Home Movies

With ‘The Flash’ slashing its budget to $200 million, could the infamous box office bomb be rescued by its streaming debut?

Max subscribers are in for an experience.

the flash
Photo via Warner Bros.

A subtle update to a days-old article has spurred discussion about whether The Flash was as big of a box office bomb as we once thought and, more importantly, prompts the question: Does the DCEU film have a road to breaking even or turning a profit as it makes its streaming debut?

When it comes to movie budgets, they are often estimates rather than concrete figures, unless the movie studios themselves release such information – either out of obligation or bragging rights. As such, it’s not entirely uncommon to see those estimates fluctuate over time from one news article to the next. This appears to be exactly what happened with The Flash with a report in The Hollywood Reporter that was published last week and then updated on Wednesday.

When the article was originally published in THR on August 17, it cited The Flash as having a $300 million budget, according to the Internet Archive. However, an update to the article that occurred on August 23 made the correction that The Flash‘s budget was actually $200 million. Though the $200 million figure has been cited by publications in the past, the budget estimate has fluctuated quite a bit pointing to other figures over time, as well. For example, $220 million was another figure thrown around, as CBC News reported. This latest updated estimate of $200 million was not lost on one Reddit user on the r/DC_Cinematic subreddit.

While the $200 million figure excludes marketing expenses, it does raise the question of whether The Flash bombed as hard as we once thought. After all, the lower the budget that a movie has compared to its box office haul means higher overall profits. With an estimated $268 million worldwide box office haul, that would mean the film at least exceeded its budget. However, it’s highly unlikely the film can be described as anything but a gigantic flop when you factor in marketing costs and theaters’ take on ticket sales.

With that said, might the movie have a chance at breaking even with any money it could draw in from both its digital release and soon-to-be-streaming debut? For instance, it was reported by Game Rant that The Flash actually made the number one spot on video-on-demand platforms like iTunes, Google Play, and Vudu after its theatrical run. Could an increase in Max subscribers who sign up just to watch The Flash finally put the movie over the top? Only time will tell, though there does seem to be a slim chance that this particular avenue of revenue will be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Regardless, if you’re morbidly curious if The Flash is truly as bad as they say or deserves more recognition, the Ezra Miller-starring film makes its debut on Max on August 25.

Danny Peterson
About the author

Danny Peterson

Danny Peterson covers entertainment news for WGTC and has previously enjoyed writing about housing, homelessness, the coronavirus pandemic, historic 2020 Oregon wildfires, and racial justice protests. Originally from Juneau, Alaska, Danny received his Bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Alaska Southeast and a Master's in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Oregon. He has written for The Portland Observer, worked as a digital enterprise reporter at KOIN 6 News, and is the co-producer of the award-winning documentary 'Escape from Eagle Creek.'