Thunder vs. Cats

Black Adam 2 might not happen — and you can blame Black Panther 2

While a script to Black Adam 2 is apparently completed, another rival superhero movie might thwart any efforts to warrant it to production.

Originally Published: 
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 23: Actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson appears at the Warner Brothers pane...
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Can Black Adam withstand the might of Black Panther?

Depending on who you talk to, the Dwayne Johnson vehicle Black Adam is either a huge win (it’s grossed over $300 million worldwide, and is still number one weeks after its October 21 release date) or a lukewarm cup of tea, with its box office performance nowhere near that of pre-pandemic levels.

There are caveats, including the fact that Black Adam isn’t opening in China, which has cooled on Hollywood blockbusters. The box office game is changing, and what makes up a franchise evolves. So it’s not surprising to learn that there’s already a Black Adam sequel in the works, and a script might be completed. But whether it actually sees the light of day is another matter, because it could be thwarted by another superhero dressed in black.

When Black Adam debuted, podcaster John Campea cited an inside source to claim that “as long as the movie is profitable,” there will be a Black Adam sequel. That’s kind of a no-brainer in the modern age of superhero tentpoles, but Campea added that he “definitively heard from somebody on the inside” that a script for a Black Adam sequel is completed.

“They’ve got a second script,” Campea said. “Now, they may want to tinker with it depending on what the reactions are to the first film, but they literally could probably roll into shooting this thing in like four months if they wanted to.”

Dwayne Johnson’s might has helped Black Adam gross over $321 million worldwide so far. Is that enough to warrant Black Adam 2?

Warner Bros. Pictures

Campea’s guest, film producer Robert Meyer Burnett, added that a worldwide intake of $475 million, when held against the movie’s estimated $200 million cost, is the figure the movie would need to shoot for before a sequel feels like a sound decision for Warner Bros. “That’s the lower end,” Burnett said. “They’re going to want it between five and six hundred million. That would trigger the production if they already have the script.”

After several weeks in theaters, Black Adam has grossed over $321 million, but its intake is slowing down as another major movie, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, looms large with its imminent November 11 release. Not only did the first Black Panther gross a whopping $1.3 billion worldwide, but the loss of star Chadwick Boseman will likely encourage Marvel fans and casual moviegoers to turn out and see how the tragedy is resolved.

Black Adam is unlikely to gross another $154 million in just a few days, and Wakanda Forever will slow its intake further. On top of that, Barnett pointed out that $475 million is the lower end of what Warner Bros. would want to comfortably move forward with a sequel or spinoff.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens on November 11, and is bound to interrupt Black Adam’s box office dominance.

Marvel Studios

There are, however, some factors working in Black Adam’s favor. The theatrical market is still recovering from the pandemic, which has made audiences more likely to pay VOD prices to watch new movies at home. There could be a resurgence for Black Adam once the movie is available to buy or stream on HBO Max, which might be enough to sway Warner’s decision-making.

How aftermarket performance factors into greenlighting a sequel is for Warner to decide. From the outside, it looks unlikely that Black Adam will meet the bare minimum to warrant more movies starring Dwayne Johnson as Superman’s big foe. But Johnson is a massive star. Even if his big superhero debut isn’t so thunderous, maybe he’ll find another way to flex more of his might into the DC Universe.

Black Adam is now playing in theaters.

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