Wakanda forever and ever, and Other Box Office News.
Note: this article originally ran on Set the Tape (link).
No pissing about, we’re all here for the same thing so let’s get into brass tacks. No, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever did not manage to outscore either the original Black Panther or Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in its opening weekend. Whilst Wakanda Forever had a bigger opening day than Black Panther managed back in February 2018, by almost $10 million in fact, the miraculous day-to-day mega-holds of its predecessor weren’t able to be replicated and so the total weekend take came in $20 mil lower than last time out. And whilst the results of that scrap were close, Multiverse’s stronger opening day haul proved to be the decisive factor in ensuring the good Doctor’s standing as the best opening of 2022 remained unchallenged. Now, with the caveats that capitalist weirdoes who insist on everything being an unqualified ever-growing mega-success shall latch onto for doomerism Hot TakesTM disposed of…
Wakanda Forever opened to $180 million. Unless Avatar: The Way of Water pulls off something magnificent – which, in fairness, it might well do since very few people have come off successfully when betting against James Cameron – that’s going to easily stand as the second-biggest opening weekend of the year, and is only $7 million behind Multiverse. Were records broken? You bet your sweet behind that they were! Nine years ago, I presided over an historic moment when The Hunger Games: Catching Fire clinched the title of Best November Opening Ever with $161.1 million. Obviously, that record, along with the wasted years of mine in between these two weekends, is now nought but dust. As of time of writing when Estimates are all we have to go off, Wakanda has the lucky thirteenth biggest opening weekend of all-time, though Captain America: Civil War is all set to swoop back in and reclaim that position if Actuals drop Wakanda by even $800,000.
Overseas, Wakanda is very obviously the big cheese in basically every territory it opened in, raking in $150 million for a combined $320 mil opening; the second-biggest of the year so far. Unlike Multiverse and Thor: Love and Thunder, it’s rocking an “A” Cinemascore which should lead to some very healthy legs irrespective of the schedule at large fleeing for the hills in preparation of another Marvel domination. And, lastly, it even managed to outperform the big Limited Release of the weekend despite playing on almost 1,100x as many theatres, in terms of per-screen averages. Said release, for those wondering, was Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical ode to the power of cinema, The Fabelmans, which put in a monster of $160,000 opening as the usual Awards Season snail’s pace trail of a rollout kicks off in 4 theatres (a PTA of $40,000). Very, very impressive and only slightly undermined by Wakanda’s PTA on 4,396 screens being $40,946.
“Callie, are you doing a jokeless by-the-books pre-amble to compensate for the fact that your hip breakage means you can’t see Wakanda Forever for another two weeks?” Yes! “Are you also doing so because it’s Desert Bus for Hope week and you want work to take up as little time as possible?” Also, yes! “Are you already gonna jump to the Full L-” OF COURSE, YES! GET OFF MY CASE!
US Box Office Results: Friday 11th November 2022 – Sunday 13th November 2022
1] Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
$180,000,000 / NEW
Even if I had seen this on-time, none of y’all would need to hear what I thought right now. Firstly, you should check out our very own Kelechi Ehenulo’s review over at Movie Marker, which is some of her best writing so far. Then, you should go read Cheyenne Bunsie’s review for Little White Lies that unpacks the Black feminism of the film, and the constraints put upon by the MCU machinery. And then, LaToya Ferguson’s personal write-up over at her website. They shouldn’t be the only reviews you read, of course, and I’m not just spotlighting them because they’re the work of my friends. These are some fantastic pieces of writing which deserve greater attention than being drowned out by a sea of Whiteness.
2] Black Adam
$8,600,000 / $151,123,090
Devastating news this past weekend as Kevin Conroy passed away at the much too young age of 66. He was The Batman. No arguments or medium clarifications required. He was my Batman growing up, he was almost definitely your Batman growing up, and he was likely the Batman for multiple generations either side of us thanks to his incomparable voice work on The Animated Series, Justice League Unlimited, the Arkham games, and countless other appearances. He was also a gay icon who somehow managed to persevere through so much tragedy and prejudice to become one of the most beloved voice actors to ever step up to a microphone. Do read his autobiographical one-shot from DC Pride 2022 and shine that Bat-signal high in the sky tonight.
3] Ticket to Paradise
$6,100,000 / $56,512,445
So, yeah, case it weren’t already obvious, the 16th annual Desert Bus for Hope charity stream is running throughout this week! The LoadingReadyRun crew and various associates all coming together to play the notorious unreleased Sega CD game Desert Bus for as long as it takes for money to stop rolling in! It’s fun, it’s laidback, it’s a nice safe space of positive vibes, and I’m going to try not thinking about that number in front of the “annual” because it gives me existential crises! Go tune in and maybe donate if you feel like it! Unless you’re reading this after the stream’s finished, in which case it was a thing that happened and you can blame my mental health needing that comfort blanket for the quality of this BOR.
4] Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile
$3,200,391 / $40,840,000
A mere 5% drop between weekends. This one is shedding at a very healthy pace. Now, whether or not that means anything depends on how much stock you put into the unavoidable fact that it opened hella weak in the first place. But we take our victories where we can get them here at the BOR HQ nowadays, no matter how many qualifiers we must affix.
$2,330,483 / $102,777,000
In case you’re wondering where Halloween Ends is this week… *pulls out close-reading glasses and starts scrolling real far down* Fifteenth place with $147,000 after being dropped from nearly 2,500 theatres in just its fifth week of release, a sinking of 89.8% from last weekend. Feel free to imagine the “stop, stop, he’s already dead!” Simpsons quote here, I am too.
6] Prey for the Devil
$2,010,000 / $16,961,244
Rather than watching crappy horror movies that are a dime-a-dozen nowadays, how about you instead watch excellent alternative animation movies that are slightly less than a dime-a-dozen nowadays? For example, Netflix released the new Cartoon Saloon feature, My Father’s Dragon, on Friday and it is reliably excellent because Cartoon Saloon are the best animation studio in the world right now! Back at London Film Festival, I got the chance to interview director Nora Twomey all about it for the BFI!
7] The Banshees of Inisherin
$1,700,000 / $5,784,663
In other film festival news, Sam Judd’s been checking out various flicks at Leeds International Film Festival, one of which was a screening of the landmark disability essay Face of Our Fear. Like a number of once-landmark works, however, he found it’s not holding up all that great when looked back on today.
8] One Piece Film: Red
$1,447,807 / $12,768,073
The King is DEAD, ladies, gentlemen, and nbs! Gigli no longer holds the record for biggest second-weekend drop for a film playing on more than 2,000 theatres with its 81.9% sinking! A title which has stood for almost two decades! Now bestowed to One Piece Film: Red in a performance that I doubt we will ever see non-actively bettered. That performance? 84.5%. Long live the new King!
$618,254 / $8,038,426
Now that’s more in line with what I was expecting Till to do when thrown to the wolves of Wide release. Since it may not be around next we meet, let me take this opportunity to plug Kelechi’s review of this outstanding film for Movie Marker when we both saw it at LFF.
10] Armageddon Time
$352,000 / $1,582,570
In a fun departure from our usual content, Shaun Rockwood was given the opportunity to take a tour around the London Tower Vault’s big immersive exhibit about The Gunpowder Plot! It’s very pricey, but apparently well worth the time!
Dropped out: Halloween Ends, Terrifier 2
Callie Petch is faster going nowhere.