Ezra Miller plays Barry Allen in Warner Bros. “The Flash.”
Warner Bros. Discovery
Moviegoers are spreading the wealth across Father’s Day weekend across a diverse selection of new releases and long-running hits.
The mixed results included disappointing debuts from The Flash and Elemental, while Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse continued to attract ticket buyers.
Warner Brothers’ The latest superhero film grossed just $55 million in its first three-day weekend, a far cry from the $75-$85 million industry pundits were expecting. It also fell short of the $67 million debut of its fellow DC “Black Adam” last October.
“‘The Flash’ is the victim of numerous factors that have dampened enthusiasm for the once highly anticipated film,” said Shawn Robbins, principal analyst at BoxOffice.com.
Robbins cited the ongoing controversy surrounding star Ezra Miller, a lack of consistency in the DC film franchise, and an overly narrowly focused marketing campaign that only catered to die-hard fans because the theatrical release fell short of expectations.
“People have shown in the last few months and in the years since ‘Endgame’ that they are more picky about which comic book movies deserve their box office,” he said.
It wasn’t the only film that saw poor audience response over the weekend. Disney’s The animation frenzy continued with the release of Elemental, which is expected to have the second-lowest opening of any widely viewed Pixar film in the studio’s history. It is estimated that the film’s debut cost $29.5 million, slightly more than the $29.1 million for Toy Story, Pixar’s first-ever theatrical release, which opened in 1995.
“[‘Elemental’s’] “The mediocre debut is less surprising,” Robbins said, noting that Pixar is in the midst of rebranding after a string of pandemic-era streaming releases.
Pixar also faces stiff competition from rival animation studios. Universal’s Illumination and DreamWorks animation arms have dominated the box office with hits like The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Puss Boots: The Last Wish, and Minions: The Rise of Gru.
And then there’s something else Sony’s “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” which has continued to draw audiences in since its June 2 debut. The film grossed an estimated $27.8 million in three days and has grossed $489.3 million worldwide since its June 2 release.
“While there weren’t massive outperformances among major theatrical release newcomers, this weekend was notable for the sheer number of films and wide variety of audiences the multiplex attracted,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.
Paramounts Transformers: Rise of the Beasts grossed an additional $20 million domestically, Disney’s The Little Mermaid secured an additional $11.6 million in ticket sales, and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 grossed an additional $5 million.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Father’s Day weekend, the domestic box office is expected to take almost 175 million US dollars. That’s 5% more than transported over the same period in 2022 and 28% more than 2019, according to data from Comscore.
“While Father’s Day weekend didn’t have a record-breaking break, it was a great weekend for cinemas, whose fortunes grew thanks to an attractive selection of films for an overall fantastic weekend,” said Dergarabedian.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.