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The Rock Might Not Return to James Gunn’s DCU After Reports of Forged Documents to Make $389M Black Adam a Financial Success Leaves WB Execs Fuming

The Rock Might Not Return to James Gunn’s DCU After Reports of Forged Documents to Make $389M Black Adam a Financial Success Leaves WB Execs Fuming

Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam is currently standing at $389.16 million in its worldwide box office collection, after showing a promising start with its $67 million opening. 7 weeks have now passed since the premiere of the Warner Bros. DCU film. And yet, there are no signs of the film picking up pace, even with The Rock’s strategic release of Black Adam on streaming platforms before the holiday season.

Black Adam (2022)
Black Adam (2022)

With the news coming exactly a month after the film’s theatrical release, the move was seen as an attempt to gain back some projected profits. But there is still a long way to go and it seems as though the underwhelming performance might be stirring up some emotions at the center stage of DCU.

Also read: Black Adam Releases HBO Max Debut After Disappointing Box Office Run Amidst Sequel Cancelation

The Rock Clashes Again With DC HQ Over Black Adam

The Rock stepping over authority to speak directly with Warner Bros. Pictures co-heads, Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy gave him precisely what he was looking for — i.e. getting Henry Cavill onboard the Black Adam fan-driven powerhouse. New reports suggest that DCU’s elaborate strategy of bringing Cavill back in an expansively mapped plan was soiled by The Rock‘s attempts to fast-track the actor’s return. Now that James Gunn and Peter Safran’s DCU blueprint has started gaining steam, there are some aspects of Gunn’s plans that may not suit The Rock’s investments in the new hierarchy he helped usher in.

Black Adam struggles at the box-office
Black Adam fails to deliver at the box-office

Also read: “First Captain America Did $370 Million”: Dwayne Johnson Desperately Tries to Secure Black Adam’s Future By Comparing Its $72 Million Profit to Chris Evan’s First Marvel Movie

There have been rumors suggesting that the Hobbs & Shaw actor’s latest film might not be as profitable as it looks at first sight. The worldwide $389 million earnings are immensely underwhelming considering the production and marketing costs of Black Adam. A Forbes report suggests that the film would need to make at least $560-600 million just to break even. Given its latest video-on-demand release and premiere in Japan has gained some marginal profits over the past fortnight, the projected $395+/- earning from those releases has not been met with success.

Now, a report from Puck News suggests that the financial sheet with the DCU film’s latest box office collection that has been leaked to Deadline contains misleading information. And the Warner Bros. execs are pointing all fingers toward The Rock and his Black Adam crew for staging up the numbers to make the film appear as a financial success.

Why Does Black Adam‘s Financials Matter to The Rock?

If The Rock’s claims are to be considered facts in their entirety, then Black Adam has been in its formative stages of conception and development for the past 15 years. The film’s anti-villain protagonist (who was initially planned as a subplot for Shazam!) was brought in as a major force of his own, all by The Rock’s sole efforts.

With his fan-oriented marketing driven fully by Cavill’s return, the primary flavor of the diverse DCU superhero drama was lost in its crowd pandering and the built-up hype that was caused as a result of The Rock’s Superman talk downplayed his own character and hurt the chances of Black Adam performing well in its own potential capacity.

Henry Cavill returns as DCEU's Superman
Henry Cavill returns as DC’s Superman

Also read: The Rock Reportedly Muscled WB to Prematurely Bring Back Henry Cavill’s Superman in Black Adam, Ending Long-Term Plans of Man of Steel’s Story Arc Amidst Cancelation Scare

But the actor’s steamrolling interviews and promotional techniques by hyping up a future Black Adam v Superman showdown, even without the go-ahead from the execs, have led to a fan frenzy — the expectations of which were not ultimately met by the film. A poor critical and financial performance could then negate the chances of that Black Adam 2 sequel and The Rock’s plans of building out the Black Adam universe to greater heights.

James Gunn has already promised that Superman occupies a central position within the DC Universe Bible. But no such promise has been made about Black Adam’s fate in the coming timeline. With how much The Rock has been building up his protagonist and planning out the character as a DCU mainstay, such a blatant shunning delivers a humiliating blow to the already flailing film. It isn’t surprising then that rumors of the film’s leaked financial sheet being played up a bit (to draw an increased fan demand, perhaps?) would start being a concern to the Warner Bros. Discovery execs.

Black Adam debuts on HBO Max on December 16, 2022.

Source: Puck News

Written by Diya Majumdar

At 25, Diya Majumdar is inching closer to getting to the bottom of every film and television's history in existence. Having graduated with honors in literature from Miranda House, DU, her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema, with more than 900 published articles on Fandomwire. She is a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh and boasts of being an avid painter of all their troubled works.