The promise made in the Black Adam marketing campaign was that the movie would overthrow the “hierarchy of power” within the DC Extended Universe. But more than a month after its debut, the movie is expected to suffer enormous financial losses that damage not only the DC brand but also the reputation of Dwayne Johnson.
Johnson, one of the highest-paid movie stars in the world, has been associated with Black Adam for more than ten years and has tirelessly steered the project to the big screen. However, Variety reports that the movie is anticipated to lose Warner Bros roughly $100 million (Rs 820 crore), with a worldwide gross of only $387 million (Rs 3100 crore). The film’s enormous budget, which is estimated to be $195 million, is the main cause of these losses rather than the generally strong box office performance (Rs 1600 crore). The movie’s break-even point increases to $600 million when an additional $100 million is spent on promotion (nearly Rs 5000 crore).
The reports quoted studio insiders who disputed the marketing budget and asserted that the actual amount was closer to $80 million. Since theatres typically keep half of a movie’s box office receipts, every movie should ideally make back over twice its production cost in order to turn a profit. But several long-standing conventions have changed in the post-pandemic age. Because of the shorter theatre windows, revenue from auxiliary channels like video on demand has increased, for example.
Black Adam is anticipated to generate $25 million to $35 million in digital sales, although it still won’t make money prior to its impending premiere on HBO Max. It underperforms not only when compared to the majority of other DCEU movies, but also to some of Johnson’s moderately successful movies. The two Jumanji sequels continue to be the star’s highest-grossing films, although even San Andreas and Rampage made more money internationally than Black Adam.
The films Thor: Love and Thunder and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness both made hundreds of millions more than Black Adam, but Marvel is in another league. The movie’s cliffhanger hinted at a confrontation between the title antihero and Henry Cavill’s Superman, whose comeback was a key marketing strategy. But it’s still unclear how James Gunn and Peter Safran will steer the series moving forward.
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