Black Adam box office and audience results destroy critic scores

Proving critics wrong, Black Adam’s audience score is nearly double the numbers and the biggest box office opening day for star Dwayne Johnson.

Black Adam is proving to be unstoppable despite low critical scores. On its opening day, the DCEU superhero film received twice as high in audience scores and the box office is trending to be The Rock’s biggest yet.

Defying the critical reviews, Black Adam soars with its audience scores and the biggest box office opening for star Dwayne Johnson. (Images: DC Films/Warner Bros. Discovery)

After the review embargo, Black Adam received unflattering critical feedback and scores, specifically at the review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. There were fears that this might have a negative impact on the audience coming in as the film was released worldwide.

But it appears that audiences are, so far, disagreeing with the critical response to Black Adam and are voting with their reactions and ticket sales. Check out the details below.

Prior to the premiere of Black Adam, the DC Extended Universe film was receiving middling to low scores at Rotten Tomatoes.

Most of the critical consensus mentions the problems with the consistency of the story elements, the lack of development for most of the characters, and the performance of Dwayne Johnson as being "The Rock is just playing The Rock".

The weakly developed main villain and heavy CGI third act are two of the major elements critics point to for the low scores given to Black Adam.

But while there may be some valid points regarding these elements of the film, it appears the audience found it enjoyable. Audience scores are showing double the critical numbers taken side-by-side at Rotten Tomatoes.

As of the time of this writing, Black Adam has a 44% from critics but 88% from audience scores at the Rotten Tomatoes site. The positive response generally credits the charismatic cast (particularly the members of the Justice Society), entertaining moments, exciting and fast-paced action, and the visual spectacle.

And, of course, the mid-credits scene that is the worst kept secret had fans raving about it. The majority of the response regarding Henry Cavill's Superman triumphantly returning has been overwhelmingly positive. It certainly seems Dwayne Johnson fighting to make it happen has paid off.

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Plus, the box office numbers are lining up with the massive positive reaction. According to Deadline, Black Adam is looking to make at least $25 million by the end of its opening day. This places Black Adam as the best opening day for a film starring Dwayne Johnson. This includes Hobbs & Shaw ($23.6 million), The Mummy Returns ($23.1 million), and Jumanji: The Next Level ($19.7 million).

Moreover, an article at Box Office Mojo says Black Adam heralds the return of the blockbuster movie. This stems from an apparent 12 weekend lull in the overall box office returns of less than $100 million. Although the global pandemic is still a consideration, this streak is significant after massive hits like Top Gun: Maverick brought in big numbers.

Dwayne Johnson says Black Adam is just Phase 1 of the new era in the DC Extended Universe, echoing the phases Kevin Feige uses for the Marvel Studios projects.

With the $25 million first day haul, Black Adam is trending toward at least a $60 million opening weekend gross. While the box office returns will not be complete at least until Monday, insiders are already calling Black Adam a hit and that the producers are fast-tracking a sequel. In addition, the buzz in the entertainment industry is that the massive response to Henry Cavill’s return as Superman has reinvigorated plans for a sequel to Man of Steel.

On his official Twitter account, Dwayne Johnson referred to Black Adam as the Phase 1 of a new era of the DC Extended Universe.

This idea of phases hearkens back to how Kevin Feige identified films and projects under Marvel Studios as part of a grand plan. Given that Warner Bros. Discovery has been searching for a similar figurehead to lead the DC Films overhaul, this may be an indicator of Dwayne Johnson’s future role in guiding the company’s cinematic universe.

Black Adam stars Dwayne Johnson (Teth-Adam/Black Adam), Pierce Brosnan (Kent Nelson/Doctor Fate), Aldis Hodge (Carter Hall/Hawkman), Noah Centineo (Albert Rothstein/Atom Smasher), Quintessa Swindell (Maxine Hunkel/Cyclone), and Sarah Shahi (Adrianna Tomaz).

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra produced by New Line Cinema, DC Films, Seven Bucks Productions, and FlynnPictureCo, Black Adam is now showing in theaters everywhere.

Geoff Borgonia
Geoffrey "Borgy" Borgonia is a veteran writer, artist, journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur based in the Philippines. When not contributing to some of the top pop culture sites on the planet, he spends the rest of his time running his business, practicing martial arts, working on and developing books, comics, and games. In his man-cave, his only luxury is sleep. Borgy on Linkedin.