Box Office Breakdown: “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is king 

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The box office is back. 

As expected, all it took was a Wakandan superhero to join the charts for the highest grossing weekend since July. 

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” carried the box office, grossing $180 million in its opening weekend. While this was below my personal prediction of $212 million and below its 2018 predecessor’s opening of $202 million, this is still a strong opening. It is the second highest opening of 2022 (behind fellow Avenger “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”’ $187 million in May) and is the highest November opening of all-time. From a financial standpoint, with a reported $250 million budget, factoring in theatrical and marketing expenses, the film needs to gross around $888 million worldwide to breakeven. Of that $888 million, about $444 million will likely need to be earned domestically. With a $180 million opening, the film will only need a 2.46x multiplier to earn that total, which is very doable, especially when you consider its “A” CinemaScore. While I do not believe “Wakanda Forever” will match 2018’s “Black Panther”’s multiplier of 3.47x, I think the film will close with a multiplier around 2.9x and gross about $522 million domestically. 

In second place is “Black Adam” which grossed $8 million in its fourth weekend of release. As expected, the superhero competition hurt the DC film, as it dropped 56%. However, the film did clear $150 million domestically, placing it at No. 10 on the 2022 domestic box office, usurping “Elvis.” Still, it is interesting to see the disparity between the DC film and Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” The aforementioned Marvel hero’s film earned $180 million in its opening weekend, greater than “Black Adam”’s 4-week gross. Of course this is an unfair comparison as one is a much anticipated sequel and the other is an origin story, but it is interesting nonetheless. 

In third place is the rom-com “Ticket to Paradise” with a $5.9 million fourth weekend gross. Falling only 31%, the film has held strongly on the charts the past few weeks, even amidst strong competition. Having earned $56.3 million domestically, the film will likely inch towards a $72 million finish. While this is not enough for the $60 million film to profit, it may be enough to prove to industry executives that the romantic comedy is not dead from a theatrical standpoint. 

Fourth and fifth are occupied by “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” and “Smile” which grossed $3.2 million and $2.3 million respectively this weekend. “Lyle” fell only 5% this week, pushing its domestic total to $40.8 million. This impressive drop shows there may be gas in the tank for the musical film, which may have the legs to close around $55 million. “Smile” fell only 41% to extend its streak to 7 weeks in the top five of the box office, an incredible accomplishment for a horror film.  

Next week brings two new wide releases: “The Menu” and “She Said.” 

“The Menu” is a comedy horror film that has received strong reviews from critics. I predict the film will open to $15 million. 

“She Said” tells the story of the journalists who investigated and broke the story on Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct and abuse against women. The film has earned strong critical reception, making me believe it will earn $12 million this weekend. 

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” will likely still reign, but will “The Menu” eat up the box office or will “She Said” triumph? 

As always, we shall see. 

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