Spider-Man Beat Up The Flash and Took His Lunch Money (At The Box Office)

in Entertainment, Movies & TV

spider-man across the spider-verse beat the flash at the box office

Credit: ITM

It was no secret that Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse was going to do better at the box office than The Flash – but Wednesday was just embarrassing for the DC flick.

The reasons were numerous, and can probably best be summarized simply by talking about audience anticipation.

Two Very Different Superhero Movies

Miles Morales running from other Spider-People in Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse
Credit: Sony Pictures

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Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is a film that avid fans have been waiting for since 2019. It’s the follow-up to an internationally beloved movie that broke barriers in its medium, won Best Animated Picture by a landslide, and earned industry-wide respect, even across competing studios.

The biggest controversy surrounding its release has been the inclusion of heavy trans-flag related imagery in Gwen’s scenes, and event that was a political issue that garnered positive or neutral reactions from a majority of the franchise’s fans.

The Flash, conversely, has been a controversial film since over a year before its release. This is due in large part to its star, Ezra Miller, who has been featured in the press multiple times for a litany of actual crimes, including assault, harassment, and kidnapping of a minor.

There were calls for the studio to replace Miller’s character, or even edit him out of the film, but those were largely ignored – Warner Bros. lessened their character’s presence in the marketing, but since the film was, quite literally, about him, that wasn’t an acceptable route.

Why Didn’t Warner Bros. Just Cancel ‘The Flash’ Like They Did ‘Batgirl?’

Ezra Miller suited up as 'The Flash' in the new 'The Flash' DC movie
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: ‘The Flash’ Actor Takes a Shot at ‘Star Wars’, Calls It “Mindless Entertainment”

DC fans also considered the fact that this is an orphan film in a dead universe anyway – The Flash is one of four films that were supposed to belong to an iteration of the DC Universe that is no longer happening, as all the executives behind it have since departed Warner Bros.’ studio. Shazam! Fury of the Gods is the only other film from this group to have premiered as of yet, and it also did terribly.

In light of this, many called for Warner Bros. to simply pull the movie altogether – as they had just done the same thing with the entirely finished film Batgirl, giving no reason other than a tax break, this didn’t seem like too much of a stretch at the time either.

They kept it because they spent much more money on it than Batgirl – $200 million, to be exact – but now, given The Flash‘s abysmal performance at the box office, it’s looking like that may have been the smarter route to take.

Warner Bros. was hoping that The Flash would open at around $120 million for its first box office weekend – those kinds of earnings would be on track for the size of the film’s budget, comparatively. (That is exactly how much Across the Spider-Verse made in its opening weekend.)

‘The Flash’ Took a Huge L At the Box Office on Wednesday

Ezra Miller and Sasha Calle in 'The Flash' (2023)
Credit: DC/Warner Bros.

Related: “It Didn’t Bother Me at All”, Kevin Smith Defends ‘The Flash’s Most Divisive Scene

In reality, The Flash only made $55 million in its opening weekend – that’s less than half of what the studio would have expected under normal conditions.

At first, they had the comfort of knowing that while they did badly, Pixar’s Elemental did worse – it didn’t even crack $30 million in its first three days at the Box Office – but that was only true until the reviews came in, because unlike Elemental, which seems to simply have been suffering from a lack of compelling advertising. The Flash‘s problems are baked into the film itself.

After the reviews confirmed that Elemental is a compelling and well-written tale, it started to climb at the box office, and at the end of the week it had begun inching ahead of The Flash. 

In fact, on Wednesday, not only did Elemental make more money than The Flash – Across the Spider-Verse did too. The earnings for that day were as follows:

Elemental made $3.5 million.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse made $3.8 million.

The Flash made $3.1 million.

This wouldn’t be that big a difference if they had all opened in the same week, but Across the Spider-Verse opened three weeks ago. That means people who wanted to either see Spider-Verse twice, or didn’t care enough to see it at first and are just catching up now, outnumber people who were actually excited to see The Flash in theaters – by a lot. (Tens of thousands, to be exact.)

If these two superheroes were to fight IRL, there would surely be some debate as to who would come out on top, but in this unintentional fight in the box office, it’s not even close – Miles Morales beat up Wally West and took his lunch money.

What do you think about The Flash and how it’s doing in the box office? What tactic do you think Warner Bros. should take with the rest of their DC properties this year? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments.

in Entertainment, Movies & TV

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