• Netflix continues to prove success for movies with middling reviews, like Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam, which earned a low Rotten Tomatoes rating.
  • Despite Black Adam’s financial and critical failure, it still drew crowds on Netflix, hitting the Top 10 most viewed movies this week.
  • Black Adam’s release amid the DCEU’s decline contributed to its lackluster performance, marking a downward turn for the franchise.



Netflix has proved once again that critically middling movies can find success on its platform, as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s DC movie Black Adam hits the platform’s Top 10, despite only scoring 38% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical and commercial legacy of DCEU movies is a mixed bag, with the DCU aiming to improve on this when it finally launches. Yet despite having plenty of poorly performing movies in its repertoire, it seems that the DCEU can still draw in the crowds when it is part of a popular subscription service.

Such is the case with Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam, which is currently sitting comfortably at #10 on Netflix‘s Global Top Ten charts with 2.7 million views in the past week. Interestingly, 2019’s Hellboy, which scored less than half of Black Adam‘s score on Rotten Tomatoes with 17%, sits at number 6 on the chart with 3.7 million views. This tracks with common sense, as Hellboy performed significantly worse than Black Adam at the worldwide box office, meaning more people have yet to see it. Yet this also helps to explain why Black Adam made the Top 10.


Black Adam Review: Dwayne Johnson’s DCEU Debut Is Action-Packed To A Fault

Though suffering from repetitive plot beats and thin characters, Black Adam is powered by Johnson’s performance and its promise of an exciting future.

Why Black Adam Is Considered A Box Office Failure

Dwayne Johnson’s DC Movie Was A Critical & Financial Flop

The truth behind Black Adam‘s financial performance is murky, but it is safe to say that the movie’s approximately $390 million global box office takings fell short of expectations. Generous estimates bestow Warner Bros with a $52 million profit (including home video sales), which is decidedly short of the amount that superhero movies were (and are still) expected to rake in. Aquaman, for instance, brought in around $1.3 billion in 2018 before the DCEU started to flounder from thereon. Critical failure will have been partly to blame, despite Black Adam being intended to reinvigorate the DCEU with a new direction.

The fact that
Black Adam
earned $390 million did not help matters, but this announcement perversely contributed to
Black Adam
being the penultimate movie to gross more than $365 million.

Black Adam was released in October 2022, when hopes were still high for the future of the DCEU, but the wheels of its demise were ironically already in motion. After Henry Cavill’s Superman cameo renewed hope for a Man of Steel sequel, the subsequent announcement of the DCU reboot just one week later was swiftly followed by news that Cavill and most of the DCEU cast were to be dropped. The fact that Black Adam earned $390 million did not help matters, but this announcement perversely contributed to Black Adam being the penultimate movie to gross more than $365 million.

Despite comprising some huge DCEU offerings, 2023 would be the year to contain most of the worst-performing DCEU movies at the box office, including Blue Beetle‘s record-breaking $129 million worldwide take. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom defied expectations at the time by bringing in $434 million, but ended the DCEU with an offering that garnered a similar amount of criticism as Black Adam. In the end, Black Adam was not the resuscitation that the DCEU needed, but its death knell.

Black Adam Poster

Black Adam

Jaume Collet-Serra

Release Date
October 21, 2022

Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. Pictures

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

Noah Centineo , Pierce Brosnan , Mo Amer , Marwan Kenzari , Aldis Hodge , Bodhi Sabongui , Uli Latukefu , James Cusati-Moyer , Dwayne Johnson , Sarah Shahi , Quintessa Swindell

Source: Netflix

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