‘The Flash’ Underwhelms With $55.1 Million at Box Office – After Long Road to Release

The Flash (Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

The Juneteenth holiday didn’t bring a lot to celebrate this weekend at the box office.

The Flash, one of the most anticipated films of the summer (for reasons good and bad), took the top spot with an estimated 3-day domestic gross of $55.1 million and a projected $64.0 million over four days, according to Comscore.

Analysts had expected the Warner Bros. and DC film to earn at least $70 million. Instead, the superhero saga opened with a whimper, especially considering its reported $200 million production budget.

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Disney’s presentation of Pixar’s Elemental debuted in second place with $29.5 million over 3-days. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film’s box-office haul marked “the lowest wide weekend debut ever for a Pixar title outside of Toy Story.”

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse was third with $27.8 million in its third weekend in theaters, Comscore reported. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts was fourth with $20 million in its second weekend, and The Little Mermaid rounded out the top five with $11.6 million in its fourth weekend.

Horror comedy The Blackening failed to make the top five. The Lionsgate release debuted in sixth place with an estimated $6 million, although it only cost about $5 million to produce.

While The Flash easily topped the competition, it opened much lower than last year’s DC saga Black Adam starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, which debuted domestically with $67 million and was ultimately considered a failure.

The Andy Muschietti-directed The Flash stars controversial actor Ezra Miller as The Flash and Barry Allen, who uses superpowers to travel back in time in order to change the events.

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The movie played in 4,234 theaters, for a weekend average of $13, 014 per location.

Shawn Edwards, film critic for Fox 4 News in Kansas City, Missouri and executive producer of the Critics Choice Association’s “Celebration of Black Cinema & TV,” told Urban Hollywood 411 he wasn’t surprised by the film’s lackluster debut.

The Flash underperformed because superhero movie fatigue is real unless the product is exceptional like Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” Edwards said. “Ezra Miller’s personal baggage was also a drag. Overall, it was an average film about a second-tier character.”

Despite being hyped by Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who earlier this year described The Flash as the “best superhero movie I’ve ever seen,” critics gave it a so-so 67 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Meanwhile, the film received a disappointing “B” CinemaScore from audiences.

After CinemaScore posted its rating on Twitter, moviegoers replied to the post with their thoughts on the film.

One fan described parts of the movie as “corny.” Another said, “It’s very bad, not even watchable.”

Still, others liked what they saw on screen, with one writing: “Really, really, really enjoyed this movie.”

It’s unclear why the film failed to light a spark with DC fans.

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Perhaps it was the changes in directors brought in to helm the film, or it could have been star Ezra Miller’s string of arrests.

The actor, who uses they/them pronouns, debuted as the Flash in 2016’s Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad.

Since then, Miller has repeatedly made headlines for off-screen troubles.

According published reports, the actor was shown in a video that surfaced in April 2020, appearing to choke a woman at a bar in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The woman told Variety, “All of a sudden, [they’re] on top of me, choking me, still screaming in my face if I want to fight. My friend who’s filming sees [they’re] obviously not joking and it’s actually serious, so he stops filming, and pushes [them] off me as [they’re] still trying to fight me. Two guy friends of mine are actually holding [Miller] back as [they’re] screaming, ‘This is what you wanted! This is what you wanted!’”

In March 2022, Miller was arrested at a karaoke bar in Hawaii after police said they yelled obscenities, grabbed a microphone from a woman who was singing, and lunged at a man playing darts, the Associated Press reported. The actor later pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct charge and paid a $500 fine.

Weeks later in April 2022, Miller was accused of assault in Hawaii for allegedly striking a woman on the head at a private residence. In the 911 recording obtained by TMZ, the woman said she was letting Miller stay in her home and they “hit me in the head with a chair.”

A short time later, Miller issued a statement and said they were seeking treatment for “complex mental health issues.”

Meanwhile in June 2022, the parents of 18-year-old Native American activist, Tokata Iron Eyes, accused Miller of grooming and manipulating their child from the age of 12. Tokata downplayed the allegations and said Miller was the victim of a “smear campaign.”

Despite Miller’s trouble’s, newly installed DC co-head Peter Safran voiced support for the actor while speaking to reporters in January 2023.

“Ezra is completely committed to their recovery,” Safran said. “And we are fully supportive of that journey that they’re on right now. When the time is right, when they feel like they’re ready to have the discussion, we’ll all figure out what the best path forward is. But right now, they are completely focused on their recovery. And in our conversations with them over the last couple of months, it feels like they’re making enormous progress.”