“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” continued to dominate the Thanksgiving holiday box office. Facing only token opposition, the superhero sequel raised $10 million on Wednesday. The Marvel and Disney release is on track to earn about $63 million over the five-day period, easily outpacing the competition.
Another Disney film, “Strange World,” is bombing, grossing a disappointing $4.2 million on Wednesday while forecasting a five-day haul of less than $24 million. That’s a terrible result for the $180 million budget animated adventure. For comparison, “Encanto,” another recent animated offering from Disney, earned $40.3 million over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2021, and that was considered a weak finish 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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Among other newcomers, Sony and Black Label Media’s “Devotion,” a drama about two elite fighter pilots in the US Navy, grossed $1.8 million. He’s looking at a five-day haul of $10.2 million.
MGM and United Artists Releasing’s “Bones and All” is stumbling on its expansion, earning about $900,000 on Wednesday. The offbeat story of young cannibals in love is on track to earn $4.3 million over the five-day period. It came out last weekend in a limited release.
And Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans” made $400,000 Wednesday after jumping from four theaters to more than 600 theaters. The semi-autobiographical look at the director’s early years is expected to earn $3 million over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Searchlight’s “The Menu” earned $1.1 million and is expected to raise $8 million during the holidays. The horror-comedy’s domestic total is $12.4 million. Warner Bros. and DC’s “Black Adam” earned $660,000 on Wednesday and is forecasting a $4 million vacation. The superhero film’s domestic total stands at just under $160 million.
It’s a rather bleak picture for the movie business, which has been in a slump since mid-summer and still grappling with the aftershocks of COVID-related shutdowns. The holiday box office is forecast to be down about 10% from last Thanksgiving, when ticket sales hit $142 million. It was a far cry from the 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 that Amazon plans to spend $1 billion to make 12 to 15 films that will be released in theaters. The internet giant has gone from embracing theaters to primarily focusing on powering its streaming service. Its latest shift in strategy is a boon for exhibitors, as the ad has boosted their stock.
Cinema operators could get some quiet help from “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” the sequel to Rian Johnson’s 2019 mystery hit. However, Netflix is reporting no box office receipts for the film, which is playing in 600 North American theaters.
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