Black Adam’s Box Office Proves The Rock’s Movie Formula Is Waning
Black Adam is a box-office disappointment for both the DCU and Dwayne Johnson, and it might prove the latter’s movie formula is waning.
Black Adam was sold on the star power of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, but its underperformance is a sign his movie star formula is starting to falter. Johnson’s leap from WWE to movies seemed like a natural move, but he famously struggled to find his feet. He may have appeared to be a successor to Schwarzenegger or Stallone, but many of his action movies like The Rundown flopped. It was only after he played Hobbs in Fast Five that both he – and viewers – got a sense of Johnson’s screen persona. In the Fast sequels and movies like Rampage, he honed his screen image to perfection. Johnson tends to play hulking, highly skilled characters who also have a sense of humor. Instead of playing more psychologically complex or tormented characters, his focus has been on making himself accessible to audiences instead and providing them with the equivalent of cinematic comfort food. If his characters have struggles, they’re always resolved by the time the credits roll, and he surrounds himself with comic actors like Kevin Hart, Jack Whitehall or Ryan Reynolds to inject more humor into a script – sometimes regardless of if a scene really needs it. This formula has worked wonders for nearly a decade and made Johnson one of the world’s highest-grossing actors.