As we're sure you're aware, Dwayne Johnson was a pro wrestler long before becoming an actor. That may go some way in explaining how he so effectively hyped Black Adam as a big success during its opening weekend, with his time in the squared circle making him an expert at getting fans to buy into what he's selling!
The Wrap has refuted the DC Comics adaptation's status as a "hit," though, revealing that the $150 million earned in North America and $350 million global total isn't enough for Black Adam to turn a profit. With a $195 million budget, the trade explains that even a final box office haul of $400 million won't take this blockbuster out of the red.
They go on to point out that, while Johnson's immense star power was a draw, Black Adam's underwhelming performance since has proven he may not be enough of one for a movie that, frankly, wasn't very good.
"There is a section of Johnson fans who will turn out for anything that he is in, and it was a major reason why 'Black Adam' posted the first $50 million-plus opening the box office had seen in three months," they add, noting that, "as global returns sagged in the following weeks amid mediocre buzz, Johnson’s reach with general audiences fell short."
In fact, the trade's estimates point to Black Adam finishing its run with only slightly more than Shazam!'s $365 million, a movie that had half the production budget. As a result, "A 'Black Adam' sequel, at least at a $200 million budget, is far less likely, especially considering how Warner Bros. has been cutting costs left and right following its merger with Discovery."
A release in China and Russia may have helped Black Adam break even, but even with Warner Bros. touting a high Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes, those negative reviews clearly lessened interest.
The report concludes by adding that while DC Studios bosses James Gunn and Peter Safran will probably keep Johnson's Black Adam in the DCU, greenlighting another $200 million sequel with results like these is completely off the table.
Over the weekend, Johnson graciously congratulated Marvel Studios for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever's opening weekend. The sequel earned more in a few days than Black Adam has over four weeks, and we can't help but wonder whether The Rock is wishing he'd joined the MCU instead...