The Flash’s Poor Box Office Could Lose WB $200 Million

Box office analysis suggests that The Flash could cost Warner Bros. Discovery over $200 million by the end of its theatrical run.

Per box office analyst Luiz Fernando, The Flash finally crossed $200 million worldwide after bringing in $26.6 million overseas during its second weekend in release. “Painful, but needs to be mentioned: if [The Flash] ends up within the projection, since studio just keeps half share from [box office] global grosses, it won’t even pay its total [$150 million] marketing campaign. WB would have lost less money releasing it on Max or not releasing it at all,” Fernando tweeted.

“Not to mention apart from the expensive promo campaign, [The Flash] still has a [$190 million] budget price tag,” he continued. “This film may easily lose more than [$200 million] for WB when all is said and done, a financial catastrophe as dangerous as [Justice League], which led to a major shakeup at WB in 2017.”

Fernando concluded, “The hard question to be asked is: what happens to the WBD’s finances if [Blue Beetle and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom] end up being financial disasters as well? Will WB afford producing [comic book movies] in 2024 without cutting their budgets considerably? Will investors risk their [money] again at WB?”

The Flash’s box office woes

The Flash opened in theaters on June 16. Despite being met with stellar early reviews, the long-gestating DC film stumbled out of the gate at the box office. Per Box Office Mojo, The Flash made only $55 million domestically during its opening weekend. At the time of writing, the film’s domestic total sits at $87.5 million, while its worldwide total sits at $210.8 million. If the studio gets half the worldwide gross, only $105.4 million of that would go to WB.

These numbers spell bad news for The Flash, given the film’s hefty production budget alone. While Fernando reports a budget of $190 million, other sources (namely, Deadline and CBC) suggest the production budget could have been anywhere from $200-220 million. Even assuming that the production budget was only $190 million, the reported marketing budget of $150 million would still raise the film’s total price tag to $340 million. So, in any case, Fernando’s prediction of The Flash losing $200 million or more does check out unless things improve.

Directed by Andy Muschietti, The Flash stars DC Extended Universe veteran Ezra Miller in their first solo outing as Barry Allen/the Flash. Miller is joined by Michael Keaton, who reprises his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman from Tim Burton’s Batman films. Rounding out the film’s leading trio is Sasha Calle, who plays Kara Zor-El/Supergirl.

The Flash is currently playing in theaters.