As expected, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever finished its second weekend on top with an estimated $67.3 million, losing 63% of its audience. That drop is in line with most of the MCU as these big openings tend to have fairly large second week drop offs. As of right now, Wakanda Forever is still trailing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness at the same time in their runs by about 2%, which is kind of shocking given how anticipated Wakanda seemed to be before it was released. The good news is: there really is no big tent pole release until December 16 when Avatar: The Way of Water is released. Barring any sort of big surprise, Black Panther should be able to hold the top spot for a while (although something like Violent Night, which looks amazing, could pull a win when it’s released on December 2.)
Second place looks to be The Menu with an estimated $9 million. With a reported $30 million budget, which is fairly shocking considering it takes place in basically a single location, the opening isn’t exactly headline grabbing, but it is in line with other Searchlight release Ready or Not which opened with $8 million. However that film had only a $6 million budget, so not exactly an apples to apples comparison. As I said in my predictions, this is a movie worth checking out in theaters with an audience. The collective silence as everyone can’t take their eyes off the screen is what going to the movies is all about. I am hopeful The Menu can have small week to week drops and come into some sort of profitability as these are the types of movies that are in danger of fading away in this blockbuster driven market.
Speaking of surprises, coming in third place is the Fathom events release of the first two episodes of the third season of The Chosen with an estimated $8.2 million. This one really snuck up on me as Fathom events generally don’t crack the top ten at the box office and if they do, they are generally movies! I spent quite some time looking over TV episodes played in theaters, and as far as I can tell, the success of this release is unprecedented. This is further proof that when studios cater to a specific audience, that audience will show up. In this case it is the faith based community. Over the past few weeks we have seen the anime fans show up for the Crunchyroll Studio’s releases and the Bollywood crowd show up for those releases. Perhaps with this success we will see more TV episodes released to theaters. Who knows, maybe soon we will see the big screen release of the first two episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s newest season (which I would 100% pay to go see!)
The week’s other new release, She Said looks to be a pretty sizable miss with just $2.2 million. Adult audiences, the type this film was made for, have been slow to return to theaters in the wake of the pandemic, and a movie like this, that doesn’t seem to be a nice holiday feel good movie, isn’t the type they will be running out the door to see. The real test will be when award nominations begin rolling out, with its best chances in the picture, acting, screenplay and original score (for which it already has a Hollywood Music in Media Award nomination) categories. If it can notch some nominations in the major categories, it can see the box office bump generally associated with them. But make no mistake, this is a huge blow to older skewing, well reviewed, dramas at the box office.
The remainder of the top ten look to be your holdovers Black Adam ($4.4 million weekend, $156.9 million total); Ticket to Paradise ($3.2 million weekend, $61.5 million total); Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile ($1.9 million weekend, $43.1 total); Smile ($1.1 million weekend, $104.5 million total) and Prey For The Devil ($935,000 weekend, $18.3 million total).
In ninth place sees another one of those niche audience movies pulling in decent numbers in its first week of release. This one being the Bollywood release of Drishyam 2 with an estimated $1.02 million weekend.
Did you get the chance to head to theaters this weekend or did you decide to stay in and enjoy the streaming releases of A Christmas Story Christmas and/or Disenchanted? Let us know in the comments section. And don’t forget to check out our poll where we ask what your Favorite Thanksgiving film is.