The Flash Falls Out Of The Box Office Top 10 Chart In Its Fourth Weekend


While a lot of attention is paid to opening weekends, the later stages of a movie's theatrical run can be just as pivotal. Case in point: "Elemental" initially looked doomed after a debut of just $29.6 million against a $200 million production budget, but now looks like it could turn things around and become, if not a hit, then at least not an outright bomb. In its fourth weekend at the box office, "Elemental" is still ranked in fourth place on the box office top 10, with an estimated weekend total of $9.6 million (per Box Office Pro) that equates to a drop of just 21 percent from last weekend.

Highlighting what a difference strong legs can make, "Elemental" has now overtaken Warner Bros.' struggling superhero movie "The Flash" at the domestic box office, and is likely to pass its worldwide total soon as well. The two movies arrived side-by-side in mid-June, and "The Flash" had an opening weekend of $55 million, almost double that of "Elemental." Since then, however, the two movies have been moving along a tortoise-and-hare trajectory.

After an already disappointing start, "The Flash" dropped 72.5 percent in its second weekend (setting an undesirable new record for DC movies), and fell another 65.4 percent in its third weekend. Now in its fourth weekend, it has dropped off the box office top 10 chart entirely. The figures from Box Office Pro indicate it will rank at No. 12 with a weekend total of $2.215 million. 

It's extremely rare for a superhero movie to drop out of the top 10 that fast, and "The Flash" may well be the most expensive venture ever to do so. The few other examples I could find include "Elektra," "X-Men: Dark Phoenix," and "Hellboy II: The Golden Army." Another recent DC flop, "Shazam! Fury of the Gods," was still ranked at No. 8 at this point in its theatrical run.

Asteroid City makes an impact

The nice thing about the box office is that remarkably terrible news for one movie is often accompanied by remarkably positive news for another, and such is the case this weekend. Like "The Flash," Wes Anderson's whimsical comedy-drama "Asteroid City" is now in its fourth weekend of release. That's a bit of a technicality, since the first weekend was a limited release in just six theaters, so this is only the movie's third weekend in wide release. Still, it was pretty incredible to see "Asteroid City" overtaking "The Flash" on the box office chart this week, ranking at No. 11 with an estimated total of $2.239 million.

It's also a little frustrating, given that "Asteroid City" has its VOD release scheduled for just two days from now (July 11), giving it only 19 days in wide release before being sent to streaming. That doesn't necessarily mean that theaters will stop screening the movie ("Top Gun: Maverick" continued playing on big screens for several months after its VOD release), but showings will dry up faster than they would have if Universal had given it a longer run. "Asteroid City" could have potentially had an even better weekend if moviegoers hadn't been told they could watch it at home in a few days anyway.

Anderson is often thought of as a quirky little arthouse director, with his love of flat spaces and pastel colors and deadpan humor, but he does have several modest hits under his belt. 2001's "The Royal Tenenbaums" flagged him as a filmmaker to watch, with its Oscar-nominated screenplay and a box office total of $71 million against its $21 million production budget. 2012's "Moonrise Kingdom" grossed $68.3 million against a $16 million budget, and Anderson followed that movie up with "The Grand Budapest Hotel," which reached a triumphant total of $173 million globally. "Asteroid City" is currently at a running total of $38 million worldwide, and is still awaiting release in a number of major foreign markets. It wouldn't have hurt to give it a little more breathing room.

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