Warner Bros.’ BLACK ADAM topped the box office once again by grossing $18.5M, a drop of 33% from last weekend’s results. With almost no competition, the DC release has held onto #1 since it opened on 10/21 and appears to be meeting the studio’s expectations.
Last week, we pointed to a worrying comparison between BLACK ADAM and the April 2019 release of SHAZAM!, another DC comics feature that generated roughly similar box office results to BLACK ADAM, despite costing one-half the amount to produce.
SHAZAM!’s production budget was $100M compared to BLACK ADAM’s $200M. After its opening weekend, BLACK ADAM had outgrossed SHAZAM! by 25%. After its first ten days, BLACK ADAM’s gross had dropped to 18% higher compared to SHAZAM! The gap has continued to close such that after 17 days, BLACK ADAM has grossed 14% more than SHAZAM! had produced in the Domestic market.
Next weekend, BLACK ADAM will face tough competition when BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER opens, leading to a significant drop in new grosses. One ray of light is that BLACK ADAM will almost certainly still be playing on 2,000 or more screens through Thanksgiving weekend, a lucrative period for exhibitors.
Warner Bros. must not have expected that BLACK ADAM with the star power of Dwayne Johnson would struggle to keep pace with 2019’s SHAZAM! headlined by the much lesser-known Zach Levy.
Crunchyroll’s ONE PIECE FILM: RED took the second spot with a weekend gross of $9.5M. This was on the lower of expectations for a major anime film release, with earnings less than half the $21.1M gross of DRAGON BALL SUPER: SUPER HERO which opened only a few months ago on 8/19.
These low earnings for ONE PIECE FILM: RED came as a surprise, especially because the film has a 95% Rotten Tomatoes score with both critics and audiences and has done well in its run in Japanese theatres, where it has earned $120M since its debut on 8/6.
One factor is that ONE PIECE FILM: RED is playing at 700 fewer North American theatres than DRAGON BALL SUPER: SUPER HERO did back in August. In the Domestic market, anime films tend to draw most of their audience during the first week or two, so we expect that ONE PIECE FILM: RED will struggle to maintain momentum going forward.
Universal’s TICKET TO PARADISE finished in third, with a gross of $8.5M and a drop of only 14% from last weekend. The George Clooney and Julia Roberts rom-com continues to find its audience and has taken in $47M through 17 days in theatres. This amount is already more than pre-release expectations for its entire run, and it should continue to be a top-ten performer through Thanksgiving.
Fourth place went to SMILE, which earned $4M in its sixth weekend. The low-budget horror film has been a pleasant surprise, with a total to date of $99M. By opening it on 9/30, Paramount took full advantage of interest in horror movies during the month of October.
SMILE is one of the few original movies released in 2022 that will merit a sequel. Rounding out the top five, PREY FOR THE DEVIL earned $3.9M, falling back 46% from last week’s opening.
Searchlight’s THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN came up short in its ambition to spark broad interest as it expanded to new theatres. By earning $2M at 895 theatres, the per-theatre average for the comedy-drama dropped to a so-so $2,236, making it seventh on the box office charts. These results will stop further expansion, and make it a challenge even to hold onto its current screens over the next several weeks.