Weekend Box Office: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Leads for a Fourth Frame, Violent Night Debuts in Second

Photo Credits: Disney & Marvel Studios ("Black Panther: Wakanda Forever"); Universal ("Violent Night")

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

In its fourth frame, Disney and Marvel Studios’ superhero sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever captured the top spot yet again, with a -61% decline to $17.5M.

That was a steeper drop than expected, with weekend projections around $21M-$23M, but still good enough to hold on for first place.

In doing so, it becomes the first film to notch at least four weekends on top in almost a year, since Spider-Man: No Way Home did so in January.

Since then, four films had reached three weekends as leader: The Batman, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Top Gun: Maverick, and Black Adam.

Wakanda has now earned the:

  • #13 opening weekend of all time ($181.3M)
  • #27 second weekend of all time ($66.4M)
  • #13 third weekend of all time ($45.5M)
  • Now, a sharp drop to the #79 fourth weekend of all time ($17.59M)

Among Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films, it’s earned the:

  • #8 opening weekend
  • #10 second weekend
  • #6 third weekend
  • #11 fourth weekend 

Compared to 2018’s original Black Panther, Wakanda’s weekends have come in:

  • Opening weekend: -10%
  • Second weekend: -40%
  • Third weekend: -31%
  • Fourth weekend: a notably steeper -56%

Through 24 days, Wakanda has now earned $393.7M total. Through the equivalent point in release, that’s:

  • -29% behind 2018’s Black Panther ($561.6M)
  • -15% behind May’s Top Gun: Maverick ($466.8M)
  • +6% above May’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($370.4M)
  • +18% above March’s The Batman ($331.9M)
  • +30% above July’s Thor: Love and Thunder ($301.6M)

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

Wakanda was running ahead of Maverick through their first nine days, but fell behind on their respective 10th days of release.

Overseas, Wakanda has earned $339.3M, for a $733.0M global total. That’s the #7 movie released in 2022 so far.

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

Violent Night

Violent Night, Universal’s R-rated action thriller about Santa Claus getting his Christmas Eve is interrupted by brutal fights, opened in second place with an estimated $13.3M.

That’s above pre-release projections, which were closer to $10M-$11M.

Compared to the openings for other adult-themed holiday movies, that’s:

  • -21% behind 2016’s Office Christmas Party ($16.8M)
  • -20% behind 2017’s A Bad Moms Christmas ($16.7M)
  • +8% above 2003’s Bad Santa ($12.2M)
  • 2.1x above 2016’s Bad Santa 2 ($6.1M)

Violent earned a B+ CinemaScore, from an audience that was 59% male and 60% ages 25+.

Overseas, the film opened with $7.0M in 72 markets, for a $20.3M global total.

Strange World

Last weekend, Disney’s animated original Strange World opened to a $12.1M in second place, lower than the already “low for Disney” pre-release projections.

Now in its second frame, it drops -60% to $4.9M and third place.

That’s slightly below weekend projections, which were around $6M.

Compared to the other original Disney animated films which opened wide on Thanksgiving weekends past, that sophomore drop is notably steeper than:

  • 1995’s Toy Story (-31%)
  • 2017’s Coco (-46%)
  • 1998’s A Bug’s Life (-48%)
  • 2016’s Moana (-50%)
  • 2021’s Encanto (-52%)
  • 1999’s Toy Story 2 (-52%)
  • 2013’s Frozen (-53%)
  • 2018’s Ralph Breaks the Internet (-55%)
  • 2010’s Tangled (-56%)

However, it’s a slightly milder drop than 2015’s The Good Dinosaur (-61%).

Overseas, Strange has earned $16.8M, for a $42.3M global total. The film will not open in such major markets as China, Russia, France, or the Middle East.

Devotion

Last weekend, the Sony Pictures / Columbia historical action war drama Devotion didn’t quite fly off with a $5.9M debut in fourth place, slightly lower than pre-release projections.

Now in its second frame, it falls -52% to $2.8M and fifth place, a bit lower than weekend projections.

That’s a steeper drop than the sophomore frames for other notable historical war films about the World War I, World War II, or Korean War eras:

  • 2017’s Darkest Hour (-26%)
  • 2016’s Hacksaw Ridge (-30%)
  • 2014’s The Monuments Men (-30%)
  • 2009’s Defiance (-36%)
  • 2006’s Flags of Our Fathers (-38%)
  • 2019’s 1917 (-41%)
  • 2014’s Fury (-44%)
  • 2012’s Red Tails (-45%)
  • 2016’s Allied (-45%)
  • 2001’s Pearl Harbor (-50%)

It’s also equal to the sophomore weekend drop of 2019’s Midway (-52%).

I Heard the Bells

Holiday season historical drama I Heard the Bells debuted on Thursday, earning an estimated $1.8M weekend for sixth place and a $2.5M four-day total.

Fathom Events, in partnership with Sight & Sound Films, released the biopic of 1800s poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, timed to the season as the title references a line from his 1863 poem Christmas Bells.

The Fabelmans

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

Now in its second wide frame, it drops -43% to $1.3M and eighth place, in line with weekend projections.

Compared to the sophomore weekend drops for selected other Steven Spielberg films aimed at a more adult audience, that’s steeper than:

  • 1998’s Saving Private Ryan (-23%)
  • 2015’s Bridge of Spies (-26%)
  • 1997’s Amistad (-28%)
  • 2002’s Catch Me If You Can (-30%)
  • 2004’s The Terminal (-31%)
  • 2005’s Munich (-33%)
  • 2017’s The Post (-39%)
  • 2011’s War Horse (-40%)

However, it’s a milder drop than for 2012’s Lincoln (-48%) and 2021’s West Side Story (-65%).

Top Gun: Maverick

After having last played in theaters on November 3, Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick returned to 1,864 theaters and an estimated $700K weekend.

The film is back for a limited time theatrically, both to build awards season buzz (particularly as a dark-horse but possible nominee for both Best Picture and Best Actor) and to build buzz around its December 22 streaming debut on Paramount+.

When last left off, the film had earned $716.6M domestically – the top film released in 2022 so far, by a considerable margin.

Weekend comparisons

Total box office this weekend came in around $51.8M, which is:

  • -44% below last weekend’s total ($93.7M), when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever led for a third consecutive frame with $45.5M.
  • -46% below the equivalent weekend weekend in 2021 ($96.5M), when Encanto led with $27.2M.   Note: the equivalent weekend in 2021 was also Thanksgiving weekend.
  • -71% below the equivalent weekend in the last pre-pandemic year 2019 ($180.8M), when Frozen II led for a second consecutive frame with $85.9M. Note: the equivalent weekend in 2019 was also Thanksgiving weekend.

YTD comparisons

Year-to-date box office stands around $6.79B. That’s:

  • +88.8% above this same point in the pandemic recovery year of 2021 ($3.59B), down from +92.0% after last weekend.
  • -33.6% behind this same point in 2019, the last pre-pandemic year ($10.2B), down from -32.4% after last weekend. The peak was around -29.5%, set in mid-July.

Top distributors

  1. Universal ($1.43B)
  2. Disney ($1.30B)
  3. Paramount ($1.28B)
  4. Warner Bros. ($931.4M)
  5. Sony Pictures ($842.0M)

Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates:

Title  Estimated weekend  % change Locations Location change Average  Total  Weekend Distributor
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever $17,593,000 -61% 3,855 -403 $4,564 $393,724,077 4 Walt Disney
Violent Night $13,300,000   3,682   $3,612 $13,300,000 1 Universal
Strange World $4,921,000 -60% 4,174   $1,179 $25,519,736 2 Walt Disney
The Menu $3,556,000 -35% 2,810 -418 $1,265 $24,724,732 3 Searchlight
Devotion $2,800,000 -53% 3,405   $822 $13,800,007 2 Sony Pictures
I Heard the Bells $1,817,446   474   $3,834 $2,584,458 1 Fathom Events
Black Adam $1,665,000 -49% 2,231 -433 $746 $165,171,650 7 Warner Bros.
The Fabelmans $1,300,000 -43% 638   $2,038 $5,565,446 4 Universal
Bones and All $1,191,431 -47% 2,727   $437 $6,041,165 3 United Artists
Ticket to Paradise $850,000 -54% 1,715 -523 $496 $66,524,175 7 Universal
Top Gun: Maverick $700,000   1,864   $376 $717,772,000 28 Paramount
She Said $390,000 -66% 1,117 -906 $349 $5,287,630 3 Universal
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile $385,000 -59% 1,276 -532 $302 $45,730,013 9 Sony Pictures
The Chosen Season 3: Episodes 1 & 2 $310,013 -80% 1,695   $183 $14,406,540 3 Fathom Events
The Banshees of Inisherin $228,000 -33% 320 -82 $713 $8,257,367 7 Searchlight
Prey for the Devil $183,000 -53% 345 -205 $530 $19,398,585 6 Lionsgate
Smile $165,000 -61% 366 -228 $451 $105,740,000 10 Paramount
The Inspection $85,541 9% 138 106 $620 $270,613 3 A24
Spoiler Alert $85,000   6   $14,167 $85,000 1 Focus Features
TÁR $82,000 -23% 97 -3 $845 $5,245,463 9 Focus Features
Aftersun $46,312 -3% 75   $617 $874,128 7 A24
The Woman King $45,000 -72% 168 -357 $268 $67,102,522 12 Sony Pictures
All The Beauty And The Bloodshed $35,000 22% 10 7 $3,500 $87,194 2 Neon
The Eternal Daughter $33,657   29   $1,161 $33,657 1 A24
EO $28,000 80% 6 4 $4,667 $85,962 3 Janus Films
Decibel $24,550   21   $1,169 $24,550 1 Wide Lens Pictures
Holy Spider $13,446 -23% 15 -2 $896 $161,781 6 Utopia
Leonor Will Never Die $5,739 79% 8 7 $717 $11,738 2 Music Box Films
Cat Daddies $4,500 120% 3 2 $1,500 $54,247 8 Gray Hat Productions
Meet Me in the Bathroom $1,457 -81% 6 -7 $243 $312,943 5 Utopia

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