Flash Flops – DCU already DOA?July 22, 2023
By now it’s clear that the latest DC film entry, The Flash, has flopped – badly. According to Box Office Mojo, as of today, more than a month after its release the flick has generated just over $107m. Its cost, according to some estimates (including marketing) is somewhere in the neighbourhood of $200-300m.
That’s real bad.
There probably isn’t a single huge reason – rather, a lot of pretty damn big ones.
First, Ezra Miller’s alleged criminal behaviour following the end of filming, and leading up to release, likely had some questioning the wisdom of putting them at the head of such a massive project. While there’s no clear answer on that point, what is clear is that Miller was nowhere to be seen in advance of this film – no press, no talk shows, and that surely didn’t help.
Second, the reviews were not kind. Despite my personal favorite Batman, Michael Keaton returning, the film was generally considered a mess by critics and fans alike.
Third, it didn’t mean anything. In the grand scheme of DC films, anyway. James Gunn and Peter Safran made it clear that it’s out with the old and in with the new, and that the film wouldn’t have any impact on their new efforts. Did that deter some? Maybe, especially considering fans are now spoiled by the massive and sweeping interconnected universe of the MCU.
What impact The Flash’s failure will have on Gunn and Safran’s plans are unclear – but it’s hard to bet against Gunn, the man who made the Guardians of the Galaxy the emotional heart of Marvel, and a massive box office success, and turned the Peacemaker into a solid performer on television.
Modern DC has stumbled with Superman on the big screen, despite two great performers in Brandon Routh (will die on this hill) and Henry Cavill, so there will be a lot of pressure on Gunn to start this the right way.
And, if the rumours about Aquaman 2 being “in chaos” are accurate…things are going to be very tense over at Warner Bros. Discovery – who are likely going to try and meddle in Superman Legacy. Fans can only hope that Gunn can resist their intervention.