Weekend Box Office: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Repeats w/ $67.3M, The Chosen Places Third

Photo Credits: Disney & Marvel Studios ("Black Panther: Wakanda Forever"); Searchlight Pictures ("The Menu"); Universal & Natasha Braier ("She Said")

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Last weekend, Disney and Marvel Studios’ superhero sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever debuted with $181.3M, in line with pre-release projections.

This weekend, it fell -63% to $67.3M, in line with projections and easily recapturing first place, but with one of the steeper superhero film box office drops in recent memory.

While the sequel’s opening weekend came in only -10% below 2018’s original Black Panther ($202.0M), its second weekend is a substantially steeper -39% behind the original’s second frame ($111.6M).

The original earned with the #8 opening weekend of all time, then actually rose slightly to the #4 sophomore weekend ever. By contrast, Wakanda earned the #13 opening weekend of all time, but now falls to the #26 sophomore weekend ever.

Put another way: Wakanda posted the #8 opening weekend in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), but now earns the somewhat-lower #10 second frame in the MCU.

Two MCU films which earned lower opening weekends than Wakanda nonetheless earned higher second frames:

  • 2013’s Iron Man 3 ($72.5M)
  • 2019’s Captain Marvel ($67.9M)

Due to excellent word of mouth, the original Black Panther earned the mildest sophomore drop of any MCU film (-45%). By contrast, Wakanda’s sophomore frame drop ranks among the steepest third of MCU movies, along with:

  • July’s Thor: Love and Thunder (-68%)
  • 2021’s Black Widow (-68%)
  • May’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (-67%)
  • 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home (-67%)
  • 2021’s Eternals (-62%)
  • 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp (-62%)
  • 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming (-62%)

Through 10 days, Wakanda has now earned $287.9M total. Through the equivalent point in release, that’s:

  • -28% behind 2018’s Black Panther ($403.6M)
  • +20% above March’s The Batman ($239.0M)
  • +23% above July’s Thor: Love and Thunder ($233.9M)
  • -1% behind May’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($292.6M)

Overseas, Wakanda has earned $258.3M, for a $546.3 global total. Its overseas drop was -49%, milder than its -63% domestic fall.

Wakanda’s top overseas market totals to date include:

  1. U.K. ($27.1M)
  2. Mexico ($22.8M)
  3. France ($21.6M)
  4. Brazil ($14.2M)
  5. South Korea ($14.0M)
  6. Australia ($12.5M)
  7. Germany ($11.1M)
  8. Indonesia ($10.1M)

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

The Menu

Searchlight Pictures’ horror-thriller black comedy The Menu served up a $9.0M opening for second place. That’s in line with pre-release projections, which were in the $7M-$11M range.

Compared to some other similar films from Searchlight Pictures, or their predecessor distributor Fox Searchlight, that opening is:

  • +39% above October’s Amsterdam ($6.4M)
  • +12% above 2019’s Ready or Not ($8.0M)

Compared to some other similar adult-skewing thrillers of recent years, Menu also opened:

  • +48% above 2018’s Searching ($6.0M)
  • +58% above 2019’s Parasite ($5.6M on its highest-earning frame, in February 2020)

Domestically, Menu’s opening weekend audience was an estimated 53% male and 74% ages 25+.

Overseas, the film opened with $6.2M in 35 markets, led by $1.1M in the U.K., for a $15.2M global weekend. 

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

The Chosen

The faith-based event cinema release The Chosen Season 3: Episodes 1 & 2 debuted with $8.2M in third place. That’s in line with pre-release projections, which were in the $6M-$10M range.

The theatrical showing of the first two episodes for the new season of the hit show follows Jesus along with his disciples, including Judas.

The special limited-time release from Fathom Events and Angel Studios. [Listen to The Boxoffice Podcast’s interview last week with Fathom Events CEO Ray Nutt, which covered The Chosen among other topics, here.]

December 2021’s Christmas with the Chosen: The Messengers opened on a Wednesday and earned a $9.1M five-day start, en route to $13.3M total.

That marks Fathom Events’ highest-earning theatrical release, more than doubling the next-closest earner: September’s Lifemark ($5.0M).

She Said

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 $2.25M in sixth place.

That’s on the lowest end of pre-release projections, which were in the $2M-$5M range.

For comparison, among adult-skewing Universal titles currently in release, that’s below Ticket to Paradise ($3.2M), despite that film being in its fifth frame.

Compared to the wide opening weekends for other similar journalism films, that’s:

  • -55% below 2019’s Bombshell ($5.1M)
  • -48% below the top weekend for 2015’s Spotlight ($4.4M, after starting in limited release then later expanding)

The She Said opening weekend audience was an estimated 84% ages 25+ and 66% white. The film earned an “A” CinemaScore. 

The Fabelmans

Ahead of its wide release on Wednesday the 23rd, Universal’s The Fabelmans debuted last weekend in four theaters in New York City and Los Angeles, Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical awards contender earned $161,579, for a $40,395 per-theater average.

That’s the #5 average of 2022 so far, behind only the opening weekends of:

  • March’s Everything Everywhere All at Once ($50,131)
  • October’s The Banshees of Inisherin ($46,114)
  • May’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($41,337)
  • Last weekend’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ($41,251)

Now in its second weekend, The Fabelmans remains in four theaters and earns $94K.

Bones and All

Also ahead of its wide release on Wednesday the 23rd, United Artists Releasing’s supernatural romance Bones and All debuted with $119K in five theaters this weekend.

Its $23,983 per-theater average is the best of any film in release this frame, and the #18 average for any film/weekend combo this year.

The estimated audience was 54% female, 79% between ages 18-34, and 63% white.

Weekend comparisons

Total box office this weekend came in around $100.4M, which is:

  • -52% below last weekend’s total ($209.3M), when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever led with $181.3M.
  • +42% above the equivalent weekend in 2021 ($70.5M), when Eternals led for a second consecutive frame with $26.8M.
  • -8% below the equivalent weekend in the last pre-pandemic year 2019 ($109.1M), when Ford v. Ferrari opened with $31.4M.

YTD comparisons

Year-to-date box office stands around $6.55B. That’s:

  • +96.4% this same point in the pandemic recovery year of 2021 ($3.33B), down from +97.7% after last weekend.
  • -32.2% behind this same point in 2019, the last pre-pandemic year ($9.67B), up from -32.7% last weekend. The peak was around -29.5%, set in mid-July.

Top distributors

  1. Universal ($1.41B)
  2. Paramount ($1.28B)
  3. Disney ($1.16B)
  4. Warner Bros. ($923.2M)
  5. Sony Pictures ($825.6M)

Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates:

Title  Estimated weekend  % change Locations Location change Average  Total  Weekend Distributor
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever $67,300,000 -63% 4,396   $15,309 $287,992,647 2 Walt Disney
The Menu $9,000,000   3,211   $2,803 $9,000,000 1 Searchlight
The Chosen Season 3: Episodes 1 & 2 $8,219,762   2,027   $4,055 $8,219,762 1 Fathom Events
Black Adam $4,480,000 -44% 3,372 -231 $1,329 $156,964,608 5 Warner Bros.
Ticket to Paradise $3,200,000 -46% 3,268 -365 $979 $61,556,235 5 Universal
She Said $2,250,000   2,022   $1,113 $2,250,000 1 Universal
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile $1,900,000 -41% 2,307 -179 $824 $43,171,784 7 Sony Pictures
Smile $1,149,604 -51% 1,569 -702 $733 $104,579,000 8 Paramount
Prey for the Devil $935,000 -52% 1,369 -795 $683 $18,368,378 4 Lionsgate
The Banshees of Inisherin $703,000 -57% 812 -148 $866 $7,166,820 5 Searchlight
Till $217,558 -64% 656 -702 $332 $8,546,676 6 United Artists
Triangle of Sadness $170,000 -33% 128 -56 $1,328 $3,816,422 7 Neon
TÁR $164,000 -57% 205 -154 $800 $4,905,463 7 Focus Features
The Woman King $151,000 -45% 258 -255 $585 $66,753,921 10 Sony Pictures
Bones and All $119,916   5   $23,983 $119,916 1 United Artists
The Fabelmans $94,000 -42% 4   $23,500 $313,922 2 Universal
Minions: The Rise of Gru $80,000 -8% 186 -25 $430 $369,456,645 21 Universal
Aftersun $75,528 -45% 97 5 $779 $689,183 5 A24
The Inspection $65,942   5   $13,188 $65,942 1 A24
Armageddon Time $51,000 -86% 169 -812 $302 $1,837,355 4 Focus Features
Barbarian $25,000 -47% 35 -10 $714 $40,838,830 11 20th Century Studios
EO $24,000   2   $12,000 $24,000 1 Janus Films
Amsterdam $21,000 -58% 160 -10 $131 $14,943,134 7 20th Century Studios
Holy Spider $20,080 2% 12 4 $1,673 $96,738 4 Utopia
Meet Me in the Bathroom $19,464 -52% 23 -4 $846 $274,204 3 Utopia
All That Breathes $9,078 89% 8 5 $1,135 $43,467 5 Submarine
Bad Axe $9,000   24   $375 $9,000 1 IFC Films
Only in Theaters $6,092   1   $6,092 $6,092 1 The Film Collaborative
Running The Bases $1,250 -58% 6 -2 $208 $1,509,947 10 UP2U Films

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