The Biggest DC Box Office Bombs
It hasn’t been a great run of movies based on DC Comics lately, at least from a box office perspective. The lame duck era of the DC Extended Universe has produced one financial disappointment after another; I was sure, for example, that The Flash would be one of the two or three biggest movies of the summer. How could it not be, thanks to an appearance by Michael Keaton’s Batman? Boy, was I wrong; the film is barely hanging onto a spot near the bottom of the 20 biggest films of 2023 in the U.S.
It wasn’t always like this. Richard Donner’s Superman completely changed the way people looked at superhero movies in the late 1970s; a decade later, Tim Burton’s Batman did the same. That said, DC has also had its share of flops through the years. You can probably rattle some of them off the top of your head; when DC movies fail at the box office, they tend to fail in spectacular fashion.
The precise degree to which a movie bombs is sometimes hard to pinpoint; Hollywood studio accounting is notoriously secretive, and even the reported figures for things like budgets rarely included the money spent on marketing, which can sometimes double the cost of a production. So these are listed not in the order of the size of the bomb, but simply based on their raw ticket sales. But you can also see that number compared to budgets (based on the best available information on sites like The Numbers.)
Here are ten notable DC box-office bombs.