‘The Flash’ Opens Below ‘Black Adam’ While ‘Elemental’ Bombs at Box Office

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“Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” also suffers large second weekend drop in a rough box office weekend for multiple studios

Ezra Miller in The Flash
Ezra Miller in The Flash (Warner Bros.)

Father’s Day and Juneteenth weekend is bringing plenty of bad news for multiple studios at the box office, starting with Warner Bros./DC’s “The Flash,” which is opening below expectations with an estimated $70 million 4-day opening weekend after grossing $24.5 million from 4,234 theaters on Friday.

Industry estimates have the 3-day opening for “Flash” at $61 million, which would be identical to what Paramount’s “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” opened to last weekend. But both figures are below the $67 million 3-day/$71.5 million 4-day opening earned last fall by fellow DC film “Black Adam,” which ended up grossing only $393 million worldwide against a $200 million-plus production budget before marketing.

“The Flash,” which has been reported to be at the same budget level, was expected to do better given its mid-June release slot and other factors such as the return of Michael Keaton as Batman, which was seen as a potential selling point to Gen X and Millennial audiences. Instead, audience reception is actually lower than what “Black Adam” received on its opening weekend, earning a B on CinemaScore and an early Rotten Tomatoes audience score of 85%, compared to a B+ and 89% for Dwayne Johnson’s film.

The news is even worse for Disney and Pixar’s new film “Elemental,” which industry estimates have opening to a terrible $28.5 million after grossing just $11.5 million from 4,035 theaters on its opening day. Not only is that the worst opening weekend in Pixar history, “Elemental” may even lose the No. 2 spot on the charts to the third weekend of Sony’s “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” which industry estimates have earning $28-29 million this weekend.

The only saving grace for “Elemental” is that the moviegoers who are seeing the film have embraced it, giving it an A on CinemaScore and a 91% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Perhaps such word of mouth may allow the film to leg out despite competition from “Spider-Verse” and the upcoming “Ruby Gillman: Teenage Kraken” — which is tracking for an opening below $10 million — but that won’t be enough to make this film profitable against its reported $200 million budget.

“Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” is also having a rough weekend with an estimated $19.6 million 3-day/$22.4 million 4-day second weekend, with the 3-day representing a poor 68% drop from the film’s opening weekend. While the film is approximately 7% ahead of the pace set by its 2017 predecessor “Transformers: The Last Knight,” it isn’t likely to make much more than that film’s $130 million domestic cume.

Outside the top 5, Lionsgate/MRC’s horror comedy “The Blackening” is estimated to earn a $6.5 million 3-day/$7.5 million 4-day opening weekend, meeting pre-release projections of a $6-8 million start. Acquired by Lionsgate after its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, “The Blackening” received a B+ on CinemaScore and has Rotten Tomatoes scores of 85% critics and 84% audience.