Dwayne Johnson Defends Black Adam's Early VOD Release Strategy

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is defending Warner Bros. Pictures' strategic decision to release Black Adam on Video On Demand and digital release early. In a new vlog post, The Rock checked in with fans to thank them for making Black Adam the #1 movie on iTunes. Johnson goes on to explain that the decision was strategic, in order to capitalize on the added exposure during the holiday season (Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas), rather than waiting afterward. That all said, Rock is also quick to remind fans that Black Adam is still playing in theaters as well, just in case they want to check it out there. 

In the longer version of his explanation for Black Adam's early digital release, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson says the following: 

"A quick check-in: I'm swooping in to thank you. Great news to report on the Black Adam front. The Black Adam train continues to roll along. You guys have made Black Adam no. 1, again, now on digital. Black Adam is the no. 1 movie on iTunes. We released Black Adam yesterday: we thought it was a strategic release to go on all digital platforms as we're still out in the theaters, as we go into the Thanksgiving holidays, and of course the Christmas holidays, Hannukkah holidays, so you guys can enjoy Black Adam in theaters and certainly enjoy The Man In Black at home. So thank you for making Black Adam no. 1 again, on iTunes, with a bullet by the way. So thank you guys; the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe has changed – as you guys have heard me say that."

While it's true that Black Adam has had a strong debut on digital platforms, even The Rock has to admit that the film's box office reception has not been as strong as was hoped. As of Johnson's video posting, Black Adam has grossed just $368 million worldwide ($158M domestically, $209M internationally), on a budget that is reported to be upwards of $200 million with marketing and promotion factored in:

"At the box office here, domestically, doing really good, really strong numbers – internationally we got a lot of room for growth. And of course, you want to see the international box office numbers be higher, be stronger – of course, you do! Because you're never satisfied."

Black Adam's lukewarm box office run has not been the best look for Johnson as a superhero franchise star – or the larger DCU movie franchise, which continues to lag miles behind Marvel Studios. Heading into opening weekend, there was talk of Johnson and his Seven Bucks producing partners helping shepherd DC to movie universe greatness; now all eyes have turned to James Gunn and Peter Safran's new DC Studios venture to provide a fresh start. Johnson pays quick homage to Gunn and Safran (without naming them) in the video, so we can check that box. 

In the remainder of the video, The Rock goes on to accentuate some big positives, such as establishing the Black Adam character and JSA team as part of the DC Universe. He also leans heavily on his own accomplishment of getting Henry Cavill's Superman back in the franchise, in case fans forget: we owe him one. He also ends by teasing the future of Black Adam, The JSA, and the DC Universe to come. 

Black Adam is now in theaters and available on digital.