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‘Black Adam’ Reportedly Going To Be a Massive Loss, but WB Insiders Disagree

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Dwayne Johnson’s debut in the DCU superhero world, Black Adam, has been polarizing from the very beginning, but the box office returns were looking really good—except now Variety is reporting that the project is leading to massive loss.

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With a cost of $195 million to produce, the superhero film has currently made $387 million globally. The film had a drop after the opening weekend, and with Wakanda Forever now taking the superhero audience, it was expected that it would stagnate a bit. Also, it is already available for rent and pre-order on some streaming services. Critics gave the movie a mixed response, leaning more negative, while audiences who saw the movie did seem to overwhelming connect with it. Variety has laid out a bleak vision for Black Adam when all the costs beyond the movie’s original budget are taken into account, according to box office experts.

[…]the film needed to earn around $600 million worldwide to break even and to surpass that lofty benchmark to turn a profit, according to sources familiar with the financials. Yet box office experts believe “Black Adam” will stall out with less than $400 million globally, which is problematic since movie theater owners get to keep around half of those sales. Now, the movie stands to lose $50 million to $100 million in its theatrical run, according to the estimates of insiders as well as rival executives with knowledge of similar productions.

However, Warner Bros. insiders have said otherwise, claiming that the film will break even at $400 million. The studio also pushed back against Variety’s speculation of a $100 million marketing budget, countering that “COVID-related box office limitations led the studio to scale back the global advertising campaign to $80 million”—still a significant amount of money.

Regardless of which number it really is, the underlined factor is this idea that Black Adam is a failure and a box office disappointment. I would only push back and ask—compared to what? Black Panther: Wakanda Forever? That is not only an unfair comparison, but one that really ignores that Wakanda was always going to make more money than whatever DC put out, even if it was a masterpiece. Wakanda was the film that many people were going to go back to the movies to see, after the first Black Panther was a uniquely massive success. Even when comparing Black Adam to other DC films released during the pandemic, Black Adam performed on par, with one exception: The Batman—which, again, is no surprise.

Films from David O’ Russell, Disney films, and Pixar films have stumbled in the pandemic. Marvel and Batman being box office darlings is the rule, not the exception. Even terrible Batman movies have made money. Even Batman & Robin was the ninth highest-grossing film of 1997.

DC Studios co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran are currently working on an eight-to-ten-year plan for DC films, TV shows, animation, etc. We have no idea what that will look like, but the reaction to Black Adam will surely be something on their mind as they go forward with Shazam.

(via IGN, featured image: Warner Bros.)

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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.

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