Black Adam had a rather poor showing at the box office despite having one of the biggest stars on the planet as its lead. New information has emerged that extensive reshoots due to poor test screenings led to the movie overshooting its budget.
Much has been said about Black Adam’s box office performance. There were initial reports that the movie was set to lose $50 to $100 million at the box office. The Rock dismissed the reports and revealed that Black Adam will turn a modest profit.
The superhero movie starring Dwayne Johnson initially had a budget of $190 million. This is comparable to other much more popular DC movies such as The Flash ($200 million) and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom ($205 million). Marvel movies have a similar budget for most of their titles. However, Black Adam received mixed reviews from fans and audiences. This led to the movie struggling at the box office considering the hype created by its lead actor and the big budget. Black Adam earned $391 million at the box office before being moved to HBO Max last week.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the film’s production costs skyrocketed to $260 million due to "a costly 20-day round of reshoots undertaken after a poor test screening." The reshoots were necessary for the movie to pass test screening before it was released.
As a matter of practice, Hollywood studios do not include marketing costs in disclosed or unofficial movie budgets. This means that Black Adam’s estimated total cost would be somewhere in the $380 to $520 million range.
Given these new revelations, it puts the profitability of Black Adam into question. Johnson was adamant that the movie would be profitable but it remains to be seen. A $380 million budget against a $391 million box office total does not look like it made any profit at all.
Movies have to double the production cost of a movie just to break even as cinema owners take roughly half of the ticket sales. Even without marketing costs, Black Adam would have needed around $520 million just to break even.
We're curious to find out how Johnson responds to this revelation after he announced Black Adam isn't part of DC Studios’ plans moving forward. The actor recently revealed the anti-hero will not be part of DC’s "first chapter of storytelling."
If it's true that Black Adam was a commercial failure, it's easy to see why James Gunn made the decision to cut out the antihero from its upcoming slate. Dwayne Johnson may still have a future in the DC Universe as he and Gunn have said that they would want to collaborate again down the road.
The DC Universe is in the midst of a massive shakeup as several key characters will not be returning. Henry Cavill is out as Superman due to his age while Aquaman star Jason Momoa is reportedly being recast as Lobo. The future of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Ben Affleck’s Batman is still uncertain at this point.
Only Zachary Levi has confirmed that he will be staying on with DC, at least for now.