Dwayne Johnson’s Panned DC Box Office Flop Finds Success in Netflix Global Chart


  • Netflix saves
    Black Adam
    from box office doom, proving streaming platforms can redeem flop movies.
  • Dwayne Johnson’s failed DC takeover attempt found success on Netflix’s global Top Ten list.
  • Theaters face an uncertain future as Americans reportedly prefer streaming at home over traditional cinema experiences.

Netflix has once again been breathing life into a disappointing movie, as Dwayne Johnson’s failed DCEU takeover attempt, Black Adam, has soared into the platform’s global Top Ten. Having failed to ignite the box office on its release in 2022, and currently holding a lowly 38% Rotten Tomatoes score, the DC action movie has become the latest heavily criticized property to find success on Netflix.

Black Adam

Release Date
October 21, 2022


C.C. Beck , Otto Binder , Rory Haines , Sohrab Noshirvani , Adam Sztykiel


DC Entertainment, Flynn Picture Company, New Line Cinema

The hierarchy of power in the DC Universe is about to change.


Dwayne Johnson exploded into the DCEU just as the franchise was on its knees and about to be dealt a knockout blow by Warner Bros. Despite Johnson’s attempts to hype up the film, and the tacked on inclusion of Henry Cavill’s Superman, it became clear very quickly that even this heavy-handed attempt to muscle into the comic book world was doomed to fail from the start. So it proved, as just a year later, the DCEU rolled out Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom as its final movie before James Gunn and Peter Safran rework things with their own DCU.

Black Adam under-performed at the box office, just like the several DC offerings that succeeded it in 2023. Its impressive arrival on Netflix suggests that, like many movies of the post-pandemic era, an audience is out there, they just aren’t that bothered about paying for the cinematic experience. The wide-ranging demographic of Netflix’s subscribers instantly puts movies like Black Adam right in front of people who would not actively go looking for it, but are willing to give it a shot when it is put out in front of their face.

Netflix Has Given Second Life To Many Forgotten Movies

The Legend of Tarzan movie
Warner Bros. 

Black Adam’s belated bout of attention is not a unique scenario. The 2019 reboot of Hellboy, which faced an even harsher critical response and a disappointing box office return, also previously found its way into Netflix’s top-viewed content, as have other movies such as Margot Robbie movie The Legend of Tarzan. The pattern is one that has become apparent over time, and does suggest that Netflix, and other platforms, are a major source of redemption for movies that flopped on their original release.

While the “safety net” of Netflix can be an encouraging fallback for studios when movies have not performed as expected, it also continues to promote the idea that cinemas are currently in a very precarious position. Recent reports claiming that around two-thirds of Americans would rather stream a movie in their own homes than venture out to theaters to see it on the big screen is a big worry for the sector of the industry that has been used to seeing billion-dollar crowds passing through their doors on a regular basis.


Black Adam Star Would ‘Love’ Hawkman Return, but Is Open to Other DCU Roles

In an exclusive chat with MovieWeb, Aldis Hodge says they had “great plans” in place for Hawkman on the big screen.

Whether 2024’s slate of big franchise movies and sequels can prove to be some kind of turning point is yet to be seen, but early blockbuster releases of Dune: Part Two and Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire have shown that this year’s box office could be another uptick from 2023, even without an influx of superhero movies from Marvel Studios. With several other notable movies arriving later this year, including Deadpool & Wolverine, Beetlejuice Beetlejuice, and Wicked: Part One, by December we will know exactly how profitable the theatrical experience could be in the coming years.

Black Adam
is streaming on Netflix along with most of the DCEU’s movie offerings.


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