Long Range Box Office Forecast: THE FLASH, ELEMENTAL, and THE BLACKENING Hope to Combine for a Strong Father’s Day/Juneteenth Frame

Photo Credits: Warner Bros. ("The Flash"); Disney & Pixar ("Elemental"); Lionsgate ("The Blackening")

This week’s report takes an early look at Father’s Day and Juneteenth weekend next month, currently slated for the release of a trio of films aiming to counter-program each other in the midst of a busy summer market.

As always, updated forecast ranges are in the chart below.


  • The Flash is benefiting from a wave of mostly positive reviews out of early industry screenings, as well as social media support from the likes of DC’s new co-chief James Gunn.

    Further underpinning positivity in box office prospects is the return of Michael Keaton in his iconic role as Bruce Wayne/The Batman, as well as an advertised cameo by Ben Affleck in his version of the same role.

    That sets The Flash up to potentially draw in older moviegoers with cross-generational appeal driven by nostalgia and intrigue for the title character’s first-ever standalone film in modern times. Further boosting strong appeal to men of all ages will be Father’s Day landing on Sunday of the film’s opening frame.
  • Pixar returns with its first original theatrical release since Onward opened weeks before the pandemic shut down cinemas and the world at large in March 2020.

    Appeal will be strongest to women of varying ages, and since The Little Mermaid will be in its fourth week of release while minimal competition is ahead for that crowd in the weeks following, Elemental could be primed for a leggy summer run if reception is on par with Pixar’s more successful films.
  • Lionsgate is courting adult and young adult audiences with The Blackening, hoping to appeal strongly to Black communities in advance of the Juneteenth holiday on Monday after opening weekend.

    Early trailers have generated positive reception as the horror-comedy provides potentially solid counter-programming against the various family-centric films slated for June.


  • Aside from the usual caveat that word of mouth will be crucial for a comic book film to avoid sharp front-loading these days, The Flash has the added weight of two key elements: Ezra Miller’s well-publicized legal entanglements, and the general ambiguity of DC films as this film features characters from the “Zack Snyder-verse” at a time when fandom is well aware of major reboots ahead under James Gunn’s burgeoning leadership.

    Additionally, the film opens after Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, and two weeks before Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny — all aiming for similar male moviegoers.
  • Disney and Pixar’s theatrical branding took significant hits during the pandemic as the latter’s films were sent straight to streaming on Disney+ three separate times. Their return to cinemas with Lightyear last summer didn’t fare as well as hoped (for a variety of reasons), while Disney’s own Strange World was a significant misfire at the end of last year.

    All told, it’s more than possible for Elemental to break that negative streak and thrive if reception is strong, but there are reasons to be conservative for now when looking at the other strong films in the market and the likelihood this will have limited appeal to young boys compared to past Pixar blockbusters.
  • As a relatively low-budget entry, The Blackening‘s main concern will be avoiding getting lost in the shuffle of a crowded June market. Holdover horror competition from The Boogeyman could also be an element to watch for.

Long Range Box Office Forecast & 2023’s Upcoming Calendar
(as of 5/19/23)

Release Date Title 3-Day (FSS) Opening Low/High Range 4-Day (FSSM) Opening Low/High Range Pinpoint % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total Low/High Range Pinpoint % Chg from Last Week Distributor
5/26/2023 About My Father $3,000,000 – $6,000,000 $3,750,000 – $7,600,000 -25% $7,500,000 – $19,000,000 -25% Lionsgate
5/26/2023 Kandahar $4,000,000 – $8,500,000 $5,000,000 – $11,000,000 -9% $11,200,000 – $26,400,000 -9% Open Road Films
5/26/2023 The Little Mermaid (2023) $90,000,000 – $112,000,000 $115,000,000 – $143,000,000 +21% $271,000,000 – $379,000,000 +18% Walt Disney Pictures
5/26/2023 The Machine           Sony Pictures / Legendary Pictures
5/26/2023 You Hurt My Feelings           A24
5/27/2023 Oggy and the Cockroaches: The Movie           Seven Minds Family Films
6/2/2023 The Boogeyman $19,000,000 – $26,000,000     $61,000,000 – $102,000,000   Disney / 20th Century Studios
6/2/2023 Past Lives (Platform)           A24
6/2/2023 Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse $85,000,000 – $105,000,000     $226,000,000 – $290,000,000 -5% Sony / Columbia Pictures
6/9/2023 Transformers: Rise of the Beasts $35,000,000 – $45,000,000   +17% $71,200,000 – $101,250,000 +17% Paramount Pictures
6/16/2023 Asteroid City (Limited)           Focus Features
6/16/2023 The Blackening $13,000,000 – $18,000,000     $32,500,000 – $58,800,000   Lionsgate
6/16/2023 Elemental $28,000,000 – $38,000,000     $89,000,000 – $155,000,000   Disney / Pixar
6/16/2023 The Flash $115,000,000 – $140,000,000     $280,000,000 – $375,000,000   Warner Bros. Pictures

Unless otherwise noted, all figures above represent best and worst case scenarios for how each respective film is currently tracking based on existing market conditions and projected model fluctuation at the time of this report’s publication date. These are statistical snapshots, not final forecasts.

Additional pinpoint opening weekend and domestic total projections for theatrical movies up to 12 months from release are available to clients.

For more information about this article or to report any corrections, please contact the author.

Photo Credits: Warner Bros. ("The Flash"); Disney & Pixar ("Elemental"); Lionsgate ("The Blackening")

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