Box Office Breakdown: “Black Adam” changes the box office hierarchy 

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Prognostication is a difficult profession. 

My predictive abilities have been embarrassed many a time. Just in these past few weeks, I severely overestimated “Bros”’ box office potential and missed by $10 million+ on “Don’t Worry Darling”’s opening. 

The box office is unpredictable — unexpected externalities arise all the time. But once in a special while, on the rarest of occasions, you can nail it. 

“Black Adam” opened this weekend to a gross of $67 million domestically, precisely what I had predicted last week

Alright, I must admit this value reported is a weekend estimate, not the actual dollar total, but this is worthy of some celebration — albeit a small one. 

But back to the breakdown, this was a decent opening for the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson-led DC project. Sixty-seven million dollars is the best opening weekend for any film since July’s release of “Thor: Love and Thunder,” showing signs that the box office is coming back to life after a slow September and October. But this opening is not everything that DC and Warner Bros. were looking for. With a reported $195 million budget, “Black Adam” needs to gross around $650 million worldwide to break even. Of that $650 million, around $295 million will likely need to be earned domestically. With a $67 million opening, the film will need a large multiplier to have any chance to break even, which will be difficult with its “B+” CinemaScore. At this stage, I think the film will end up grossing around $180 million domestically. 

In second place was this weekend’s other wide release, “Ticket to Paradise.” The George Clooney and Julia Roberts-starring film earned $16.3 million in its opening weekend. The rom-com also earned an “A-” CinemaScore from audiences. While this opening is fairly solid for a mid-budget romantic comedy released in 2022, considering the film’s budget, it is likely less than Universal had hoped for. With a reported $60 million budget, the film will need to gross around $222 million worldwide to profit. Of that $222 million, likely around $110 million will need to be earned domestically. With a $16.3 million opening, achieving that domestic gross will be a tall task. 

In third place is “Smile” which added another $8.4 million this weekend, pushing its domestic total to $84.4 million. With only a 33.5% drop in its 4th weekend, the horror film keeps on holding, looking to use Halloween as a boost next week. As we stated last week, the film is on track to gross $110 million domestically and earn $100 million in profit with only a $17 million budget. 

In fourth and fifth this weekend are “Halloween Ends” and “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” with $8 million and $4.2 million respectively. Last week, we mentioned “Halloween Ends” would need to match “Halloween Kills”’ multiplier to profit. Unfortunately, with this weekend, that was made very difficult. The film fell 80% this week, an insane second weekend drop-off to only push its domestic total to $54.1 million. Premiering on streaming simultaneously certainly has not helped “Halloween Ends” but this is still an atrocious second weekend. If this drop-off continues, the film will be lucky to end its domestic run with a $75 million gross. “Lyle” fell 42.9% to push its domestic total to $28.7 million. The film will likely close out around $40 million domestically, which is not great for a $50 million budgeted film. 

This weekend brings several new wide releases: “Prey for the Devil,” “Tár” and “Till.” 

“Prey for the Devil” is a supernatural horror film releasing this Halloween weekend. Horror is difficult to predict, especially this deep into the spooky season. I expect the film to earn around $16 million in its opening weekend. 

“Tár” and “Till” are critically acclaimed films that have been in limited release and will be expanding wide this weekend. I expect both to open to around $5 million. 

We shall see, will “Black Adam” hold onto its box office throne or will “Prey for the Devil” exorcize its box office opponents? 

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