There used to be a time when Dwayne Johnson was known as “Franchise Viagra” for his ability to recharge flagging studio projects. While he’s still a huge star, that name hasn’t meant as much as it used to. For years he’s hyped up the arrival of Black Adam, his first superhero movie as part of the DCU. And while it came with gigantic expectations to change the “heirarchy of power”, the film is more likely to flush some Warner Bros. cash down the toilet.
According to Variety, Black Adam could ultimately losing Warner Bros. Discovery between $50-$100M. Factor in the $195M production cost, plus around another $100M in marketing, and the numbers just don’t add up for the film and its $387M global haul. Not even an early debut on VOD has helped, as it would need around $600M to break even. Oof.
I hate stories like these, but as I’ve said before they’re worth covering if they have a potential impact on future films. The expectation was that Black Adam would be the start of a major DCU franchise, and perhaps it still will be. But this is a definite problem that new DC Studios chiefs James Gunn and Peter Safran will have to consider.