Executives at Warner Bros. reportedly claim that Dwayne Johnson leaked inaccurate information about the profits of Black Adam.
According to Puck's Matt Belloni, "several Warners executives" believe that "Team Dwayne Johnson" leaked information to Deadline about the profitability of Black Adam as a way to counter previous reports that the DC film would lose the studio between $50 and $100 million. Belloni wrote that the supposedly leaked report was "filled with false assumptions" and stated that, in the long term, "nearly all movies of this size will ultimately pencil out after every window is exhausted over years and years."
After almost seven weeks in theaters, the superhero film has garnered almost $400 million at the worldwide box office against a $195 budget. The initial report made by Variety stated that Black Adam cost at least an additional $80 million to market, as opposed to the original $100 million ad campaign that was planned before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With all of this combined, Black Adam will struggle to break even, even taking into account ancillary revenue from home viewing and merchandising.
Johnson refuted these claims, however, comparing Black Adam's earnings to those of Marvel Studios' Captain America: The First Avenger, which pulled $370 million. "Waited to confirm with financiers before I shared this excellent #BlackAdam news - our film will PROFIT between $52M-$72M. Fact," Johnson tweeted. "At almost $400M worldwide we are building our new franchise step by step (first Captain America did $370M) for the DC future."
Black Adam earned $67 million at the domestic box office in its debut, surpassing original projections of $62 million. While these earnings align with previous DCEU films (2018's Aquaman earned a domestic cume of $67.8 million), Black Adam surpassed the earnings for Shazam!, which pulled in a domestic total of $53.5 million in its opening weekend.
Johnson has repeatedly stated that Black Adam would mark a "new era" for the DCEU, with the DC film marking the return of Henry Cavill's Superman in a post-credits scene. However, the future of Black Adam in the newly refurbished DCU remains unclear despite Johnson's enthusiasm, as industry experts reportedly claim that a sequel to the film is unlikely based on its box office returns.
Starring Johnson in the title role, Black Adam is a spinoff of 2019's Shazam! and marked the DC Extended Universe debut of the JSA (Justice Society of America), which consisted of Aldis Hodge as Hawkman, Pierce Brosnan as Doctor Fate, Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, Sarah Shahi as Adrianna Tomaz and Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone.
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, Black Adam is now in theaters.