Warner Bros. has no worries in The Flash.
The studio knew they had the goods on the DC multiverse movie which brings together Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton’s Batmans, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, Michael Shannon’s General Zod and a new Supergirl in Sasha Calle, and boldly premiered the movie here at CinemaCon Las Vegas to a packed house and tons of cheers.
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In a box office year that’s already +37% over 2022 with $2.5 billion, exhibitors after the screening were already smelling the money after the screen faded to black. More tentpoles here to get 2023 to a $9 billion box office year stateside.
Said Vue Cinemas Boss Tim Richards about The Flash, “I absolutely loved it. It’s got heart, it’s got soul. You care about the characters. It’s going to be big. It’s great to see the whole Warner Bros. slate including comedies, horror and DC. Everything that our audiences are desperate for.”
“It’s one of the best DC films ever made,” said one studio dine-in chain exhibitor echoing the early sentiment of DC boss James Gunn who has heralded the Andy Muschietti-directed, Ezra Miller title as “probably one of the greatest superhero movies ever made,” one that resets the DC universe.
Exclaimed Kentucky-based exhibitor Rick Roman, “The audience loved it. I thought it was very good — lots of humor. Emotional at the end with some people crying. I like how they brought in Batman to support the Flash. Smart move. The movie will have legs since people will see it more than once.”
To date the biggest opening for a DC Warner Bros film belongs to 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice on a global basis with $422.5M as well as domestic with $166M. The highest-grossing DC movie of all-time belongs to James Wan’s Aquaman in 2018 at $1.1 billion followed by Todd Phillips’ R-rated Joker in 2019 with $1.07 billion.
Deadline spoke with AMC CEO Adam Aron before we all sat down for The Flash tonight in Las Vegas. Still, the circuit boss smelled a hit after Warner Bros.’ robust two hour presentation today.
“I’m excited about the whole slate,” he beamed, stoked that Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav is aiming for 20 theatrical releases a year.
Said Aron, “That’s music to my ears.”
The Flash was delayed due to the post-production logjam of the pandemic, but is finally seeing the light of day on June 16. During that time, as Zaslav took the reigns of the studio in the newly merged Warner Bros Discovery, the pic’s lead star Ezra Miller made the headlines with a slew of reported altercations, as well as liquor robbery at a Vermont neighbor’s house. Miller apologized for their behavior, and met up with newly crowned Warner Bros bosses Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy to also make-good with the studio. The option to send this $200M production straight to the studio’s streaming service Max wasn’t in the cards; Zaslav a firm believer in theatrical downstream revenues. DC Bosses Gunn and Peter Safran updated the press that Miller was progressing well back in January, and the door remains open for a TBD sequel, though one hasn’t been announced yet.
Muschietti today during Warner’s CinemaCon presentation praised the tabloid-laden Miller, saying that they’re “One of the best actors I’ve ever worked with. Every tool in the toolkit… [Miller] is an incredible comedian, and [has] all the action required for a big spectacle like this.”
Despite Miller’s riffraff off-set, other filmmakers have heralded the actor’s work ethic and talent.
At TIFF, Daliland director Mary Harron told Deadline that Miller “arrived on set to my amazement with a complete worked-out performance.” The actor even insisted that their lines be done in French where required.
Harron at the time told us that Miller is “one of the greatest actors I worked with” and hopes they “get the help” the actor needs.
Deadline’s Chief Film Critic Pete Hammond had the following to say: