Black Adam might have brought Henry Cavill back as Superman, but his cameo is not enough to keep the Dwayne Johnson-led film from bombing at the box office.
The film has only grossed $319.4 million at the worldwide box office after three weeks. It’s only made $137.1 million domestically and $182.3 million at the international box office. It earned $67 million domestically in its opening weekend.
However, according to The-Numbers, the film had a production budget of $200 million. That means the film has only earned 1.6 times its production budget so far. Films typically have to earn at least 2 to 2.5 times their production budget to break even.
Black Adam did exceed predictions for its opening weekend take. Box Office Pro predicted the film would earn $63 million domestically. As noted above it brought in $67 million.
As far as what the film would make domestically for its entire run at the box office, Box Office Pro predicted anywhere from $135 million to $175 million. It has already surpassed the lower figure, it’s unclear how much higher it will go given it will face stiff competition with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever this upcoming weekend.
While the film appears to be hitting expectations or maybe even slightly exceeding them, those expectations don’t actually make the film profitable.
In fact, as noted above the expectations are below what the film needs to actually break even depending on whether it needs to make at least 2 or 2.5 times its production budget.
Black Adam is also at the bottom of the list compared to other DCEU films. The only films that it’s currently beating at the domestic box office is Birds of Prey, The Suicide Squad, and Wonder Woman 1984. It will more than likely surpass Shazam! as it’s only $3 million behind that film which grossed a total of $140.3 million. However, it has a long way to go to catch Justice League, which grossed $229 million.
On the global side, it looks similar to the domestic grosses. However, instead of only being $3 million behind Shazam!, it’s $44 million behind.
YouTuber OMB Reviews predicts the film will be a “massive financial flop” if it does not get into the Chinese market.
He went on to explain by comparing the film to Marvel Studios’ Eternals, “It’s seeming more and more that Eternals is likely going to be the bare minimum that this film makes around $400 million dollars.”
Bolstering his point he compared Black Adam and Eternal’s total gross following their third Sunday, “Eternals, though was around $136 million. So this film is very much tracking domestically in a very similar way. Black Adam is still performing just a little bit better, but if this film continues to be somewhat similar to Eternals domestically and is almost exactly similar if maybe just a hair better internationally, we’re looking at a film that is not going to get to the $500 million mark.”
As for why the film isn’t raking in the cash, the film and its marketing made it clear it was embracing wokeness through its casting. The film features blatant woke casting including a race-swapped Hawkman played by Aldis Hodge and a race swapped Cyclone played by Quintessa Swindell.
Swindell also claims to be a nonbinary trans actor despite that being an impossibility as humans are born either male or female.
Some might argue that audiences are fading on comic book films, but four of the top 10 grossing films of 2022 are comic book movies including Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, The Batman, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Spider-Man: No Way Home.
While it’s unlikely that audiences are tuning out of comic book films, another possibility is the confusion surrounding the DCEU amid the Warner Bros. Discovery merger and David Zaslav’s new regime. It’s quite possible many stayed home given they see Black Adam as a continuation of the DCEU and the DCEU has had mixed receptions especially with Justice League and Suicide Squad. Not to mention one of the most recent DCEU installments, Wonder Woman 1984, was panned by audiences.
Another possibility is that Black Adam is not a top tier comic book character. In fact, he’s not even a hero in the comics, but rather a villain that is sometimes cast as an anti-hero or antagonist.
For comparison, The Batman premiered in March of this year and it grossed $134 million in its opening weekend alone. It went on to earn $369.3 million domestically and $398.2 million internationally for a global take of $767.5 million. Batman is arguably DC’s most recognizable and iconic character.
And maybe the most obvious reason is that film just isn’t really that good from a a story perspective.
What do you make of Black Adam’s poor performance at the box office?