DC and Warner Bros.’ Black Adam had no trouble topping the Halloween weekend box office, although the superhero pic dropped more than expected considering it had little competition.
The film earned an estimated $27.7 million from 4,402 theaters in its second outing. That’s a drop of 59 percent, one of the bigger declines for a film starring Dwayne Johnson in a lead role (excluding the primary Fast & Furious franchise). Nonetheless, the movie raced past $100 million at the domestic box office on Saturday and is projected to finish Sunday with a domestic cume of $111.1 million.
And, thanks to Johnson’s star power overseas, Black Adam declined just 45 percent at the international box office to $39 million for a foreign tally of $139 million and $250 million globally.
Among relatively recent Johnson movies, Jungle Cruise fell 55 percent in its second weekend domestically, although it had a far smaller opening with $35 million. Fast & Furious spinoff Hobbs and Shaw is a better comparison since it debuted at $60 million and Black Adam opened to $67 million. Hobbs and Shaw fell 58 percent in its second weekend.
When it comes to superhero fare, it isn’t uncommon to see a studio title fall off 60 percent or more domestically if opening north of $100 million. That includes summer 2022’s Thor: Love and Thunder, which tumbled 68 percent after a $144 million launch. Superhero releases that opened more in line with Black Adam include Eternals, which fell 62 percent in its sophomore outing after opening to $71 million (that movie was considered a miss) or Ant-Man & Wasp, which likewise fell 62 percent after a $76 million launch.
Universal’s romantic comedy Ticket to Paradise held well in its second weekend, dropping 39 percent to $10 million from 3,692 cinemas for a 10-day domestic total of $33.7 million and $119.4 million globally. The Julia Roberts and George Clooney movie is a needed win for adult-skewing fare, as well as for romantic comedies.
The major Hollywood studios generally avoid opening big event pics over Halloween weekend (this year the actual holiday falls on Monday), save for horror fare.
Lionsgate’s new horror pic Prey for the Devil opened in third place with an OK $7 million from 2,980 theaters. The film faced plenty of competition between Smile, which remained a standout in its fifth weekend, and Halloween Ends. Prey for the Devil has earned $12 million overseas for an early global cume of $19 million.
Smile, from Paramount, placed No. 4 with $5.1 million from 3,221 locations as it crossed the $92 million mark domestically and an astonishing $93 million overseas for a global haul of $186 million against a small budget of $17 million.
Universal, Blumhouse and Miramax’s Halloween Ends followed with $3.8 million from 3,419 sites in its third weekend for a domestic tally of $60.3 million and $94.7 million globally. (The pic is available on Peacock in the U.S.)
Halloween or no Halloween, there was plenty of action at the specialty box office as awards season heats up.
MGM and UAR’s Till, which expanded nationwide into 2,058 theaters, came in No. 6 or No. 7 with $2.8 million for a domestic cume of $3.6 million. The critically acclaimed film about a young Black boy who was lynched in the Jim Crow south was only the third 2022 release to receive a coveted A+ CinemaScore from audiences after Top Gun: Maverick and The Woman King. Till, which did especially well in the Southeast, Northeast and Midwest, was buoyed by an ethnically diverse audience. Black moviegoers made up the majority of ticket buyers (46 percent), followed by Caucasians (36 percent).
Focus Features’ Tár also expanded in a major way, grossing $1 million from 1,087 theaters for a domestic total of $2.5 million through Sunday.
James Gray’s Armageddon Time and abortion drama Call Jane both struggled in their openings, however.
Also from Focus, Gray’s movie is opening in six theaters in New York and Los Angeles. Its projected opening location average was a soft $12,000.
Roadside Attractions opted to roll out Call Jane in 1,070 cinemas. The historical drama, set in the 1960s when abortion wasn’t yet legal, earned $204,755 for the weekend. Roadside chief Howard Cohen said the distributor was proud to have released the film at such a crucial time following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade.