The Flash and 6 biggest box office bombs of 2023

It was a rough time at the box office for The Flash, The Marvels, and other big budget movies in 2023.

The Flash movie - Credit: Warner Bros.
The Flash movie - Credit: Warner Bros. /
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At the beginning of 2023, I don't know if I would have believed Barbie and The Super Mario Bros. Movie would be the only movies to break $1 billion at the global box office. In a year with The Flash, a new Mission: Impossible movie, three new Marvel movies, and a bunch of Disney releases, I thought there would be at least a handful of big releases to hit the $1 billion mark. but that wasn't the case. While I enjoyed a bunch of the new releases in 2023, it's safe to say it was a bit underwhelming, from a financial and story perspective, for some of the biggest studios this year.

Looking back at the full year, we shared the list of six new movies that disappointed at the box office in 2023. Are these the movies that lost the most money? Some of them are, but more than that, these are the movies we all expected to perform better at the box office that didn't quite live up to the hype.

Is it superhero fatigue? Just a bad year? Are the larger economic issues to blame? Are viewers getting too used to new movies available on streaming services and don't want to venture out to the theaters as often? Are there environmental factors, like the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting numbers? It could be a combination of everything, but clearly, there is something happening.

For this story, we used the global box office totals from Box Office Mojo and rounded up. Let's get the list started with one of the most disappointing movies of the year, The Flash.

The Flash

EZRA MILLER as Barry Allen / The Flash in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “THE FLASH,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/™ & © DC Comics /
  • Release Date: June 16, 2023
  • Director: Andy Muschietti
  • Cast: Ezra Miller, Sasha Calle, Michael Shannon, Ron Livingston, Maribel Verdú, Kiersey Clemons, Antje Traue, and Michael Keaton
  • Global Box Office: $271 million

Although a mess at times, The Flash isn't a bad movie. It wasn't perfect, but the build-up to the film with all of the delays and Ezra Miller's legal issues and controversies did not help. The film's lackluster performance also stems, at least partly, from the DCEU's implosion. General fans, as we have seen, need something to hook them, and The Flash didn't have it.

The Flash tells the story of Barry Allen (Miller) after interrupting the timeline to save his mother's life. After going back in time, Barry mistakenly lands in 2013, but the consequences of his actions can't be overstated. As Barry tries to put the pieces of the timeline back together and save his friends and family, destruction reigns.

Despite grossing nearly $300 million in the box office, The Flash is considered to be a huge box office bomb. It's unclear how much Warners Bros. "lost" on the movie, but we'll likely find out in time.