The Flash Takes Another Blow Almost A Year After Its Bad Box Office Run

The Flash once again manages to take a blow to its success almost a year after the film’s original disastrous theatrical release.

The Flash Takes Another Blow Almost A Year After Its Bad Box Office Run

Highlights

  • The Flash merchandise cancellation adds to the project's string of losses, signaling ongoing struggles for the DCEU.
  • Film planned to serve as soft reboot, but young Barry Allen figure's failure to connect highlights franchise issues.
  • Hot Toys cites low preorders, not Ezra Miller controversies, for figure cancellations in unprecedented move.

Despite The Flash being almost a year removed from its disappointing theatrical debut, the much-embattled DCEU project has managed to take yet another loss in the wake of a decision to cancel one merchandise item based on the film.

The Flash was set to be the capstone of the Zack Snyder-led DC Extended Universe and was given the appropriate budget and marketing. Despite not being the last entry in the doomed franchise, it was confirmed that The Flash would serve as a soft reboot for the DC films by new studio head James Gunn, a la the popular Flashpoint comics angle. This made the film seem relevant despite the impending reboot, and there was a fair bit of expectation attached. To facilitate the plotline, the film featured more than one version of leading star Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen, one of which was a younger, less battle-worn and more immature version from a universe where the character had experienced no real loss.

While this younger version of the character wasn’t as well received as expected due to DC not really getting Barry Allen’s humor as The Flash, the character’s failure to connect has caused yet another issue for the franchise. According to an official announcement from Hot Toys posted to Reddit by user Galestrum1, a planned figure of the younger version of Barry Allen, as well as a deluxe edition of the same character, have been canceled despite already being announced for release in a move that fans reveal is a first for the Hot Toys company. The unprecedented move also affected another figure from DC’s competition, as a planned Sakaarian Iron Man from Marvel’s What if…? series was also scrapped despite being announced.

While the company cites ‘rapid market changes’ in the official announcement, the cancelation of the young Barry action figure might at first seem tied to the many controversies surrounding Ezra Miller, which has already seen the Flash star lose another high-profile role in the superhero genre in addition to lowering their odds of being brought into Gunn’s new DCU. However, this isn't the case according to longtime collectors and patrons of Hot Toys. The most likely reason for the cancelations is a record-low number of preorders for the items being scrapped by the company. Many point out that while the rest of the planned Flash line is still coming out, including at least one other figure featuring Miller’s likeness, the heavily unpopular young Barry figure is getting canned alongside another alternate variant of a popular character.

The film has been plagued by bad news for the company since its disappointing theatrical run, even fielding some uncertainty concerning The Flash being added for streaming on Max. While the video-on-demand numbers were fairly encouraging, The Flash stood as the exemplar of the worst failure in the genre until The Marvels came along with an even more unsettling outcome for the competition. However, the sheer amount of negative press that led up to and carried on after the release of The Flash makes it a wonder that the entire line wasn’t canned to begin with. The loss of one figure in the line might be a disappointment to collectors, but it’s certainly in line with the film’s losing streak. This is truly a sad legacy a project that initially had a lot of fan anticipation behind it.

Despite having some of the best DC movie moments of 2023, it seems The Flash is doomed to eternally embody the failure of the superhero genre in that year in perpetuity rather than being remembered for any of its merits. Whether or not the failure of the film will have even more ramifications for the character, the actor behind him, or the future of Gunn’s new DCU remains to be seen, but the prognosis isn’t cheery.

The Flash is available to stream on Max.

Source: Galestrum1/Reddit

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