Black Adam is supposed to change the hierarchy of power in the DC Extended Universe. It's what Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has been saying all this time.
Now that we're only a few winks away from its premiere and things aren't looking good for what was billed to be the DCEU's first big win in a while. Despite earlier previews claiming it is a solid film, critics are saying otherwise. At the moment, Black Adam holds a 55% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It's not on par with Catwoman in terms of mediocrity but it makes it the fourth-worst DCEU film.
If it's any consolation, the DCEU has a weird relationship with critics; its best-reviewed films don't do particularly well at the global box office.
The struggling universe's highest-grossing film, Aquaman, holds a score of 65% on Rotten Tomatoes, and it made over a billion throughout its theatrical run. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice comes second at $872 millio,n but it had a mediocre 29% Rotten Tomatoes score. In fact, the only DCEU film that made over $500 million and scored more than 80% on Rotten Tomatoes is Wonder Woman (93%).
The more optimistic fan can take this as a good sign for Black Adam. Even if it's not a huge hit with critics, historically "bad" DCEU movies usually pull in good numbers. If nothing else, Black Adam's likely success could pave the way for DCEU projects based on characters that the movie will introduce like the Justice Society of America.
Here's a quick round-up of Black Adam reviews:
- IGN - 5/10
- Collider - B
- USA Today - 2/4
- Indie Wire - D+
- Empire - 3/5
- Slash Film - 3.5/10
- Comic Book - 3.5/5
- GamesRadar - 3/5
In a way, Black Adam is the DCEU equivalent of then-FOX's Deadpool. At the time, no one really knew much about Deadpool except for a handful of hardcore fans. Both comic book films also share one common denominator - a well-known actor who fought tooth and nail to make the movie happen. Because, when you think about it, who's a fan of Black Adam? Both Deadpool and Black Adam are C-tier characters, at best, in their respective universes in terms of popularity. We confidently rank them well-below pre-Jason Momoa Aquaman and pre-Chadwick Boseman Black Panther.
Now, Black Adam is going to be as popular as Superman seemingly overnight and it's all because of Johnson.
For what it's worth, Johnson's involvement already guaranteed the moolah for Black Adam. His films have made a collective total of almost $15 billion at the global box office. The only question now is, just how much money will Black Adam pull in based on the strength of Johnson's name alone?
We'll find out soon enough when Black Adam hits theaters this Friday, October 21.