• Box Office

World Box Office June 12 to 18, 2023

The Flash dashed to the top of the domestic box office charts but its $55.1 million earnings fell short of its studio’s $70 to $75 million expectations.

The Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Studios superhero film has been plagued by news-making controversies involving Ezra Miller who leads as The Flash/Barry Allen. Box office analysts are pondering if Miller’s shenanigans affected the box office debut of the action-adventure fantasy.

The Flash, the 13th installment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), boasts of not one but two iterations of Batman – Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton. The first solo movie of Barry Allen/The Flash, directed by Andy Muschietti, also stars Sasha Calle (Supergirl), Michael Shannon (General Zod), Jeremy Irons (Alfred), Ron Livingston (Henry Allen) and Antje Traue (Faora-UI).

Disney and Pixar’s Elemental, Peter Sohn’s animated metaphor about race and immigration, debuted in second place with $29.5 million. The movie, also Pixar’s first romantic comedy, was the closing night film at the recent Cannes Film Festival.

In Sohn’s follow-up film since he directed The Good Dinosaur, the voice cast includes Leah Lewis (Ember), Mamoudou Athie (Wade Ripple), Ronnie Del Carmen (Bernie), Shila Ommi (Cinder), Wendi McLendon-Covey (Gale) and Catherine O’Hara (Brook).

The good news is that the other movies have legs. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse was among the bright spots in the recent weekend. The acclaimed sequel of Into the Spider-Verse spun $27.8 million in its sophomore frame and ranked third.

Transformers: The Rise of the Beasts took the fourth berth with $20 million. After two weekends, the action-adventure sci-fi top-billed by Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback has hauled a tally of $103.6 million.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid hung on to the top five with $11.6 million. Headlined by Halle Bailey (Ariel), Jonah Hauer-King (Prince Eric), Melissa McCarthy (Ursula) and Javier Bardem (King Triton), the live-action remake directed by Rob Marshall has grossed a cume of $255.2 million after four weeks.

Comprising the rest of the top ten were, in order: Tim Story’s The Blackening, which satirizes the movie cliché that the Black characters are killed first in a horror film (an all African-American cast was tapped instead to skewer that trope), opened with $6 million; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, $5 million ($345.1 million total on week seven); The Boogeyman, $3.8 million; Vin Diesel’s Fast X, $2 million ($142.7 million after five weeks).

Adipurush, an Indian mythological movie inspired by the Hindu epic, Ramayana, cracked the magic ten with $1.95 million.

Notable is the limited-run performance of Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City, which drew $790,000 in only a few theaters in Los Angeles and New York. Box office pundits tout that the comedy drama romance’s $132,000 theater average is the best post-COVID era stat.

An opening film at the 2023 Cannes, Asteroid City, tinged with Anderson’s trademark melancholic touch and directed with his usual idiosyncratic flair, features an all-star cast, including Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber, Steve Carell, Matt Dillon, Margot Robbie and Willem Dafoe.

Internationally, The Flash also didn’t spark the box office. The DCEU flick, which was being developed as early as the late 1980s, collected $75 million in more than 70 territories, short of the $85 million to $95 million forecast by the experts.

China’s contribution to the offshore tally, $13.8 million, was also below expectations.

Elemental bowed overseas with $15 million from 15-plus markets. The animation film’s top territories are Argentina, Uruguay, Korea, China, Argentina, Australia and the Philippines.