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.