Beyond the Screen #38 – Box Office: The Flash, Elemental, No Hard Feelings, Asteroid City And More!

Massive Drop for The Flash

At 72.5%, The Flash has suffered the second largest drop in the history of the comic book movie genre at the domestic Box Office (we don’t consider Steel starring Shaq a part of that company), saved only by that jewel of a catastrophe; Morbius. It is, however, worth noting that Morbius opened to a significantly higher opening weekend gross than The Flash, outpacing it by about 30 million dollars. Ultimately, that conveniently second place in the drop history books, and fourth place at the domestic box office this last week, comes as poor conciliation consider that The Flash carries an inordinate $220 million budget, not counting any marketing spend.

Word of Mouth Boosts Elemental

Though Elemental’s seemingly uninspired premise and creative design weren’t able to win over audiences, who resoundingly rejected Pixar’s latest on opening weekend, the film itself has managed to win over enough of that diminished early audience, so much so that Elemental suffered only a 37.7% drop. That number has been attributed to solid word-of-mouth (and it probably helps that The Flash is as bad as people have suggested, and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse, though a kids’ film as well, is an example of a sort of counter programming). Elemental will, however, require a series of unbelievable holds in the coming months to eke anywhere near a breakeven point, though outgrossing Lightyear may be on the cards (Elemental currently stands at $49.7 million at the Worldwide Box Office, outpacing The Flash).

No Hard Feelings Seduces Moderately

Really, in this day and age, bringing in around $15 million opening weekend for a film of this nature, is more than a success. The raunch promised by No Hard Feelings has naturally turned off some viewers, as has always been the case for R-rated comedies, but this small win for the genre helps to prove Jennifer Lawrence’s star power, and the popularity of Stupnitsky touch (this is the highest grossing opening for a restricted comedy since 2019’s Good Boys, also by Gene Stupnitsky). Ultimately, we are still far from returning to the halcyon days of comedies raking in respectable profits like clockwork (in short, the 2000s are over).

Highest Opening Weekend for Wes Anderson

Last weekend saw the highest wide release debut ever for that most particular of directors; Wes Anderson, who’s excellent Asteroid City raked in just over $9 million, landing just outside of the domestic top 5. This result is at least in part down to a strong marketing push, which subliminally inspired a viral TikTok trend. Interest in Anderson was subsequently revitalized, doubly so after those AI parodies familiarized a handful more people with his name, and with at least an empty approximation of some of his aesthetic choices. Reviews have settled around the general consensus for any Anderson picture of the last few years, so the hype on this one being what it is could seem odd from an outside perspective, especially since this is one of the director’s more stiff outings. Consider then that this is one of the year’s earliest Oscar hopefuls, and most other Cannes lineup inductees won’t see release stateside for some time to come. PR was managed well this time round by the distributor as well; now that Disney isn’t fumbling 20th Century Fox’s titles anymore, Universal was able to take full advantage of the unique ‘commodity’ they’d acquired in Anderson and his illustrious band of collaborators.

China Tops Global Box Office

China continues to carry its titles to the top of the worldwide Box Office, on the strength of local earnings alone, of course. Lost in the Stars made around $70 million, outgrossing international competitors like Elemental ($49.7 million) and The Flash ($41 million). Transformers: Rise of the Beasts continues to underperform, netting only $37 million globally last week.