The real reason why Black Adam is losing money despite its star cast

Black Adam and JSA Members (Image via DC)
Black Adam and JSA Members (Image via DC)

The hierarchy of power in the DC Universe certainly did not change at all, as Black Adam is all set to lose a hefty sum of money. Its worldwide box office numbers have barely beaten Shazam!, but they won’t even go past the $400 million mark. It’s quite embarrassing to see such a result despite the amazing star cast that included Pierce Brosnan, among others.

As of writing, the Dwayne Johnson-starrer has just made $384 million worldwide, with $165 million coming from the domestic market. It was produced on a reported budget of $195 million, and about $100 million was spent on marketing the movie. So the total spending was close to $300 million.

How much money is Black Adam going to lose?

Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam (Image via DC)
Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam (Image via DC)

In order to turn in a profit, Black Adam needed to go beyond $600 million, at least. It is known that theater chains keep around 40–50% of what a movie makes at the box office. So with half of the $384 million going to the theaters, the film will roughly lose around $100 million at the very least.

However, Variety also reported that sources at Warner Bros. have disputed these numbers. According to WB, Johnson's recent outing is supposed to break even at $400 million. If that is the case, then the movie might just be saved.

Looking at how the movie's numbers started to drop massively just one month after its release, WB decided to cash in on the Holiday period. The digital home video release came very early, as WB followed Universal’s recent pattern of releasing their films. As a result, Black Adam has been topping those charts.

So, if $400 million is the breakeven point, then the movie might just be saved from a massive loss. But considering how much was spent on the DC flick, it’s hard to believe the breakeven numbers given by WB.

Why Black Adam failed

There’s no denying that Dwayne Johnson put in a lot of work on his Teth Adam physique as he got in the best shape of his life. He even brought back Superman for a cameo. A huge chunk of the film’s budget also went into the VFX to produce some amazing shots. But there are a couple of major reasons why Black Adam did not impress a lot of people.

First, the writing of the film was totally average, as it had a lot of video-game-level dialog. Unfortunately, the movie didn’t spend enough on its writers, as they came up with a generic story. But the second and main problem was that it lacked originality. The shots in the film were almost like replicas of what we’ve seen in past superhero movies.

Teth-Adam and Quicksilver (Image via Sportskeeda)
Teth-Adam and Quicksilver (Image via Sportskeeda)

Back in 2014, we got X-Men: Days of Future Past, which showcased the legendary Quicksilver scene. Then, two years later in X-Men: Apocalypse, we got a similar scene. Zack Snyder's Justice League came up with a couple of them. Black Adam now has an exact replica of the sequence, but only on a larger scale.

The film tries to do something new by upping the scale and magnitude of the scene. But the point is that it has been done multiple times before, so it didn’t feel fresh at all. Then there was Hawkman’s quick intro montage of the JSA, which felt exactly like Amanda Waller’s introduction from Suicide Squad.

The entire sky beam finale, the Eternium being Adam’s weakness, and many other elements felt unoriginal. Doctor Fate’s spells could have been new, but they were exactly similar to the ones Doctor Strange has used in the past. Atom Smasher’s personality and traits felt like Barry Allen's. Adam himself reminded people of Drax on multiple occasions.

Fans are unhappy with Black Adam

While many fans did enjoy the kind of popcorn entertainment Black Adam provided, there were quite a few who were disappointed.

The writing wasn’t great.

Adam isn’t as interesting.

It copies other movies.

The movie does everything that has been done in the past and hardly offers anything fresh and original. It came out 15 years after The Rock was cast for the part. Unfortunately, the final result was only a mashup of other films. There were quite a few positives, but the negatives just trumped all the positives from the film.

Instead of playing a super-powered version of himself, maybe if the Rock had gone the extra mile with pointy ears from the comics, a different accent, and Black Adam’s angry demeanor, the film might have been better.

Poll : What are your thoughts on Black Adam?

It was great fun.

It ranges from average to disappointing.

29 votes

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Edited by Somava
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