For the second weekend in a row, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s DC superhero film “Black Adam” placed atop the domestic box office. With another $27.7 million this weekend, the film pushed its domestic gross to $111.1 million. While that is an impressive sum, as we stated last week, this is not a complete box office hit. With a reported $195 million budget, the film needs around $650 million worldwide (of which around $295 million will likely need to be earned domestically) to break even. With only $111.1 million earned domestic after its second weekend, reaching that sum will be a tall task — one could say heroic. The 58.7% drop this weekend is in line with most comic-book film drops, but “Black Adam” needs better to improve its financial state.
All that being said, DC Studios has undergone significant restructuring these last few weeks, with the announcement of James Gunn and Peter Safran as new studio heads. “Black Adam” is the mark of a turning point for the studio, thus its financial success is not as vital. It will be interesting to watch how DC Studios adapts under this new leadership.
In second place this weekend is “Ticket to Paradise,” the George Clooney-Julia Roberts led rom-com. The film earned $10 million, increasing its domestic total to $33.7 million. This was an impressive 39.4% drop, which is fantastic for a second weekend. We have not had many successful theatrical comedies in recent years, but this is the strength of the genre. While it does not always exhibit large opening weekends, comedies can last a long time in theaters, as word-of-mouth marketing creates continued demand. While it’s essentially guaranteed the film will not reach its necessary $222 million worldwide to profit, these holds show there is still demand for theatrical comedies. Is there room for $60 million theatrical comedies? Probably not, but if they can be made for less in the future, there is definitely a profitable model for a theatrical comedy in our modern marketplace.
In third place is this weekend’s new wide release, “Prey for the Devil.” The film earned $7 million, far below my prediction of $16 million. The budget for the film has not yet been reported, but it is likely below $10 million. Unfortunately, the film has been lambasted by critics and received a “C+” CinemaScore. This is not bad for a horror film but does not indicate it will last long on the charts.
In perfect Halloween fashion, fourth and fifth place are two horror films – “Smile” and “Halloween Ends.” “Smile” continues its incredible run with another $5 million, pushing its domestic total to $92 million. It dropped 40% this weekend, which was higher than I expected considering the holiday season, but still solid for a fifth weekend. “Halloween Ends” earned another $3.8 million in its third weekend, increasing its domestic cumulative audience to just north of $60 million. Unfortunately, with a 52.1% drop, “Halloween Ends” run is quickly coming to a conclusion.
Two releases that we mentioned last week, “Till” and “Tár” have not released completely wide, thus only earning $2.8 million and $1 million respectively, below my prediction. These films will continue to expand in coming weeks. Also, “Till” earned an “A+” CinemaScore, which bodes well for its box office prospects.
Next weekend brings no new wide releases, though as stated before, “Till,” “Tár” and other limited releases such as “The Banshees of Inisherin” will continue to expand. This may mean some new names in our top five next week, even without new releases.
This is the calm before the storm.
In two weeks time comes the release of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” which will most certainly reign over the charts.
Until then, we shall sit back, relax and enjoy the box office.