In comparison to Matt Reeves’ The Batman, which debuted on the streaming service HBO Max, Black Adam’s digital distribution lagged behind. After a solid $67 million opening weekend in the United States and Canada, Black Adam received a lackluster response at the box office when it was released in theatres in October. Dwayne Johnson’s DCU debut had a mixed response, and it has only been made worse by DC Studios’ reorganization as a result of James Gunn’s selection as the new co-CEO. The result led to Henry Cavill leaving his Superman role and the declaration that Black Adam will not appear in the first installment of the new DC Universe narrative.
1.2 million homes watched Black Adam during the course of its first three days on HBO Max, according to statistics from Samba TV. This falls short of other superhero movies that have recently been made available on streaming services, such as The Batman and Thor: Love and Thunder, which was deemed lacking by MCU standards. The Gen Z viewership estimates for HBO Max over-indexed by 6%, and there was an almost 25% excess of Black households tuned in compared to the national average. This is encouraging for the streaming service since it shows that there are lessons to be learned from Black Adam. Below is the whole statement made by Dallas Lawrence, SVP of Samba TV:
“While Black Adam’s streaming debut on HBO Max fell short compared to superhero films like Batman, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, and Thor: Love and Thunder, it was a hit with younger and diverse audiences. Black households were more likely to watch the adventure film than the national average by nearly 25 percent, and Gen Z and Millennial audiences also over-indexed on viewership. Appealing to these younger, more diverse audiences is critical as HBO Max continues to find new growth opportunities and widen its subscriber base.”
Does Black Adam Have Success?
Several elements will need to be taken into account to determine the answer to the question of whether Black Adam can be regarded as a box office success. With a rumored $195 million budget, its current global box office earnings of just under $400 million barely cover expenses. Another DC product, The Batman, had a comparable budget but produced twice as much revenue during Black Adam’s debut weekend and almost as much revenue globally. Additionally, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has garnered around $800 million to date.
Black Adam is still the best-performing DCU film since 2018’s Aquaman, exceeding the dreadful sequels of Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman 1984, and The Suicide Squad, even though it falls short of rivals in the MCU and DC entities independent from the DCU, such as The Batman and Joker. But given that Black Adam is still a long way from Aquaman’s $1.1 billion take, this could be more of a worry about the DCU’s present status than an indication of improvement. This indicates a more serious issue with the DCU’s organizational design that has recently come to light.
Any dreams for a Black Adam sequel had already been severely dashed due to the cancellation of planned projects like Wonder Woman 3, but this news confirms Johnson won’t be playing the role again anytime soon, despite his statement assuring fans that he will ultimately make it to the DC Universe. It’s difficult to avoid calling the movie a resounding letdown in light of this news and Cavill’s appearance, which is now meaningless owing to his DCU leave. Black Adam’s chances of a respectable streaming performance may have been destroyed by the theatrical dominance of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Avatar: The Way of Water, which Gunn put on hold.