‘Black Adam’ rocks box office with $26.8 million opening day, ‘Ticket to Paradise’ lands second
Dwayne Johnson’s vehicle snagged an opening day of $26.8 million, including $7.6 million in Thursday previews. The DC Comics adaptation is debuting in 4,402 locations in North America.
Some contestants predict the superhero flick will gross $62.2 million in its opening weekend, which would mark the first major release to surpass $50 million since ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’. of Disney bowed to $144 million in July. Movies have largely slowed since an auspiciously busy summer season, and theaters are clamoring for a fall release to shock some pedestrians like “Black Adam.”
Measured against other DC Films productions, a $62 million opening weekend for “Black Adam” would rank between those reported by 2018’s “Aquaman” ($67 million) and “Shazam! ” of 2019. ($53 million). Both of these movies also introduced new characters to audiences, managing healthy multipliers and strong overseas performances — enough to warrant sequels anyway, both slated for 2023.
With a production budget of $195 million, the coming weeks remain imperative for the box office success of “Black Adam.” The movie won’t face heavyweight competition until Marvel’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” hits theaters on November 11.
“Black Adam” was widely rejected in reviews, earning a 30% approval rating from top critics on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes. Among the broader base of approved reviews, the film boasts an improved but still below-standard 41% percentage. Variety chief film critic Peter Debruge wrote that “the surprisingly serious (but still very pulpy) project robs Johnson of his greatest superpower – his sense of humor – while giving the now straight-faced star a chance to play a character with some interesting contradictions.”
Audiences are much more receptive – on par with the course in terms of superhero movies. “Black Adam” earned a “B+” rating from research firm Cinema Score, indicating generally favorable opinions among ticket buyers. That’s the same rating earned by Marvel’s two releases so far this year, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and “Thor: Love and Thunder,” both of which opened higher but less strongly than their predecessors in the series more warmly received.
A $62.2 million opening weekend would be a good starting point for “Black Adam.” While it doesn’t sport the supercharged numbers of Marvel’s slate or DC’s “The Batman,” it’s a pretty hefty number, especially for a superhero movie centered around a new character unknown to the audience. The coming weeks will tell the story of what audiences think of Johnson’s antihero.
Produced by New Line Cinema, Seven Bucks Productions, Flynn Picture Company and DC Films, “Black Adam” follows a divine being who awakens after 5,000 years. And he is furious. The Justice Society of America tries to appease his temper. Besides Johnson, the film’s cast of heroes also includes Aldis Hodge as Hawkman, Pierce Brosnan as Doctor Fate, Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, and Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone.
Universal’s “Ticket to Paradise” appears to land in second, projecting a $16 million opening weekend. That’s an impressive number for a romantic comedy – a genre that has largely lost its box office power since the turn of the century. “Ticket” will likely land about halfway through the opening of the two-handed Sandra Bullock-Channing Tatum spring film “The Lost City,” but that film came with an action hook. The numbers for “Ticket” are also much higher than the debuts of this year’s beleaguered rom-coms “Bros” ($4.8 million) and “Marry Me” ($7.9 million).
“Ticket” didn’t get top reviews, earning a 54% approval rating from top critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences are fans, however, as evidenced by the film’s “A-” CinemaScore and already healthy international gross. Although the romantic comedy is only hitting the US, “Ticket to Paradise” has been a hit overseas for the past month, earning $72.6 million at the worldwide box office. Universal expects the romantic comedy to similarly connect with North American audiences and hold strong in the weeks to come.
‘Ticket to Paradise’ stars Julia Roberts and George Clooney as ex-spouses who are forced to reconcile when they find out their daughter (Kaitlyn Dever) is planning to marry someone she just met. .
As one version from Universal storms the box office, another falls. “Halloween Ends” is set to plummet on its second outing, projecting a massive 80% drop from its $41 million opening weekend. That’s even more than the 71% drop that its horror franchise predecessor, “Halloween Kills,” suffered last year.
Hard to say it was impossible to see this result coming. “Ends” received negative reviews and an even more overwhelming response from audiences with a “C+” movie score. With a whiff of franchise fatigue and its concurrent streaming debut on Peacock, the slasher finale wasn’t likely to find any legs at the box office. The film’s total domestic gross is expected to reach $54 million through the weekend. On a somewhat disconcerting note, the $41 million opening earned by “Ends” will likely represent well over half of its final domestic gross.
“Ends” will likely land in fourth place, behind “Smile’s” fourth weekend. Paramount’s release was a word-of-mouth hit, playing strongly throughout the October spooky season. Projecting another slight drop (32%), “Smile” is expected to increase its domestic gross to $84.5 million. At this point, the film is officially over $100 million, with hopes of hitting that milestone at the box office in the coming weeks. Not too shabby for an original movie that was originally slated for a Paramount+ exclusive release!
Sony’s “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” is looking to round out the top five, projecting a gross of $4.4 million in its third weekend. While “Lyle” hasn’t exactly lit up the charts, the musical continues to enjoy a landscape devoid of family releases. The film is expected to increase its domestic gross to $28 million through Sunday.
Notably, another word-of-mouth horror sensation is buried deeper in the box office charts. “Terrifier 2,” the epic feature from independent distributor Bloody Disgusting, added 55 theaters and more than doubled in revenue from last weekend (up 122%). It’s expected to hit No. 6 on the national charts, ahead of high-profile fall hits like “The Woman King,” “Don’t Worry Darling” and “Amsterdam.” The micro-budget film only carries a production price of $250,000 and has earned a solid reputation for the strong, sometimes nauseous reactions that it arouses in the public.
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