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The Flash Set To Stumble Hard In Second Weekend At The Box Office

Unfortunately for "The Flash," it doesn't look like Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) and his multiversal legion of superhero friends are going to pull out a last-second sprint to victory. In its second weekend in theaters, box office projections in The Hollywood Reporter show a weekend gross of somewhere between $14 and $16 million, a 70% drop from an already disappointing opening weekend. That puts "The Flash" behind not just "Elemental," but also "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse," which opened weeks earlier, as well.

It's a sad state of affairs for superhero movies, or at least live-action ones, as "The Flash" will be racing against the R-rated Jennifer Lawrence comedy "No Hard Feelings" for the number three slot in the weekend's box office standings.

As impossible as it might seem for a movie with so many different Batmen in it, "The Flash" is expected to have a total domestic gross of a little over $85 million by the end of Sunday, meaning it could fall short of a $100 million domestic box office take if it continues its steep descent.

The Flash seems to be failing in much of the same territory where Across the Spider-Verse is succeeding

It doesn't take a lot of in-depth analysis to see parallels between "The Flash" and "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse." Both involve a superhero being drawn into a multiversal adventure that serves as a mechanism for putting different versions of various characters on the screen at the same time. In the case of "Across the Spider-Verse," that means a multitude of Spider-Men from all across the history of the character. For "The Flash," that means Ben Affleck, Michael Keaton, and George Clooney as various incarnations of Bruce Wayne, plus glimpses of characters like Nicolas Cage's Superman (from the abandoned Tim Burton "Superman Lives" project) and the Adam West version of Batman.

But one of these movies is a box office phenomenon, and the other is a flop, which just goes to show that execution can matter when it comes to which versions of similar ideas rise and fall commercially. In this case, that means "The Flash" (which has a lot of off-screen baggage to deal with as well) struggling against poor word of mouth and a steep second-week decline to try and hit $100 million domestically, while "Across the Spider-Verse" is preparing to swing past the $300 million mark in the US and could bounce back to number one in its fourth week in theaters.

The numbers will be clearer and more detailed after Sunday's box office figures, but it's safe to say for now that it's a losing race for "The Flash."