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Box Office: ‘Black Panther 2‘ Rules as Disney’s ‘Strange World’ Stumbles With $4.2 Million Opening Day

Variety
Variety
 2022-11-24
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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ” continued to rule over the Thanksgiving holiday box office . Faced with only token opposition, the superhero sequel picked up $10 million on Wednesday. The Marvel and Disney release is on pace to earn roughly $63 million over the five-day period, easily topping the competition.

Another Disney movie, “ Strange World ,” is bombing, grossing a disappointing $4.2 million on Wednesday as it eyes a five-day haul of under $24 million. That’s a terrible result for the $180 million-budgeted animated adventure. For comparison sake, “Encanto,” another recent Disney animated offering, earned $40.3 million over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2021 — and that was considered to be a soft result for the family film. “Encanto” didn’t really tap into the zeitgeist until it started streaming on Disney+ when “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” became ubiquitous.

Among the other newcomers, Sony and Black Label Media’s “Devotion,” an inspirational drama about two elite US Navy fighter pilots, grossed $1.8 million. It’s looking at a five-day haul of $10.2 million.

MGM and United Artists Releasing’s “Bones and All” is stumbling in its expansion, earning roughly $900,000 on Wednesday. The off-beat story of young cannibals in love is on pace to earn $4.3 million over the five-day period. It opened last weekend in limited release.

And Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans” picked up $400,000 on Wednesday after expanding from four theaters to over 600 venues. The semi-autobiographical look at the filmmaker’s early years should earn $3 million over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Searchlight’s “The Menu” earned $1.1 million and should pick up $8 million over the holiday. The horror comedy’s domestic total stands at $12.4 million. Warner Bros. and DC’s “Black Adam” earned $660,000 on Wednesday and is eyeing a holiday gross of $4 million. The superhero film’s domestic total stands at just under $160 million.

It’s a pretty dark picture for the film business, which has been in a slump since mid-summer and is still grappling with the aftershocks of COVID closures. The holiday box office is shaping up to be down about 10% from last Thanksgiving when ticket sales topped out at $142 million . That was a far cry from pre-pandemic Thanksgiving results. In 2019, for instance, the Turkey Day frame generated $263.3 million in sales. The exhibition business did have some reason to celebrate after news broke that Amazon plans to spend $1 billion to make 12 to 15 movies that it will release in theaters. The internet giant has toggled between embracing cinemas and focusing primarily on feeding its streaming service . Its latest shift in strategy is a boon for exhibitors, as the announcement goosed their stocks.

Theater operators could be getting a silent assist from “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” the follow-up to Rian Johnson’s hit 2019 whodunit. However, Netflix isn’t reporting grosses for the movie, which is playing in 600 North American cinema.

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