Movies Review

‘The Flash’ Flop Hurt Comic Sales While Batman Toys Soared

The Flash was a truly historic bomb, becoming one of the biggest failures in Hollywood history, dragging down sales of the comics and toys even while Batman products were flying off the shelves.

It shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that The Flash ended up as a confusing mess between regime changes at DC Studios, unrealistic expectations, and Ezra Miller’s own controversies. However, rarely has a film bombed so hard it brought other industries down with it. According to Matt Devoe, co-founder of comic collecting site CovrPrice, sales for products relating to The Flash are down across the board:

Flash books are down. Anything related to this film is kind of dropping,” Devoe told The Hollywood Reporter. “The Flash film didn’t have anything for fans to take and speculate on. In fact, it’s led to a lot of confusion of, ‘OK, what is DC doing with their future lineup?’”

Many fans may be quick to suggest this might be a problem across the board due to DC Studio’s declining quality. However, the data simply doesn’t support that assertion, with sales for Batman and Batmobile products in The Flash toyline soaring even while everything relating to the titular hero struggles to get off the shelves:

“When you look at the Flash toys, the character from the movie that outsold everything else was Batman and the Batmobile,” Jordan Hembrough, founder of the toy site Hollywood Heroes, explained. “And it’s because people have this connection to Michael Keaton and his portrayal of the 1989 Batman.”

DC fans may be getting cold sweats thinking about Green Lantern’s treatment following their film flopping in 2011. It’s very possible The Flash causes DC Studios, and DC as a whole, to step away from Barry Allen and the entire Flash Family for the time being. Even if they don’t, they certainly have an uphill battle in salvaging the character’s reputation outside of the comics.

The Flash’s DC Universe future

Warner Bros. Discovery already has a script for a potential sequel to The Flash, written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, the man behind the two Aquaman movies starring Jason Momoa. However, James Gunn and Peter Safran did not discuss the Flash sequel during their DC Universe presentation.

Directed by Andy Muschietti from a script written by Birds of Prey scribe Christina Hodson, The Flash is inspired by the Flashpoint comic book storyline, which followed Barry Allen as he navigated an altered DC Universe. Written by Geoff Johns and penciled by Andy Kuber, Flashpoint radically altered the status of the DC Comics universe and led to the launch of the New 52 titles.

In addition to Ezra Miller, The Flash also features Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck as two separate versions of Batman, Ron Livingston as Henry Allen, Maribel Verdú as Nora Allen, Kiersey Clemons as Iris West, Michael Shannon as General Zod, Antje Traue as Faora-Ul and Sasha Calle as Supergirl. Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Rudy Mancuso and Luke Brandon Field are also on board in undisclosed roles.

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