“The Flash” Plummets at Box Office, Faces Steep Second Weekend Drop


The situation for Warner Bros./DC’s “The Flash” has taken a turn for the worse. Following its disappointing $55 million opening last weekend, industry estimates suggest that the film will experience a drop of over 70% in its second weekend, with projected earnings of $14-16 million. This decline would result in the movie falling to the third position on the box office charts, trailing behind Disney/Pixar’s “Elemental” and Sony’s “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.”

Early signs of this decline emerged on Thursday when the daily grosses were reported. Both “Spider-Verse” and “Elemental” had surpassed “The Flash” in terms of daily earnings. This trend continued on Thursday, with “The Flash” grossing a mere $2.8 million, bringing its first-week domestic total to $72.1 million. This places it below the $83.4 million first-week total of “Black Adam.”

A 72% drop in its second weekend, as some estimates suggest, would mark the steepest decline after a No. 1 opening since last October’s 80% drop experienced by Universal/Blumhouse’s “Halloween Ends” after its $40 million debut. Compared to recent comic book films, “The Flash” is suffering a worse decline than the 69.9% drop of Disney/Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” in February, following its $106 million opening. However, it fares slightly better than Sony’s “Morbius,” which fell by 73.8% after its $39 million opening in April 2022.

Industry estimates currently predict a close race for the top spot between “Elemental” and “Spider-Verse,” with “Elemental” holding a slight edge at $18.5 million, while “Spider-Verse” follows closely with $18.2 million. Notably, this outcome is particularly impressive for “Spider-Verse,” which is now in its fourth weekend and has already surpassed $500 million in global earnings. The film’s strong domestic performance is expected to reach $316 million after this weekend.

Despite its success, “Elemental” is destined to be a box office disappointment after its lackluster $29.5 million opening, the lowest ever for a Pixar film. Nonetheless, a 37% drop this weekend would bring its 10-day total to $65 million, surpassing the $44.5 million earned by DreamWorks’ “The Bad Guys” in April 2022 after its $23.9 million opening.

Considering that “Elemental” had a reported budget more than double that of “The Bad Guys,” this deficit is too significant for the film to overcome, even with sustained success. Nevertheless, the film’s hold indicates that post-release buzz among audiences, especially families, is growing despite its mixed reception at the Cannes Film Festival and a marketing campaign that failed to generate significant public interest. Disney will need to consider this discovery by audiences as it attempts to revive its struggling animation business.

Further down the charts, Sony Pictures’ R-rated comedy “No Hard Feelings” may compound the bad news for “The Flash,” currently ranking fourth with an estimated $15 million opening. This slightly exceeds pre-release projections of $12 million. The film has received generally positive reception, with Rotten Tomatoes scores of 67% from critics and 88% from audiences, along with a B+ on CinemaScore and 4/5 on PostTrak.

Additionally, Focus Features expanded Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City” to 1,675 theaters, resulting in an estimated $8.4 million wide opening. After a week in limited release, the film has accumulated $9.6 million.

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