Weekend Box Office: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Dominates Thanksgiving Frame

Image courtesy: Disney / Marvel Studios

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

In its third frame, Disney and Marvel Studios’ superhero sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever easily captured the top spot, as five other titles made their wide debuts with a cumulative total less than $30M.

Wakanda fell -30% to $45.9M. That’s above projections, which had it earning closer to $40M.

A few stats about Wakanda’s third frame:

  • It earned #13 opening weekend of all time, then fell to the #27 second weekend ever. Now, it rises to the #13 third weekend ever – the same as its opening weekend rank, two frames ago.
  • Its opening weekend came in only -10% below 2018’s original Black Panther ($202.0M), then its second weekend came in a substantially steeper -40% behind the original’s ($111.6M). Now, its third weekend eases the gap a bit, at -30% behind the original’s ($66.3M).
  • It earned the #8 opening weekend in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), then earned the somewhat lower #10 second frame in the MCU. Now, it rises again to earn the #6 third frame in the MCU.

Through 17 days, Wakanda has now earned $367.6 total. Through the equivalent point in release, that’s:

  • -26% behind 2018’s Black Panther ($501,706,972)
  • +22% above March’s The Batman ($300,014,069)
  • +32% above July’s Thor: Love and Thunder ($276,679,976)
  • +7% above May’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($342,785,045)

(Wakanda was running behind Multiverse through their first 11 days, but overtook it on their respective 12th days of release.)

Overseas, Wakanda has earned $307.9M, for a $675.6M global total.

Last weekend, its overseas drop was -49%, milder than its -63% domestic fall. This weekend, that’s reversed: it drops -53% overseas, steeper than its -30% domestic decline.

Wakanda’s top overseas market totals to date include:

  1. U.K. ($32.3M)
  2. Mexico ($29.3M)
  3. France ($25.2M)
  4. Brazil ($16.2M)
  5. South Korea ($15.9M)
  6. Australia ($15.1M)
  7. Germany ($13.4M)
  8. Indonesia ($11.8M)
  9. India ($10.3M)

The sequel appears unlikely to receive a release in China or Russia.

Strange World

Disney’s animated original Strange World opened to an estimated $11.9M in second place.

That’s far lower than pre-release projections, which were closer to $20M – which itself would have been low for a Thanksgiving weekend Disney release.

After premiering midweek last Wednesday, through five days, its total stands at $18.6M. In other words, the film’s five-day total is lower than most mere three-day projections had been pre-release.

Compared to the other original Disney animated films which opened wide on Thanksgiving weekends past, that’s notably lower than:

  • 2013’s Frozen ($67.3M)
  • 1999’s Toy Story 2 ($57.3M)
  • 2016’s Moana ($56.6M)
  • 2018’s Ralph Breaks the Internet ($56.2M)
  • 2017’s Coco ($50.8M)
  • 2010’s Tangled ($48.7M)
  • 2015’s The Good Dinosaur ($39.1M)
  • 1998’s A Bug’s Life ($33.2M)
  • 1995’s Toy Story ($29.1M)
  • 2021’s Encanto ($27.2M)

Even among live-action family-friendly Thanksgiving opening weekends, it was lower than:

  • 2007’s Enchanted ($34.4M)
  • 1996’s 101 Dalmatians ($33.5M)
  • 2011’s The Muppets ($29.2M)
  • 1997’s Flubber ($26.7M)
  • 2003’s The Haunted Mansion ($24.2M)
  • 2012’s Life of Pi ($22.4M)

Strange’s estimated audience was 52% female and also 52% younger than 25.

Overseas, it opened with $9M in 43 markets, led by $1.0M in the U.K., for a $28M global opening. The film will not open in such major markets as China, Russia, France, or the Middle East.

Glass Onion

In an unprecedented move for Netflix, comedy mystery sequel Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery opened with an estimated $9.2M in third place.

That’s on the higher end of pre-release projections, which were closer to $8M.

After debuting midweek last Wednesday, through five days, the film has earned an estimated $13.0M.

2019’s predecessor Knives Out opened with $26.7M in 3,461 theaters, about quintuple as many theaters as the sequel with 696.

A better comparison point may be opening weekend per-theater average. On that metric, Onion earns $13,218. That’s +70% higher than Knives, which averaged $7,735.

Devotion

The Sony Pictures / Columbia historical action war drama Devotion didn’t quite fly off with an estimated $6.0M debut in fourth place. That’s slightly lower than pre-release projections, which were around $7M.

After debuting midweek last Wednesday, through five days, the film has earned an estimated $9.0M.

That openings is notably below many other war films, including:

  • 2019’s Midway ($17.8M)
  • 2001’s Pearl Harbor ($59.0M)
  • 2019’s 1917 ($37.0M)
  • 2016’s Hacksaw Ridge ($15.1M)
  • 2014’s Fury ($23.7M)
  • 2016’s War Dogs ($14.6M)

It’s also below the wide openings for several other war, action, or drama films about the Korean War or World War II era, including:

  • 2017’s Darkest Hour ($6.0M)
  • 2014’s The Monuments Men ($22.0M)
  • 2014’s Fury ($23.7M)
  • 2016’s Allied ($12.7M)
  • 2012’s Red Tails ($18.7M)
  • 2009’s Defiance ($8.9M)
  • 2006’s Flags of Our Fathers ($10.2M)

The Menu

Last weekend, Searchlight Pictures’ horror-thriller black comedy The Menu served up a $9.0M opening for second place.

This weekend, it falls -42% to $5.2M and fifth place, in line with projections.

Compared to some other similar films, that wide weekend sophomore drop is steeper than:

  • 2019’s Ready or Not (-26%)
  • 2018’s Searching (-25%)
  • 2019’s Parasite (-26%)

However, it’s milder than for October’s Amsterdam (-57%).

Overseas, the film has earned $14.8M in 41 markets, for a $33.5M global total. Top market totals to date include:

  • U.K. ($2.4M)
  • Italy ($1.3M)
  • Germany ($1.3M)

[Read Boxoffice PRO’s interview with The Menu director Mark Mylod here.]

The Fabelmans

Universal’s drama The Fabelmans made its wide expansion debut with $2.2M in seventh place. That’s on the lower end of pre-release projections, which were closer to $3.5M.

Box office comparisons are inexact here, because the film expanded to only 638 theaters. While still considered “wide,” that reach is one-sixth or less that of the widest films in the marketplace, including Wakanda Forever and Strange World.

Compared to wide releases for some other more recent Steven Spielberg films which were considered box office underperformers, $2.2M is still notably less than:

  • 2021’s West Side Story ($10.5M)
  • 2011’s War Horse ($7.5M)
  • 2011’s The Adventures of Tintin ($9.7M)

Fabelmans debuted in limited release two weekends ago, where its $40,395 per-theater average ranked as the #5 average of 2022 so far.

Its second frame last weekend, also in limited release, claimed the year’s #19 average with $22,433.

After expanding wide midweek last Wednesday, Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical awards contender has now earned $3.4M total to date.

Bones and All

United Artists Releasing’s supernatural romance Bones and All debuted wide with $2.2M in eighth place. That’s on the lower end of projections, which were closer to $3M.

The estimated audience was 52% female, which is actually closer to gender parity than would likely be expected for a film like this. The audience was also 74% between ages 18-34.

The film previously debuted in limited release last weekend. Its $24,201 per-theater average was the best of any film in release last frame, and marked the #18 average for any film/weekend combo this year.

After expanding wide midweek last Wednesday, it has now earned $3.7M to date.

The Chosen

Last weekend, the faith-based event cinema release The Chosen Season 3: Episodes 1 & 2 debuted with $8.7M in third place.

This weekend, it falls -81% to $1.5M and 10th place.

That’s a steeper sophomore weekend fall than 2021’s Christmas with the Chosen: The Messengers (-71%).

The special limited-time release comes from Fathom Events and Angel Studios. The theatrical showing of the first two episodes for the new season of the hit show follows Jesus along with his disciples, including Judas.

Through 10 days, it’s earned $13.4M total. Through the equivalent point in release, that’s the slightest bit above Messengers ($13.3M).

She Said

Last weekend, Universal’s drama She Said, about the two New York Times journalists who helped bring down sexual predator Harvey Weinstein and ignite the Me Too movement, debuted with $2.2M in sixth place.

This weekend, it falls -50% to $1.1M and 11th place.

Compared to the wide weekend sophomore drops for other similar journalism films, that’s steeper than:

  • 2019’s Bombshell (-6% during Christmas weekend, then -15% the weekend after that)
  • 2015’s Spotlight (-36%)
  • 2017’s The Post (-39%)

Weekend comparisons

Total box office this weekend came in around $91.5M, which is:

  • -9% below last weekend’s total ($100.6M), when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever led for a second consecutive frame with $66.4M.
  • +9% above the equivalent weekend in 2021 ($83.6M), when Ghostbusters: Afterlife led for a second consecutive frame with $44.0M.
  • -5% below Thanksgiving weekend in 2021 ($96.5M), when Encanto led with $27.2M.
  • -55% below the equivalent weekend in the last pre-pandemic year 2019 ($204.9M), when Frozen II opened with $130.2M.
  • -49% below Thanksgiving weekend in the last pre-pandemic year 2019 ($180.8M), when Frozen II led for a second consecutive frame with $85.9M.

YTD comparisons

Year-to-date box office stands around $6.71B. That’s:

  • +92.0% this same point in the pandemic recovery year of 2021 ($3.49B), down from +96.4% after last weekend.
  • -32.4% behind this same point in 2019, the last pre-pandemic year ($9.95B), down from -32.2% last weekend. The peak was around -29.5%, set in mid-July.

Top distributors

  1. Universal ($1.42B)
  2. Paramount ($1.28B)
  3. Disney ($1.26B)
  4. Warner Bros. ($929.2M)
  5. Sony Pictures ($836.8M)

Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates:

Title  Estimated weekend  % change Locations Location change Average  Total  Weekend Distributor
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever $45,900,000 -31% 4,258 -138 $10,780 $367,670,596 3 Walt Disney
Strange World $11,900,000   4,714   $2,524 $18,600,000 1 Walt Disney
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery $9,200,000   696   $13,218 $13,300,000 1 Netflix
Devotion $6,000,000   3,405   $1,762 $9,040,000 1 Sony Pictures
The Menu $5,200,000 -42% 3,228 17 $1,611 $18,670,443 2 Searchlight
Black Adam $3,350,000 -27% 2,664 -708 $1,258 $162,972,609 6 Warner Bros.
The Fabelmans $2,220,000 2374% 638 634 $3,480 $3,429,766 3 Universal
Bones and All $2,206,000 1723% 2,727 2,722 $809 $3,710,537 2 United Artists
Ticket to Paradise $1,850,000 -42% 2,238 -1,030 $827 $65,069,830 6 Universal
She Said $1,100,000 -50% 2,023 1 $544 $4,302,000 2 Universal
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile $870,000 -54% 1,808 -499 $481 $45,146,937 8 Sony Pictures
Smile $429,000 -63% 594 -975 $722 $105,473,000 9 Paramount
Prey for the Devil $400,000 -56% 550 -819 $727 $19,119,293 5 Lionsgate
The Banshees of Inisherin $339,000 -54% 402 -410 $843 $7,863,646 6 Searchlight
The Woman King $160,000 6% 525 267 $305 $67,004,000 11 Sony Pictures
Triangle of Sadness $115,000 -33% 77 -51 $1,494 $141,600 8 Neon
TÁR $91,000 -51% 100 -105 $910 $5,100,113 8 Focus Features
The Inspection $88,993 35% 32 27 $2,781 $173,793 2 A24
Aftersun $47,177 -38% 75 -22 $629 $790,994 6 A24
All The Beauty And The Bloodshed $33,153   3   $11,051 $42,532 1 Neon
Holy Spider $18,000 -25% 17 4 $1,059 $137,538 5 Utopia
EO $16,900 -30% 2   $8,450 $50,752 2 Janus Films
Meet Me in the Bathroom $7,600 -66% 13 -15 $585 $306,988 4 Utopia
Leonor Will Never Die $3,014   1   $3,014 $3,014 1 Music Box Films
Cat Daddies $2,000   1   $2,000 $48,549 7 Gray Hat Productions

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