The box office is back with the release of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
The Marvel sequel earned $180 million in ticket sales from more than 4,396 theaters in the United States and Canada, according to The Walt Disney Co. estimates. on Sunday, making it the second-biggest opening of the year behind “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. .” It brought in an additional $150 million from 50 territories overseas, bringing its worldwide total to $330 million.
“Wakanda Forever” has been highly anticipated by audiences and exhibitors, who have been experiencing a slump at the box office since the end of the summer movie season and fewer budget hitters. larger inside the tube. The film got off to a stronger start than the first film with an $84 million opening day, including $28 million from Thursday previews.
“Some might have expected $200 million like the first movie, but it’s solid,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “This is the kind of movie theaters really need to bring audiences to.”
The film premiered to $202 million in February 2018 and went on to gross $1.4 billion worldwide, making it one of the highest-grossing films of all time and a cultural phenomenon. A sequel was inevitable, and development began soon after, with director Ryan Coogler returning, but things changed after the death of Chadwick Boseman in August 2020. “Wakanda Forever” became about the death of King Boseman T’Challa/Black Panther, and the sad state he left behind. Returning actors include Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke and Danai Gurira, who faces a new enemy in Tenoch Huerta’s Namor. The film will also face more complications, including Wright being injured and some of the fallout related to COVID-19. All told, it cost $250 million to make, not including marketing and promotion.
AP film writer Jake Coyle wrote in his review that, “‘Wakanda Forever’ is a bleak, slightly gritty game that builds to a climax on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic.”
It currently holds an 84% on Rotten Tomatoes and, as usual with comic book movies, audience ratings are even higher.
Superhero movies have done well during the pandemic, but none have yet reached the heights of “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” which opened to $260.1 million in December 2021. Other big releases include “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” ($187.4 million in May), “Thor: Love and Thunder” ($144.2 million in July) and “The Batman” ($134 million in March).
“Wakanda Forever” is the first film to open over $100 million since “Thor” in July, which is difficult for exhibitors who are already facing a calendar that has 30% fewer free releases than in ‘the normal year.
Holdovers filled out the rest of the top five, as no film dared to launch nationwide against the Marvel behemoth. Second place went to the DC superhero “Black Adam”, which earned $8.6 million, bringing the total to $151.1 million. “Ticket to Paradise” was in third place in its fourth weekend with $6.1 million. The Julia Roberts and George Clooney romantic comedy grossed nearly $150 million worldwide. “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” and “Smile” rounded out the top five with $3.2 million and $2.3 million, respectively.
Some award hopefuls have struggled to extend their lead lately, but Searchlight Pictures’ “The Banshees of Inisherin,” starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, looks to be a standout. The Martin McDonagh film expanded to 960 theaters in its fourth weekend and took seventh place on the chart with $1.7 million, bringing its total to $5.8 million.
“It’s been an interesting post-summer season for movie theaters, with some gems doing well like ‘Ticket to Paradise’ and ‘Smile,'” Dergarabedian said. theaters are non-blockbuster movies. The industry needs more of that.”
After “Black Panther,” the next blockbuster on the schedule is “Avatar: The Way of Water,” arriving on December 16.
The weekend wouldn’t be complete without another popular release. Steven Spielberg’s biographical drama “The Fabelmans” opened in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles with $160,000. Universal and Amblin will release the film into more theaters next week to build excitement around the potential Oscar contender. Michelle Williams and Paul Dano play the parents of Spielberg stand-in Sammy Fabelman, who falls in love with film and filmmaking after his parents’ marriage falls apart.
“It’s going to be an interesting offseason,” Dergarabedian said. “I think a lot of independent dramas and films will have their chance to shine over the next couple of months.”
Ticket sales are estimated for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, Comscore said. The latest local figures will be released on Monday.
1. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” $180 million.
2. “Black Adam,” $8.6 million.
3. “Ticket to Paradise”, $6.1 million.
4. “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile,” $3.2 million.
5. “Smile,” $2.3 million.
6. “Devil’s Prey,” $2 million.
7. “The Banshees of Inisherin,” $1.7 million.
8. “One Piece Film Red,” $1.4 million.
9. “Up to”, $618,000.
10. “Yashoda,” $380,000.
Follow AP film writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr.