'The Flash' Stumbles on Box Office Despite WB's Support for Embattled Star Ezra Miller
Warner Bros. Pictures

The DC superhero movie falls behind expectation with an estimated $55.1 million for the three-day frame and projected $64 million for the four-day Juneteenth holiday weekend.

AceShowbiz - "The Flash" is off to a slow start on the Juneteenth holiday weekend. While it emerges victorious with a No. 1 debut on the North American box office, the superhero adventure starring Ezra Miller falls behind expectations with an estimated $55.1 million for the three-day frame and projected $64 million for the four days.

Going into the weekend, analysts expected "The Flash" to earn at least $70 million in its first three days, but it ends up falling behind another disappointing DC title, "Black Adam", which collected $67 million in its opening weekend back in October 2021.

Overseas, the "It" helmer Andy Muschietti-directed movie also faces challenges. It opened to $72 million from 79 markets, including a dismal $38 million in China. It has so far collected $130 million globally through Sunday, June 18.

Prior to its release, "The Flash" was plagued with negative headlines related to its star Miller's antics. The actor faced several legal issues before they agreed to seek treatment for "complex mental health issues" back in August 2022. With the studio's support, the 30-year-old resurfaced just in time for the film's premiere in Hollywood on June 12.

Having so much confidence in "The Flash", DC Studios co-chief James Gunn dubbed it "one of the greatest superhero movies ever made." Critics were mixed, but it received 67% "fresh" reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

According to Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore, the studio "did a fantastic job of dealing with the situation they had." He continues to weigh in, "It's a very interesting case study of what can happen when the title character of a huge movie has these very public controversies. But it's hard to reverse engineer it to know what effect it may have had."

But "The Flash" isn't the only new release which had a disappointing debut this weekend. Pixar/Disney's animated film "Elemental" arrives at the second place with only an estimated $29.5 million despite early positive reviews following its premiere at the Cannes.

Film and television journalist Rendy Jones said on Twitter, "Peter Sohn's ELEMENTAL gave me heart burn. In the sense that it was so darn cute and sweet that my heart engulfed in flames. Good Pixar flick." Social media commentator Lance Ulanoff agreed as sharing, "There's so little buzz around this movie (shocking for a Pixar film), but this review makes it sound funny, endearing, and affecting."

"Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" is forced down one place to No. 3 with an estimated $27.8 million, dropping nearly 50% in its third weekend. Meanwhile, "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" drops fast to No. 4 with approximately $20 million (drop 67.2%) after only two weeks in theaters.

"The Little Mermaid (2023)" dives two places down to No. 5 with approximately $11.6 million, followed by comedy horror film "The Blackening" which opens to $6 million at No. 6.

Another new release, Wes Anderson's "Asteroid City", delivers an impressive opening with an estimated $790,000 from only six theaters, averaging $131,666, before it expands nationwide next weekend. It boasts a star-studded cast that includes Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell, Margot Robbie and many others.

Top 10 of North America Box Office (June 16-18, 2023):

  1. "The Flash" - $55.1 million
  2. "Elemental" - $29.5 million
  3. "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" - $27.8 million
  4. "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" - $20 million
  5. "The Little Mermaid (2023)" - $11.6 million
  6. "The Blackening" - $6 million
  7. "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" - $5 million
  8. "The Boogeyman" - $3.8 million
  9. "Fast X" - $2 million
  10. "Asteroid City" - $790,000

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