Black Adam just passed $250 million at the global box office, but how does its performance compare to the rest of the DCEU? Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson bragged for moths that Black Adam would change “the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe,” so how does it change the hierarchy of box office performance in the DCEU?
The DC Extended Universe has seen mostly solid results at the box office, but it’s failed to reach the consistent blockbuster output of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So, while many of the movies in the DCEU could be seen as under-performers, they’ve still been moderate successes, outside of a few legitimate flops. Now that it’s been out for two weekends, how do Black Adam‘s domestic and international box office (and its second-weekend drop) compare to other DCEU movies?
The tumultuous history of the DCEU has seen a number of major changes in the leadership and strategy of DC Films at Warner Bros., and there’s a fairly clear division between the box office haul of the movies released under Zack Snyder and the movies released after his departure. For example, every single “Snyderverse” movie opened to over $100 million domestically, and every single post-Snyderverse movie (including Justice League 2017) has opened below $100 million. This is also true of Black Adam, although Black Adam‘s box office performance so far is a big improvement on other recent DCEU movies.
Black Adam‘s $67 million domestic opening weekend box office is the DCEU’s biggest since Aquaman, which only opened slightly higher than Black Adam at $67.9 million and went on to become the DCEU’s highest-grossing movie with a global total over $1.1 billion. The Snyderverse’s global box haul Man of Steel ($668 million), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($873 million), Suicide Squad ($746 million), and Wonder Woman ($821 million) averages out to $777 million compared to the post-Snyderverse average of $422 million. While Black Adam is only 2 weekends into its box office run, its $250 million puts it in striking distance of the post-Snyderverse average, but well out of reach of the kind of box office success seen by the Snyderverse movies.
Meanwhile, Black Adam’s $250 million global haul has already surpassed the box office haul of most other post-Snyderverse movies, including Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) ($117 million), Wonder Woman 1984 ($201 million), and The Suicide Squad ($168 million). Black Adam also has a fighting chance at hitting Shazam!‘s $365 million total, but with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever releasing soon, it’s doubtful it’ll have the legs necessary to reach Aquaman‘s $1 billion haul, despite a similar opening weekend, especially after Black Adam‘s second-weekend drop-off.
The biggest criticism leveraged against the box office performance of the early DCEU movies was the drop-off in their second-weekend box office. Man of Steel dropped 64.6 percent, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice dropped 69.1 percent, Suicide Squad dropped 67.4 percent, and Wonder Woman dropped 43.3 percent (which is actually the DCEU’s second-best), averaging 61.1 percent. Black Adam improves on this with a drop of 58.7 percent.
…-Snyderverse DCEU movies haven’t consistently hit the same box office highs (with only Aquaman passing any of the Snyderverse installments at the box office), but they have seen improved second-weekend drops, averaging 54.2 percent. Aquaman has the best second-weekend drop in the whole DCEU with 23.2 percent and Shazam!‘s 54.3 percent and Birds of Prey‘s 48 percent both beat Black Adam; however, Black Adam improves on both Wonder Woman 1984‘s 68 percent and The Suicide Squad‘s 72 percent, although since both of those were released while many theaters were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s likely not an apples-to-apples comparison.
Black Adam may not be the kind of box office behemoth that changes the DC Universe’s hierarchy of power, but it’s got a good shot at becoming the DCEU’s highest-grossing movie since Aquaman, which isn’t a bad job considering Black Adam is a more obscure DC character for general audiences. The DCEU still needs a big hit to bring it back to the kind of box office success it was seeing at the start, but considering Black Adam‘s post-credit scene is what brought Henry Cavill back as Superman, and there’s now a potential Man of Steel 2 in the works, Black Adam could very well be responsible for restoring the DCEU’s hierarchy of power, even if its box office isn’t the biggest standout success.
Next: Black Adam’s RT Score is the DCEU’s Biggest Critics vs. Audience Split