Black Panther: Wakanda Forever‘s second weekend is coming in lower than its projected $70M+ with $67.3M, -63%. That’s not necessarily something to get worried about, however, as sources keep telling me this pic’s running time is what’s slowing it down a bit. At the same time, that second weekend is slightly ahead of Black Adam‘s $67M opening weekend.
On the bright side, it’s Thanksgiving week, and if people aren’t seeing Wakanda Forever this weekend, then they’re making an appointment to see it sometime this week, hands down. Furthermore, there was always bound to be a steep drop in the Friday-to-Friday coming off the Veterans Day holiday and previews a week ago, that number being -79% for $17.9M Friday.
Even though the running total for Wakanda Forever at $288M today will be 2% behind Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness at the same point in time, let’s see where the Ryan Coogler-directed film stands by the end of next Sunday. Imax drove $4.5M ticket sales this past weekend for Wakanda Forever, putting the exhibitor’s running total at $21.4M.
Social media analytics corp RelishMix measured the social media universe for Wakanda Forever at 969M, 8% ahead of Black Panther. The bar has lifted since 2018, as marketing expands across Instagram and TikTok. Engagement has also popped from Rhianna videos that were dropped on her YouTube channel clocking 49M views, cross-posted on Marvel’s YouTube, which counts an enormous stack of 41+ videos — plus tie-in spots with Sprite, Target, Lexus, Mastercard, and more.
Greatly missing from this weekend? Another tentpole that typically precedes the Thanksgiving stretch before a Disney Turkey Day family title. This is the weekend where Harry Potter sequels have opened, as well as Justice League. The thing is, no one likes to program a tentpole in the wake of a Marvel movie, and Wakanda Forever didn’t launch during the first weekend of November. In regards to when we’ll be back at a steady supply of tentpoles, it won’t be until March 10, which is when Paramount and Spyglass have the next Scream. Yes, there’s Disney/Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania on Feb. 17, but it’s non-stop films for all audiences starting in March all the way through summer up until The Nun 2 in the post-Labor Day space.
With a production cost of $30M, She Said is doing the worst of the two studio attempts at adults, with $2.25M opening at 2,022 theaters. A few things: First, bravo for Universal for having the audacity to get behind an important #MeToo adaptation about The New York Times’ takedown of Harvey Weinstein. It’s not on streaming, it’s on the big screen, and at the end of the day it’s about this pic’s tail in home entertainment, especially as it ratchets up buzz among awards voters. That’s where this film will be watched. Uni launched She Said during Thanksgiving week in an attempt to get as many people as they could. Those who watched gave the film an A CinemaScore and 89% positive on Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak.
In the same breath, there never was an audience for this newsroom-meets-Hollywood drama outside industry moviegoers in NYC and LA. Nobody cares about the downfall of Harvey Weinstein in between NYC and LA. Given the wonky turnout of adults during the post-pandemic, if a studio knows it doesn’t have any pulse for a film at 100%, they’re not going to spend, so it stands to reason the promo push for this Carey Mulligan-Zoe Kazan movie is in its awards ledger, not theatrical. At the end of the day, and to all studio and streamers’ benefit as we come out of the pandemic: Poor ticket sales don’t dilute your awards-seasons chances on a film anymore. As far as the future of crossover titles, specifically those that gain momentum off awards-season steam — well, that’s another story.
Demos on She Said were 62% women, 82% over 25, 59% over 35, 46% over 45, and 29% over 55. Diversity demos were 68% Caucasian, 15% Latino and Hispanic, 7% Black, and 10% Asian and other. RelishMix points out that the social media universe reach on She Said was below genre norms at 87.5M across Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and Facebook. Overall, mixed-to-negative chatter on social for the film, per RelishMix.
The Menu rises to a $9M opening, 4x that of She Said, besting faith-based The Chosen for No. 2 and also coming in ahead of the start of Searchlight’s 2019 summer genre movie Ready or Not. That movie legged out to $28.7M off of a B+ CinemaScore, and Menu has a B. It’s OK. Difference between the two films is that Menu cost a reported $30M with its star lineup of Anya Taylor Joy, Ralph Fiennes and John Leguziamo, versus Ready or Not‘s $6M before P&A. PostTrak for Menu was more severe at 78% and 53% definite recommend. At the end of the day, The Menu will have a better tail than She Said.
Look, Menu is an edgy arthouse film, much like 2019’s Midsommar, which ended at $27.4M. If Menu ends its domestic run in the Midsommar and Ready or Not range, it will have done its job. Searchlight was smart to open the pic during a week when it potentially could capture the most audience, versus early December before Christmas. It’s guy-leaning at 54%, 65% between 17-34 (remember, if arthouse thrives going forward, it’s on this demo). Diversity pull was 53% Caucasian, 20% Latino and Hispanic, 12% Black and 15% Asian/other. The West and Southwest were the best markets for Menu. The Alamo Drafthouse had four theaters in the top 10, including the No. 1 grossing location Alamo Brooklyn, AMC Burbank was No. 2 followed by The Grove, Century City and Lincoln Square.
RelishMix notes, “While social awareness for The Menu runs under norms by 38% for a film of this drama sector, the cast is serving up a well-plated array of activity, driven most by Anya Taylor Joy’s Instagram at 9.3M fans, fed into on the Searchlight’s social network at 2.3M fans. The cast on The Menu are well-activated on the campaign, with a total reach of 16.9M fans led by Taylor-Joy at 9.3M, Nicholas Hoult at 4.8M, John Leguizamo at 2.1M, and Judith Light at 146K. Convo tone runs mixed-positive, as fans are eating up these materials and several clips from the film — and hypnotized by the notion of #FantasyIsland meeting #HungerGames, with comparison’s to Gordon Ramsey, #HellsKitchen, #SoilentGreen and #SquidGame — in a culinary drama. Anya fans are also noting that this is a ‘non-blonde’ project for Anya, comparing her recent blonde outing, Amsterdam.“
Is adult counterprogramming dead? No. These are dark, niche films aimed at upscale audiences. Furthermore, the closing of Landmark on Pico and the Arclight Hollywood is like ripping the heart out of the tin man when it comes to the specialty box office. Remember what we wrote about product being the key driver to arthouses? What could still work? Broad-appealing adult movies like Ford v. Ferrari, which launched over the pre-Thanksgiving space back in 2019 and made its way to $117.6M. Warner Bros.’ Elvis proved this summer that there’s still appetite for broad-appealing, upbeat, vibrant original movies for adults. So don’t get cynical.
A faith-based title overperforming in a pre-holiday space is nothing exceptional, but to be expected. The Bible Belt South and Midwest are strong here. Dallas, Salt Lake City, Houston, Phoenix and Tampa are top markets for The Chosen: Season 3 (episodes 1 & 2) which is opening to $8.2M. The Jesus Christ series streams on Angel Studios app. Last year, Angels Studios launched Christmas With The Chosen: The Messengers with a $4.2M first weekend and $9.1M five-day gross. The event ended its run at $13.7M, the most successful Fathom Event ever, and season 3 looks to top that.
“For the second year in a row, The Chosen is capturing the imagination of moviegoers around the country. After the overwhelming response of Chosen fans–and now Wingfeather Saga fans at a packed theatrical event in Nashville last week–we’re seeing that the same audiences who have helped us break streaming records can have similar impact at the box office,” said Neal Harmon, CEO of Angel Studios in a statement. “And, in addition to the estimated $3.7 million Friday, based on last year’s Chosen special, we expect The Chosen Season 3 Sunday sales to exceed Saturday’s, partially driven by a strong showing anticipated on Sunday night.”
1) Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Dis), 4,396 theaters, Fri $17.9M (-79%),, Sat $29M, Sun $20.4M 3-day $67.3M (-63%)/Total: $288M/Wk 2
2.) The Menu (Sea), 3,211 theaters Fri $3.6M, Sat $3.2M, Sun $2.2M 3-day $9M/Wk 1
3.) The Chosen: Season 3 (Fath) 2012 theaters, Fri $3.575M, Sat $2.6M Sun $1.99M 3-day $8.2M/Wk 1
4.) Black Adam (WB) 3,372 (-231) theaters, Fri $1.12M (-59%), Sat $2.1M, Sun $1.26M, 3-day $4.48M (-44%), Total $156.9M/Wk 5
5.) Ticket to Paradise (Uni) 3,268 (-372) theaters, Fri $960K (-56%), Sat $1.4M, Sun $840K, 3 day $3.2M (-46%), Total $61.6M/Wk 5
6.) She Said (Uni), 2,022 theaters, Fri $840K, Sat $820K, Sun $590K 3-day $2.25M/Wk 1
7.) Lyle, Lyle Crocodile (Sony) 2,307 (-179) theaters, Fri $415K, Sat $885K, Sun $600K 3-day $1.9M (-41%), Total $43.1M/Wk 7
8.) Smile (Par) 1,569 (-702) theaters, Fri $335K, Sat $505K, Sun $310K, 3-day $1.15M (-51%)/Total $104.5M/Wk 8
9.) Drishyam 2 (Yash Raj) Fri $280K, $435K Sun $335K 3-day $1.05M, Wk 1
10.) Prey for the Devil (LG) 1,389 (-775) theaters, Fri $263K, Sat $407K, Sun $265K 3-day $935K (-52%), Total $18.3M/Wk 4
Bones and All (UAR) 5 theaters, Fri $58K, Sat $36K, Sun $27K, Theater Average $24K, 3-day $120K/Wk 1
The Luca Guadagnino-directed cannibalism romance counts 86% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and pulled in an 18-34 young arthouse audience at near 80%. Women at 54% came out for Timothée Chalamet. The movie was booked at Lincoln Square, Union Square, Alamo Brooklyn and LA’s AMC Century City and The Grove. The movie goes wide on Wednesday.
Amblin/Universal’s Steven Spielberg autobiopic The Fabelmans, also goes wider on Wednesday to around 600, but stayed in four NYC and LA locations in its second frame which pulled in $94K, -42%, and a running total of $314K.