Wakanda Forever claws its way to $180 million opening

As expected, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever easily topped the box office this weekend with an estimated $180 million. While not quite as high as May’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (it came in under our $200 million prediction) it still represents a solid start for the relaunching of the franchise after series lead Chadwick Boseman’s tragic passing. It also represents the biggest November opening ever, taking down the $158 million made by Hunger Games: Catching Fire in 2013. Many people point to the long run time hindering the film’s opening numbers, but the strong reception should see this one leg out quite nicely. The film has near universal praise (especially from our own JimmyO who gave it a 10/10 rating.) I’m not sure I’d go as far as to call it perfecto-mundo, a lot of the humor fell short for me, but a solid 8/10. I’m not sure this one will play out in awards season the way the first one did, but if I may add my two cents: Angela Bassett deserves some recognition for her role in this film. There is a scene in this movie where, if you take away all the “super hero-ness” of the movie and just watch it as a mother in mourning, it is one of the most powerful scenes I have seen in any Marvel film (with maybe the only exception being the funeral scene from Endgame). With only one Oscar nomination under her belt for What’s Love Got To Do With It, I think it is time to give this tremendous talent her due and get her in the awards conversation for her sensational portrayal of the grieving Queen Ramonda.

Black Panther Wakanda Forever

This opening comes in shy of the first film’s $202 million opening in February 2018 on its way to a $700 million domestic total and a $1.3 billion worldwide total. It doesn’t appear this sequel will hit those same international highs as the film has officially been banned in China due to their strict censorship laws (read more about that in our article here where we cover China’s ban on Wakanda Forever and Black Adam). With a budget of $250 million, Wakanda has a bit to go before it can reach its break even point. Even if you take out the $105 million the original made in China, it was still well over the Billion mark. This one may struggle to hit that B, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes close and is a solid money maker for the studio.

Black Adam easter eggs

Coming in second place is Black Adam dropping 53% from last week for a $8.6 million finish. While the film is surely not the behemoth DC and Dwayne Johnson had envisioned, it isn’t out of the realm of thinking to say that even though this one may lose money (based on its enormous $200 million budget) it sets up the future of the DCEU for success. I guess the same could have been said for Man of Steel when it was the first in the DCEU and we see how that went. Time will tell how James Gunn and Peter Safran handle their newfound responsibilities as DC’s head honchos.

Coming in third place is Ticket To Paradise losing just 29% from last week with $6.1 million. This one is proof that opening weekends aren’t always the tell tell sign for how well a film will do at the box office. With the star power of Julia Roberts and George Clooney, it seemed a $16 million opening was on the soft side for this light hearted romantic comedy, but solid word of mouth has propelled this one to small week to week drops. Add in that the international numbers are quite healthy with nearly $100 million, and Ticket To Paradise has proven the romantic comedy is not dead (as some may have claimed during the summer months.)

Rounding out the top five are another pair of solid word of mouth hits. In fourth place is Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile with $3.2 million, dropping just 5% from last weekend. That is an incredible hold for a film in its sixth week of release. While the true surprise hit Smile finally crosses the magical $100 million mark as it took in $2.3 million this weekend for a running total of $102.7 million.

Prey For The Devil is still sticking around in the top ten, coming in sixth place this weekend with just over $2 million while The Banshees of Inisherin had a small slide of just 17% for a $1.7 million weekend. If you haven’t had the chance to check this one out yet, I highly recommend it (as does Chris Bumbray who gave it a perfect 10/10 review). It is a simple story of a friendship gone bad, but the acting is absolutely perfect. I hope all four main cast members (Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan) are remembered when the Oscar Nominations are announced. 

Eighth and ninth place belonged to the CrunchyRoll studios One Piece Film: Red with $1.4 million, losing 84% of its audience from last weekend. These films tend to be front loaded, so that drop isn’t entirely unexpected. The good news is the film is already a massive money maker, pulling in record numbers overseas. The solid reviews and much talked about performance by lead actress Danielle Deadwyler don’t seem to be having the anticipated box office bump on Till as the tragic true story lost 67% of its audience with just a weekend take of $618,254. This one may need to rely on any potential Award nominations to keep it relevant over the next few weeks.

Tenth place comes a film I must be honest, I have never heard of! Yashoda pulled in $380,000 this weekend. The release continues the tradition of Indian language films performing strongly in the North American market. 

Did you make it to theaters this weekend? Let us know what you saw and how you enjoyed it? Don’t forget to check out our poll where we ask what your Favorite Superhero Sequel (2nd Movie in a Franchise) is.

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