David Zaslav will not be happy. Somebody is about to get called into an office in Burbank and be met with an icy stare from deep in a gilet. Seven weeks after release, a superhero movie starring one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, an ex-James Bond and featuring the much discussed return of an old favorite is about to make a loss. Black Adam has topped out at $387 million globally.

Variety is reporting a $195 million production budget, with an $80-100 million marketing budget on top. It won’t need Hollywood Accounting, it is going to lose Warner Bros. money the old fashioned way.

This movie was a passion project for The Rock and was talked up by all involved as re-energizing the DCU and changing the hierarchy of power in the DC universe by introducing Black Adam.

$600 million worldwide is the hurdle bar to clear in order to break even, that is now off the table. Warner Bros. dispute the numbers, saying Black Adam will break even and then the shorter theatrical window means PVOD income is realised faster, while home video marketing costs are slashed.

For all the fanfare about movies like Top Gun: Maverick and The Batman, this year has been financially bad. Lightyear, Amsterdam, Moonfall and Strange World flopped while even former behemoths like Thor performed under expectations.

It will be ahead of Wonder Woman 1984 and The Suicide Squad, but they were released at the height of the pandemic and had day-and-date HBO Max debuts.

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