‘The Flash’ Plummets at Box Office With Second Weekend Drop of Over 70%

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DC blockbuster falls below “Elemental” and “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” which are in narrow race for No. 1

The Flash
Warner Bros.

The bad news for Warner Bros./DC’s “The Flash” just got worse. After the tentpole blockbuster bombed last weekend with a much lower than hoped $55 million opening, industry estimates have it dropping by more than 70% this weekend to $14-16 million, falling to No. 3 on the charts below Disney/Pixar’s “Elemental” and Sony’s “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.”

The first signs that such a drop was coming arrived on Thursday afternoon, when Wednesday numbers were reported and showed that both “Spider-Verse” and “Elemental” had beaten “Flash” in the daily grosses. Daily grosses for Thursday showed the same trend, as “Flash” grossed just $2.8 million on that day to finish its first week with a domestic total of $72.1 million, below the $83.4 million first week total of “Black Adam.”

A 72% drop, as some estimates have it, would be the worst second weekend drop after a No. 1 opening since the 80% drop suffered last October by Universal/Blumhouse’s “Halloween Ends” after its $40 million opening. Among recent comic book movies, “The Flash” is dropping worse than the 69.9% fall that Disney/Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” took in February from its $106 million opening, and only slightly better than the 73.8% drop taken by Sony’s “Morbius” after opening to $39 million in April 2022.

Industry estimates currently have “Elemental” and “Spider-Verse” in a narrow race for No. 1, with “Elemental” having the edge with $18.5 million this weekend while “Spider-Verse” has $18.2 million. Of course, such a result is far more impressive for “Spider-Verse,” which is in its fourth weekend and crossed $500 million worldwide earlier this week, powered by a strong domestic run that will reach $316 million after this weekend.

“Elemental,” meanwhile, is still doomed to be a theatrical bomb after it suffered a Pixar-worst $29.5 million opening. But its drop of just 37% this weekend would give it a 10-day total of $65 million, better than the $44.5 million 10-day total of DreamWorks’ “The Bad Guys” in April 2022 after its $23.9 million opening.

“Elemental” had a reported budget of more than double that of “The Bad Guys,” so this is too big a hole for the film to climb out of even if it legs out. But this hold shows that post-release buzz among audiences, especially families, is quite strong after the film’s mixed initial reception at the Cannes Film Festival and marketing campaign failed to garner it much public interest. If audiences continue to discover “Elemental,” that will be something Disney has to take into account as it tries to figure out how to revive its flailing animation business.

Farther down the charts, Sony Pictures’ R-rated comedy “No Hard Feelings” may make the bad news for “The Flash” even worse, as it is sitting just behind the DC film in fourth on the charts with an estimated $15 million opening, slightly better than pre-release projections of $12 million. Reception for the film has been generally positive with Rotten Tomatoes scores of 67% critics and 88% audience to go with a B+ on CinemaScore and 4/5 on PostTrak.

Farther down the charts, Focus Features expanded Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City” to 1,675 theaters and is earning an estimated $8.4 million wide opening, giving the film $9.6 million after a week in limited release. While comparisons to past Anderson films are inexact because of a different release pattern, “Asteroid City” is on course to do better than the $16 million domestic run of Anderson’s 2021 film “The French Dispatch.”