October 1, 2023

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“The Flash”, “Elemental” Stumble Overseas – Miscellaneous

After struggling at the domestic box office, the two major releases released this week – the Warner Bros. The superhero “The Flash” and the Disney Pixar adventure “Elemental” – in captivating international audiences.

“The Flash” grossed $75 million in its international box office debut, which doesn’t sound like that bad… except when you consider that the movie is available in 78 overseas markets. This means that it fails to reach $1 million in the vast majority of territories in play. China led the way with $13.8 million, followed by Mexico with $9.4 million, the United Kingdom with $5.3 million, Korea with $3.7 million, and Brazil with $3.5 million.

Ezra Miller stars in The Flash, which took in $139 million worldwide, including a disappointing $55 million debut in North America. The film, which was directed by Andy Muschietti and begins when Miller Barry Allen aka The Flash travels back in time to prevent his mother’s murder and inadvertently opens the multiverse, cost $200 million. It will struggle to turn a profit in its theatrical run unless its fortunes rebound significantly in the coming weeks.

The Element faces a darker road ahead. The family-friendly film opened to $15 million from just 17 international markets, bringing its worldwide tally to a disastrous $44.5 million. In a note to the press, Disney stated that “Elemental” was launched in far fewer markets and that only three of the countries it launched in — China ($5.2 million), Korea ($3.2 million) and Australia ($1.1 million) — are significant in terms of box office contributions. Elsewhere, the film is shown on an intermittent basis to “take advantage of local holidays”.

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At the domestic box office, Elemental flopped with $25.9 million, making the worst start in Pixar history. Like “The Flash,” “Elemental” also cost $200 million to produce and nearly $100 million to promote. Audiences (at least, those who showed up in its opening weekend) were receptive to the film, but Disney needs an “Elemental” to defy the odds – and then some – to justify those price tags.

Elsewhere, Sony’s “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” remained strong with worldwide ticket sales near the $500 million mark. The animated sequel added $27.6 million from 60 overseas markets over the weekend, bringing its international tally to $209 million and its worldwide total to $489.3 million.