After seven weeks on the big screen, “Black Adam” had only made $387 million worldwide, hardly a hero’s welcome at the box office.
That might sound like a lot of money, especially in these COVID times when films of all genres and sizes are fighting to equal box office receipts from before the outbreak. However, Dwayne Johnson plays a villain in the comic book adventure “Black Adam” who previously vowed to alter the “hierarchy of power” at Warner Bros. The production of DC Universe cost $195 million, so it wasn’t cheap. According to knowledgeable people, a big-budget film starring Johnson, one of the biggest movie stars in the world who here portrays an anti-hero who kills people, has to spend $100 million on global marketing. Warner Bros. Insiders contend that COVID-related box office restrictions are what caused the global advertising campaign to be cut to $80 million.
According to individuals familiar with the financials, the movie needed to gross about $600 million globally to break even and surpass that high bar to make a profit. However, box office analysts predict that “Black Adam” will fizzle out with less than $400 million internationally, which is problematic given that movie theatre owners keep around half of those revenues. Now, insiders and competing executives with the expertise of comparable productions predict that the movie will lose $50 million to $100 million throughout its theatrical run. Warner Bros. Sources dispute those numbers and claim that at $400 million, the movie will break even. When the film was commissioned, the break-even threshold was projected to be $450 million; however, given the distinctive features of the new home entertainment industry, where “Black Adam” has surpassed predictions, that figure has fallen. They also assert that these additional revenue streams are now more profitable due to shorter theatrical windows. Films now arrive on home entertainment platforms in 33 days as opposed to 75 thanks to concessions made during the epidemic, which lowers the cost of reviving marketing efforts for a digital premiere. Warner Bros. According to insiders, the movie’s ancillary revenue will soon allow it to break even.
In any event, “Black Adam” hasn’t been as successful financially as DC had anticipated when the film was approved in 2019. Theatrical may only be one factor in profitability; other factors include TV and Pay 1 partnership, but those downstream conditions are determined by box office results. “Black Adam” doesn’t appear to break even by the time it debuts on HBO Max, even with premium video-on-demand purchases, which might generate an additional $25 million to $35 million.
Fair enough, most films lose money when they are shown in theatres and rely on revenue from rentals, sales, and consumer goods to make a profit. Additionally, establishing intellectual property through film has a value that isn’t always reflected on a balance sheet.