The Flash finished third at the domestic box office for the June 23-25 weekend, narrowly beating out Jennifer Lawrence's comedy No Hard Feelings but falling behind Sony Pictures' Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and Pixar's Elemental:

  1. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (fourth weekend) - $19.3 million
  2. Elemental (second weekend)- $18.5 million
  3. The Flash (second weekend) - $15.3 million
  4. No Hard Feelings (opening weekend) - $15.1 million

How The Flash's Failure Could Impact DC's Future

Both Shazam 2 and The Flash have now proved to be box office disappointments for Warner Bros., which will undoubtedly leave the studio worried about the fate of its two remaining DC movies ahead of the reboot - Blue Beetle and Aquaman 2.

As James Gunn has already announced Xolo Maridueña's Jaime Reyes, aka Blue Beetle, will be "the first DCU character," there may still be time to salvage the financial chances of his solo debut. Perhaps if Blue Beetle's place in the reboot can be worked into the marketing, fans may be more intrigued to give it a chance.

With Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom likely to suffer the same box office fate as Shazam 2 and The Flash, especially after the worrying news from test screenings, there is a conceivable world where Blue Beetle could come out as the highest-grossing DC movie of 2023, toppling the works of all the familiar characters.

After churning out $220 million on The Flash's production and reportedly plenty more on an extensive marketing campaign, the movie now seems unlikely to turn a profit, and could instead lose Warner Bros. a massive amount of money.

Fans have blamed this disappointment on a number of factors including the Ezra Miller controversy, the mixed word-of-mouth, the imminent DCU reboot, superhero fatigue, and the several main criticisms facing the movie. But, realistically, the true explanation lies in a mix of all these factors, which combined to topple The Flash.

Although this failure is unlikely to impact much in the way of DC's future, especially James Gunn's reboot plans, The Flash's unexpected flop may prompt Warner Bros. to be more careful with handing out massive budgets going forward.

The Flash is playing now in theaters worldwide.

- In This Article: The Flash
Release Date
June 16, 2023
- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.