The Flash, Ezra Miller’s debut solo superhero film, has tied with another movie from the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) for the franchise’s lowest audience score ever.
Leading up to its release, The Flash garnered significant praise, with test screening scores comparable to Christopher Nolan’s revered Dark Knight trilogy.
James Gunn, co-CEO of DC Studios, consistently lauded the film as “fantastic,” and it received acclaim from notable figures such as actor Tom Cruise and author Stephen King.
Furthermore, critics also reacted positively to the movie, describing it as “tremendous” and even ranking it among the best DC films. However, since its release, the audience response has been more divisive, with opinions on the film varying greatly.
The Flash Receives Disappointing Audience Score
The Flash has received a CinemaScore of “B,” which is the same score that was given to 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, marking the lowest score in the DCEU’s history. CinemaScore is determined by averaging the letter ratings provided by audiences immediately after exiting the theaters, reflecting the initial reaction of the general public.
This rating is in contrast to its positive 86% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and its relatively average 66% critic score. When compared to other superhero releases this year, The Flash’s CinemaScore is on par with the widely criticized Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, but falls below the “B+” rating of Shazam! Fury of the Gods and the “A” rating of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Here is a list of the DCEU’s CinemaScores from Man of Steel (2013) to The Flash (2023):
- Man of Steel: A-
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: B
- Suicide Squad: B+
- Wonder Woman: A
- Justice League: B+
- Aquaman: A-
- Shazam!: A
- Birds of Prey: B+
- Wonder Woman 1984: B-
- The Suicide Squad: B+
- Black Adam: A-
- The Flash: B
Why Aren’t Audiences Liking The Flash
The low CinemaScore of “B” for The Flash is surprising considering the strong praise it received from critics. The film was hailed by some as one of the best to come out of DC, making the negative audience reaction unexpected.
To put the score into perspective, a “B” places The Flash even lower than some of the superhero genre’s poorly regarded movies like Superman Returns and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It puts it on par with films such as Daredevil, Elektra, and Catwoman.
However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t necessarily mean audiences consider The Flash to be as bad as those movies. The significant critical buzz surrounding the film may have raised expectations to a level that led to disappointment and consequently resulted in a lower initial reaction from the audience right after leaving the theater.
In recent years, movies with negative word-of-mouth and low audience scores have experienced significant drops at the box office. This low CinemaScore could potentially affect The Flash’s chances of achieving financial success in the coming weeks and may even impact its chances of getting a sequel.