BLACK ADAM: 5 Undeniable Reasons The Movie FLOPPED With Critics And At The Box Office

No matter whether you loved or hated the film, there's no denying Black Adam has been a critical and commercial disappointment. In this feature, we're examining what exactly went wrong with the project!

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Black Adam currently sits at a dire 39% on Rotten Tomatoes, and with the film rolling out on to Digital platforms, it looks set to earn the same box office haul as Shazam!, a film that cost half as much to produce. In the nicest way possible, the mediocre final chapter in the DCEU saga was an undeniable flop.

Now, with star Dwayne Johnson lashing out on Twitter at those who dare point out that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever made more money in a single weekend than Black Adam has in its entire theatrical run, the former pro wrestler (and this franchise) are on the ropes.

No matter what some of you might think, we're never happy to see a superhero film perform badly, whether it's Marvel, DC, or any other company. That hurts the genre as a whole, but where did things go wrong for Black Adam? We have some thoughts on what happened and why a better name for Teth-Adam might just me Meh-Adam.

Find our breakdown of the latest DC film's failings by tapping that NEXT button below. 
 

5. Dwayne Johnson Isn't As Big A Star As He's Made Us Think

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Former pro wrestler Dwayne Johnson is one of the biggest movie stars alive...right? That's what we've all been led to believe, making it all the more surprising that Black Adam's $67 million opening weekend was the biggest of his career as a lead.

It's an impressive figure, but one that pales in comparison to many lesser-known stars. Looking back at The Rock's acting career, many of his films have been poorly reviewed and his greatest success has arguably come while part of a larger ensemble in the already very popular Fast & Furious franchise. 

Heading into Black Adam, we'd all been convinced that Johnson is such a huge star that there was no way the film could fail. And, with many sites terrified of no longer being given interview access to the A-Lister, that's how they sold it too. In reality, the barely-a-blockbuster is unlikely to ultimately break even. 
 

4. The Trailers Sucked And It Was Overhyped

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Harsh words, we know, but after Johnson spent months hyping the film on social media, it's really no surprise Black Adam struggled to live up to expectations. Whether it was billing the anti-hero as a relentless killer or claiming he would change the hierarchy of the DCU as we knew it, the actor delivered mixed messages to his massive following. 

After hyping up a suit reveal, that would later come in the form of a Total Film Magazine cover. It was an okay way to premiere Johnson's first superhero costume, but when the trailers finally started dropping...well, they weren't exactly good. 

It would have been tough to bill this average comic book adaptation as anything more than it actually was, of course, but bad films can be made to look better than they are. When the release date rolled around, Johnson resorted to essentially spoiling Superman's cameo in an effort to drum up interest, making that seem more important than the film itself. 
 

3. Fans Never Wanted A Black Adam Movie Without Shazam

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In some ways, it's really no great surprise that Henry Cavill's Man of Steel return was revealed in advance because, much to Johnson's shock, we're sure, no one was ever clamouring for a Black Adam film. Yes, he's been fantasy cast in the role on countless occasions, but there was a time adult film stars were routinely imagined as superheroes too. 

One thing we can't deny is how perfectly cast The Rock was as the anti-hero. That still doesn't mean a solo outing was necessary, however, and Black Adam should have always debuted in a project with Shazam, Superman, or perhaps both. 

Unfortunately, the actor strongarmed Warner Bros. into giving the character his own film. It's since been claimed he has a very real "disdain" for the Shazam! franchise's lighter tone, but that 2019 release was a critical hit. A sequel that gave the characters equal billing had the potential to be a mega box office hit, though we believe ego was the problem here.
 

2. The Movie Failed The JSA

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Like Black Adam's own debut, the DCU arrival of the Justice Society of America was hyped up to the point where it felt like this world might be getting a new Justice League. Instead, we got Hawkman, Doctor Fate, and a couple of irritating nobodies whose names we can't even remember in a four-person "team" that omitted the likes of The Flash and Green Lantern.

The biggest crime may well have been leaving Hawkgirl on the shelf. That was a decision which Johnson quickly claimed would be explained down the line, though neither he nor the movie itself would elaborate on her absence in any way. 

Throw in the fact that the JSA, and Hawkman, in particular, were made to look ineffectual against Black Adam, and it felt a lot like Johnson simply needed some B-List heroes he could beat up to make his own anti-hero look better. This isn't how you appeal to the comic book fans who spread the word online and, for good superhero films, indulge in repeat viewings.
 

1. The Rock Isn't The Savior The DCU Needs

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There wasn't a massive amount of excitement for Black Adam prior to its release, but things took a baffling turn when Johnson started fielding questions from boot-licking members of the press about taking charge of the DCU. He seemed surprisingly open to the idea, and we can only wince at what an entire universe of films like this one might have looked like. 

It was around that time the actor really doubled down on Black Adam being the opening chapter of a new era for what was then still known as the DCEU. Taking credit for going around the back of the former DC Films boss to get Superman in the film, The Rock was hailed by some as this franchise's saviour. 

Until the film was released, anyway. 

It was weeks later that WBD zeroed in on James Gunn and Peter Safran to take charge of the DCU, and Johnson will now have to accept that a Shazam! team-up is about as good as it's going to get for him. After all, that newly appointed duo would be crazy to greenlight a sequel to a film that just flopped. 
 

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BLACK ADAM: 5 Undeniable Reasons The Movie FLOPPED With Critics And At The Box Office
No matter whether you loved or hated the film, there's no denying Black Adam has been a critical and commercial disappointment. In this feature, we're examining what exactly went wrong with the project!

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