10 Awful Superhero Movies That Did Better At The Box Office Than The Flash

The Flash has been yet another massive failure for DC Studios, performing even worse at the box office than some of the most negatively-received superhero projects in cinema history. After a very tumultuous production period, The Flash finally released on June 16, 2023, marking Ezra Miller’s first solo project as Barry Allen, a.k.a. the Flash. Expectations for The Flash were high, as the film was set to reset the DC Universe and pave the way for James Gunn and Peter Safran’s new franchise to unfold. However, mixed reviews and a poor box office have cemented The Flash as the latest in DC’s long line of disappointing live-action movies.

SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

As of June 25, 2023, The Flash has grossed a total of $210.9 million, racking up $130.1 million in its opening weekend, roughly $20 million less than expected. In its second weekend, The Flash saw a monumental box office drop of 72.5%, earning only $15.3 million – the third-highest second-weekend drop for a superhero film behind 1997’s Steel (78% drop) and 2022’s Morbius (74% drop). Although The Flash has been praised for its action sequences, humor, and performances from Ezra Miller and Michael Keaton, the film has been performing worse than some of the most hated superhero films, which could spell bad news for Miller’s iteration of the Flash.

10 Green Lantern (2011)

ryan reynolds in 2011 green lantern

Released on June 17, 2011, Green Lantern was regarded as one of the biggest box office bombs in history, grossing only $220 million on a production budget of $200 million. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Green Lantern saw test pilot Hal Jordan recruited as the first human member of the intergalactic Green Lantern Corps and gifted a ring that grants him superpowers. Green Lantern’s lack of faithfulness to the DC Comics source material, dodgy visual effects, and poorly-written script were all met with scrutiny, and the film’s disappointing box office led to Warner Bros. scrapping plans for a sequel, as Green Lantern was originally supposed to birth a shared DC film franchise.

9 Batman & Robin (1997)

george clooney and chris o'donnell in 1997 batman and robin

George Clooney appeared as Bruce Wayne in the final moments of The Flash, reprising his role from 1997’s Batman & Robin, one of the most reviled films in DC’s cinematic history, which is often regarded as one of the worst films ever made. Despite reaching number one in its opening weekend back in June 1997, Batman & Robin saw a massive 63% drop in its second weekend, eventually grossing $238 million on a budget of between $125-and-160 million. The disappointing reception to Batman & Robin forced Warner Bros. to cancel plans for future sequels, and no live-action Batman movies would be created until Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins in 2005.

8 Fantastic Four (2005)

fantastic four in 2005

Marking 20th Century Fox’s first attempt to bring Marvel’s First Family to the big screen, Fantastic Four released on July 8, 2005, starring Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, and Michael Chiklis as the members of the titular team. Despite being met with a generally negative reception, Fantastic Four was a box office success, bringing in $333.5 million on a budget of between $87.5-and-100 million, turning quite a sizable profit. Fantastic Four explored the team’s origin story and initial battle with Julian McMahon’s Doctor Doom, and though a sequel was released in 2007, the franchise would later end up in development hell.

7 Black Adam (2022)

dwayne johnson in 2022 black adam

Initially attached to portray Teth-Adam as a villain in 2019’s Shazam!, Dwayne Johnson convinced Warner Bros. to gift him a solo movie as the ancient superhuman from DC Comics. Black Adam released on October 21, 2022, but despite being highly anticipated, Black Adam’s script, storyline, and visual effects were all met with criticism. On a budget of between $190-and-260 million, Black Adam only brought in $393.3 million at the box office, failing to break even. In the lead-up to Black Adam’s release, Johnson stressed that the film would pave the way for the future of DC’s live-action films, but these plans were very quickly dashed.

6 X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

famke janssen in 2006 x-men the last stand

With a $210 million budget, 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand was the most expensive film ever made. Despite racking up $460.4 million at the box office, The Last Stand is widely regarded as one of the Fox X-Men franchise’s weakest links. There are positive aspects of Fox’s first adaptation of Marvel Comics’ Dark Phoenix Saga, but the film drops the story’s emotion, and is far from faithful to the comics. Director Simon Kinberg would rework the story in 2019’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which became one of the biggest box office bombs of all time – though also performed better than The Flash with a box office total of $252.4 million.

5 X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

oscar isaac in 2016 x-men apocalypse

As the third film in Fox’s X-Men prequel series, 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse brought in $543.9 million at the box office on a budget of $178 million, making it quite a sizable commercial success. However, the film’s depiction of Marvel Comics’ iconic villain Apocalypse, the negligent script that ignored some of the film’s strongest performers, and an indecisive storyline that crammed too many side-plots into one film were all criticized. X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past had appeared to revitalize the franchise, but Apocalypse marked a return to disappointing form for 20th Century Fox’s superhero franchise.

4 Thor: The Dark World (2013)

chris hemsworth in 2013 thor the dark world

The MCU’s Phase 2 is often regarded as the weakest era of Marvel Studios’ massive franchise, and 2013’s Thor: The Dark World stood out as the most lackluster project in this period. With criticisms falling on the film’s lack of depth and boring villain in Christopher Eccleston’s Malekith, Thor: The Dark World forced Marvel Studios to completely change Chris Hemsworth’s titular God of Thunder for his third installment, Taika Waititi’s hilarious Thor: Ragnarok. Although seen to be one of the MCU’s weakest projects, The Dark World still brought in a massive $644.8 million at the box office, making it a commercial success, as its budget had been between $150-and-272.1 million.

3 Justice League (2017)

ezra miller ben affleck and gal gadot in 2017 justice league

2017’s Justice League marked the first major crossover for Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe, bringing together Superman, Batman, the Flash, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, and Aquaman in an epic battle against the villainous Steppenwolf. Despite being highly anticipated, major production issues quickly saw audiences falling out of love with the prospect of Justice League, and with an estimated production budget of $300 million, the film needed a huge box office total to turn a profit. Ultimately, it failed, despite grossing $657.9 million, and received major criticisms for its plot, cinematography, visual effects, light-heartedness, and Joss Whedon’s controversial replacement of Zack Snyder as director.

2 Suicide Squad (2016)

suicide squad in 2016

Suicide Squad quickly became a major box office hit after its release on August 5, 2016, bringing in $747 million on a budget of only $175 million. Even so, David Ayer’s unorthodox team-up film was met with a hugely negative response, with criticisms falling on the film’s script, hasty editing, poor direction, and overuse of licensed music. Although Suicide Squad did introduce the delight of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, who went on to star in further DC projects, Suicide Squad was quickly forgotten by Warner Bros., with James Gunn himself even reimagining the storyline with 2022’s standalone sequel The Suicide Squad.

1 Spider-Man 3 (2007)

tobey maguire and bryce dallas howard in 2007 spider-man 3

Both 2002’s Spider-Man and 2004’s Spider-Man 2 were met with massive acclaim from critics and audiences alike, leading to the development of a third film in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. Spider-Man 3 released on May 4, 2007, but despite being the highest-grossing film of the trilogy, totaling $895 million, the response from audiences was mixed. Many criticized the contrasting storylines, the lack of humor compared to the previous installments, and the omission of emotional depth for Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man. Spider-Man 3 is one of the most successful bad superhero films ever made, and it doesn’t seem as though The Flash will even come close to its huge box office total.

Key Release Dates

Leave a Comment