“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” continued to rule the Thanksgiving holiday box office. With only token opposition, the superhero sequel earned $10 million on Wednesday. The Marvel and Disney release is on pace to earn an estimated $63 million over the five days, easily outpacing the competition.
Another Disney film, “Strange World,” bombed, taking in a disappointing $4.2 million on Wednesday while looking at a five-day haul of less than $24 million. That’s a shocking result for the $180 million-budget animated adventure. For comparison’s sake, “Encanto,” another recent Disney animated offering, earned $40.3 million over the 2021 Thanksgiving holiday — considered a soft turn for the family film. “Encanto” didn’t really tap into the zeitgeist until it started streaming on Disney+ when “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” became ubiquitous.
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Other newcomers included Sony and Black Label Media’s “Devotion,” an inspirational drama about two elite US Navy fighter pilots, grossing $1.8 million. It’s looking at a five-day haul of $10.2 million.
MGM and United Artists Releasing’s “Bones and All” is languishing in expansion, earning about $900,000 on Wednesday. The fantastic tale of young cannibals in love is on pace to earn $4.3 million over the five-day period. It opened last weekend in limited release.
And Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans” earned $400,000 Wednesday after expanding from four theaters to more than 600 locations. The semi-autobiographical look at the film’s early years should earn $3 million over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Searchlight’s “The Menu” earned $1.1 million and should make $8 million over the holiday. The horror comedy’s domestic total stands at $12.4 million. “Black Adam” earned Warner Bros. and DC $660,000 on Wednesday and are expecting a holiday total of $4 million. The superhero movie’s domestic total stands at just under $160 million.
It’s a pretty bleak picture for the movie business, which has been in a slump since mid-summer and is still reeling from the aftermath of the COVID shutdown. The holiday box office is coming in to be down about 10% from last Thanksgiving when ticket sales increased by $142 million. That was a far cry from pre-pandemic Thanksgiving results. In 2019, for example, the Turkey Day frame generated $263.3 million in sales. The exhibition business had some reason to celebrate after the news broke that Amazon plans to spend $ 1 billion to make 12 to 15 films that it will release in theaters. The internet giant has alternated between embracing cinemas and focusing primarily on growing its streaming service. The latest change in strategy is a boon for exhibitors, as the announcement hit their stocks.
Theater operators could be getting some quiet help from “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” the follow-up to Rian Johnson’s 2019 whodunit. However, Netflix is not reporting grosses for the film, which is playing in 600 theaters in North America.
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