Why The Flash Bombed At The Box Office, Explained

Why The Flash Bombed At The Box Office, Explained
Image credit: Legion-Media

It released, it crashed and it burned.

The Flash came out on June 16 this year, and after a long, bumpy journey to release, led to a box office bomb that has been called ‘historic.’

Let’s take a look at everything that went wrong:

Box Office numbers

The Flash brought in $55 million in the United States in the first three days and $75 million internationally.

Surprisingly the film captured the top spot in China but with only $13.4 million over its opening weekend.

Budget Numbers

The Box Office numbers may not sound bad until you consider that the movie cost over $200 million to make, and another $100 million to market, making it one of DC’s most expensive movies. It cost more than Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman, and just less than Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Traditionally a movie hopes to make back twice its production cost to account for marketing and then only does it break even. The Flash stood no chance.

A problematic star

Ezra Miller, who plays The Flash, has years of allegations against them. These include an incident where Miller was caught on video choking a woman, subsequent arrests for disorderly conduct and harassment, accusations of grooming a minor, and a burglary arrest.

Warner Bros. tried to keep the tainted hero out of the spotlight and avoid the controversy, which led to the movie star’s noticeable absence in press tours and promotions for the movie.

Other hero movies to compete with

It didn't help that The Flash was released just two weeks after the highly anticipated Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, with the webbed wonder pulling in around $120 million on opening weekend.

A disappointing track record

Warner Bros. and DC have not exactly set the standards high. After previous Box Office disappointments like Black Adam and Shazam! Fury of the Gods, it's understandable that fans weren’t exactly flocking for tickets for Warner Bros’ latest release even after all the hype built up around it.

They jumped the gun

True to its name, and to its detriment, The Flash did things way too fast, by releasing advanced previews and premature free screenings.

It’s no surprise that weeks later, people weren’t exactly flocking to cinemas to see what had already been seen.

Paying for positive reviews?

Warner Bros. allegedly paid critics and influencers in China to share positive reviews of The Flash, which turned out to be a pretty poor investment, as these (paid-for) reviews didn’t create any hype.


In 2023, we would expect CGI to be way more advanced, but this was not the case. Characters were described as looking ‘rubbery’ and many scenes and graphics looked over-edited.

The Flash may be a superhero, but not even he could have saved this movie from being a crash-and-burn Box Office failure that came close to the historic failure of The Green Lantern.