After a long expected, November record debut, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever now hopes to begin legging out without direct competition until December as a handful of new openers court counter-programming potential.
Wakanda will easily hold onto its crown for a second weekend after a $181.3 million bow, though some initially sharp Friday-to-Friday drops are expected given the inflation of Veterans Day last Friday combined with Thursday’s rolled-in preview grosses.
Historical comps aren’t one-to-one for a release of this size with where that holiday landed on the calendar, and Marvel films have proven even more front-loaded than usual this year with mixed word of mouth cutting into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (down 67 percent in its second frame) and Thor: Love and Thunder (68 percent).
Wakanda, however, could be aided by measurably stronger reception. The film stands with a commendable 95 percent audience score (alongside 84 percent from critics), higher than Multiverse (85 percent) and Love and Thunder (77 percent).
Elsewhere, three wide releases will court moviegoers of varying backgrounds. The leader among them is likely to be Searchlight Pictures’ The Menu, with expectations in the high single-digit-million range and potentially upward of $10 million if everything clicks.
The ensemble horror-comedy is scoring well among critics with a 91 percent score thus far, though this remains the type of film slow to recover from the pandemic after streaming’s boom. Amsterdam was similarly marketed on its ensemble and comedic elements, though poor reviews and a period setting were major parts of its undoing.
The Menu is tracking somewhere between that picture and Death on the Nile earlier this year with hopes of capturing positive reception and turning it into staying power through Thanksgiving next week and beyond, though the one-week engagement of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery beginning next Wednesday could hinder that to some extent.
If there’s a dark horse candidate to out-earn at least one (if not both) of this weekend’s new releases, it’s Fathom Events and Angel Studios’ The Chosen Season 3: Episodes 1 & 2.
The two-part premiere of the television series is going for another theatrical victory after last year’s Christmas with the Chosen: The Messengers scored a resounding $9.2 million five-day domestic opening before closing with more than $13.7 million.
Another strong grassroots campaign among faith-based audiences is in effect for the Season 3 theatrical launch as social imprints and ticket sales both edge out the advance models of last year’s Christmas special.
Meanwhile, She Said rounds out the trio of major openers and will mainly appeal to adult female demographics in coastal markets like New York and Los Angeles despite the nationwide release.
Tracking has been incrementally softening as release approaches, indicating interest in the true story investigative drama about the Harvey Weinstein scandal is struggling to draw commercial interest.
The best point of comparison here is 2019’s Bombshell, which itself did not capture significant mainstream pull as it finished with $31.8 million domestically. That was also at a time before some adult demographics, included in She Said‘s target audience, became more accustomed to viewing these types of films on a streaming platform without a marketable theatrical hook.
Of note, Apple will also be releasing Spirited in semi-wide release at an estimated 550-plus domestic locations this weekend.
Although box office grosses are not expected to be reported for the Will Ferrell- and Ryan Reynolds-led Christmas comedy, it’s another notable progression of widening footprints for a streamer title going into movie theaters.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Spirited was projected to have the 10th highest number of total showtimes in cinemas across North America this weekend, according to Showtimes Dashboard.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Second Weekend Range: $63 – 73 million
The Chosen Season 3: Episodes 1 & 2
Opening Range: $6 – 10 million
Opening Range: $7 – 11 million
Opening Range: $2 – 5 million
Weekend Forecast & Location Count Projections
Current projection ranges call for a 47 to 52 percent decline from last weekend’s $206.9 million top ten aggregate.
|Film||Distributor||3-Day Weekend Forecast||Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, November 20||Location Count Projection (as of Wed)||3-Day % Change from Last Wknd|
|Black Panther: Wakanda Forever||Disney & Marvel Studios||$67,500,000||$290,200,000||~4,396||-63%|
|The Menu||Disney / Searchlight Pictures||$8,400,000||$8,400,000||~3,100||NEW|
|The Chosen Season 3: Episodes 1 & 2||Fathom Events / Angel Studios||$7,700,000||$7,700,000||~2,100||NEW|
|Black Adam||Warner Bros. Pictures||$5,500,000||$158,100,000||~3,500||-32%|
|Ticket to Paradise||Universal Pictures||$4,100,000||$62,600,000||~3,200||-31%|
|She Said||Universal Pictures||$2,400,000||$2,400,000||~2,000||NEW|
|Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile||Sony / Columbia Pictures||$2,000,000||$43,300,000||~2,300||-37%|
|The Banshees of Inisherin||Disney / Searchlight Pictures||$1,200,000||$7,800,000||~850||-27%|
|Prey for the Devil||Lionsgate||$1,100,000||$18,600,000||~1,500||-43%|
*All forecasts are subject to revision/finalization before the first confirmation of Thursday previews or Friday estimates from studios or official sources.
Theater counts are unofficial projections if presented with “~”.
The above table does not necessarily represent the top ten as some studios do not finalize weekend location counts and/or an intent to report box office returns prior to publishing.