Box Office: ‘Black Panther 2’ Leads Otherwise Dismal Weekend, Leaps Past $400M Domestically

Talk about no competition.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever had no trouble staying atop the box office chart in its fifth weekend, earning $11.1 million to become only the third film of 2022 so far to leap past the $400 million mark at the domestic box office.

The Marvel and Disney pic’s domestic haul is now $409.8 million, while it has earned $767.8 million domestically.

Otherwise, it was a dismal weekend. Overall ticket sales came in at an estimated $38 million-$39 million, likely the second-worst showing of the year. The reason? Hollywood is sitting on the sidelines in terms of unfurling commercial fare until James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water rides into theaters on Dec. 16.

There was good news, however, at the specialty box office.

Darren Aronofsky’s awards contender The Whale, starring Brendan Fraser, launched in six locations, earning $380,000 to score the best opening location of the year so far — $60,000 — after besting fellow A24 release Everything Everywhere All At Once. It’s also the best opening location average since 2020.

Yet not all was well at the specialty box office. Sam Mendes’ Empire of Light, opening in 110 locations, grossed an estimated $152,000 for a dismal location average of $1,379.

Back on the top 10, Tommy Wirkola’s holiday-themed comedy-thriller Violent Night placed second behind Wakanda Forever with a solid $8.7 million in its sophomore session for a tidy domestic total of $26.7 million after declining 29 percent.

Disney Animation’s Strange World placed third with a muted $3.6 million for a domestic tally of $30.5 and just $53.5 million globally.

Searchlight’s The Menu continued to stay high up on the chart, placing fifth with $2.7 million. The specialty film has now grossed $29 million domestically and an impressive $57.7 million globally.

Sony’s Devotion and Warner Bros.’ Black Adam were followed by Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans, which is holding its theater count at fewer than 1,000 theaters until key award nominations are announced. The film earned another $1.2 million for a muted domestic tally of $7.3 million. The Fabelmans hits premium VOD next weekend.

In its second weekend, Michael Showalter’s romantic-comedy Spoiler Alert expanded from five theaters to 1,100 locations. The results weren’t great, with the film earning $700,000 to place No. 10 for Focus Features. The film’s domestic total is $800,000.

More to come.

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