‘Black Adam’ Tops $250 Million As ‘Terrifier 2’ Kills Again

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Warner Bros. Discovery’s
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Black Adam got a modest boost from Saturday/Sunday matinees, earning $27.7 million (-59%) in its second weekend after a sharp 72% Friday-to-Friday drop. That’s not a surprise, as Shazam! pulled a 3.8x weekend multiplier in weekend two, and Dwayne Johnson’s family-friendly action fantasies generally play well with kids. Nonetheless, good news is good news, and the 59% second-weekend drop almost qualifies as leggy for a big-budget DC/Marvel superhero flick. The $195 million “Black Adam vs. The Justice Society” superhero romp has now earned $111.1 million domestically in ten days, essentially tied with Hobbs & Shaw ($108 million from a 57% second-weekend drop) after a higher ($67 million versus $60 million) opening weekend.

Conventional wisdom suggests Black Adam will get kneecapped by Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in two weeks. That may be true, especially on the latter’s debut weekend, but it’s not like there will be a deluge of kid-friendly tentpoles for the rest of 2022. We’ve got Black Adam, Black Panther 2, Walt Disney’s
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Strange World, DreamWorks’ Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Avatar: The Way of Water and that’s about it. Black Adam could remain the second choice or consensus pick (it’s 37 minutes shorter than Black Panther 2) well into December. Legs like Shazam, Thor 4 or Venom 2 after day ten get the $195 million Dwayne Johnson flick to $162-$167 million domestic.

Legs like Hobbs & Shaw (the last biggie of summer 2019) and Rampage ($101 million after a $66 million ten-day gross) get it closer to $175 million. The DC Films flick, essentially the last such picture now that the franchise has been rebranded as DC Studios, has earned $250 million worldwide. It still has a way to go for theatrical profitability and may end up just over/under $390 million. An old-school, pre-Covid era China release (Hobbs & Shaw earned $200 million and Rampage earned $155 million) would help. Regardless, Walter Hamada is gone, and DC is now being run by James Gunn and Peter Safron. We’ll see if the change in the hierarchy of power works for The Rock’s benefit.

Universal’s Ticket to Paradise earned $10 million (-39%) in weekend two for a $33.7 million ten-day total. That’s a terrific hold for the adult-skewing (but grandparent-friendly) George Clooney/Julia Roberts romantic comedy. Where the Crawdads Sing dropped 40% from its $17 million debut. I’d expect strong holds amid superhero epics, animated films, and awards season expansions over the next month. The $60 million release has earned $119 million worldwide, with an $86 million overseas cume passing that of The Lost City. We can debate how good that might have been in the late 1990s/early 2000s, but it’s impressive by modern-day standards. Minions: The Rise of Gru is at $369 million, making it the biggest-grossing Illumination flick ever in unadjusted domestic earnings.

Paramount’s
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Smile, a $17 million horror original initially intended for Paramount+, earned $5.05 million (-40%) for a $92.4 million 31-day cume. It has passed Halloween Kills ($92 million last October) as the third-biggest R-rated grosser since Bad Boys for Life with Brad Pitt’s Bullet Train ($103 million) and maybe Jordan Peele’s Nope ($123 million) in its sights. With $186 million worldwide, Smile has passed Nope’s $171 million global gross to become the year’s biggest (non-Chinese, sorry Moon Man) original. Paramount and SkyDance’s Top Gun: Maverick has earned $716 million domestically and $1.485 billion worldwide. They now have the year’s biggest grosser, the year’s biggest original and (with Sonic 2) the most promising “new” franchise in years.

Universal’s Halloween Ends earned $3.83 million (-52%) over the weekend for a $60.3 million 17-day cume. With $94 million worldwide, it’s still a $33 million horror threequel that will earn around $110 million worldwide, bringing the entire Blumhouse trilogy to over/under $500 million worldwide on a combined $63 million budget. We should all fail so well. The $50 million Lyle Lyle Crocodile crossed $30 million domestic yesterday with a $2.852 million (-37%) weekend for a $32.5 million domestic/$50.6 million worldwide cume. The Woman King has earned $65 million domestically and $88 million worldwide on a $50 million budget. Don’t Worry Darling has $44.8 million domestic and $84 million global on a $35 million budget.

Bloody Disgusting’s Terrifier 2 continued to offer false hope for the future of theatrical, expanding to 1,550 theaters and grossing $1.803 million (+3%). The wholesome rom-com grossed $1.86 million (+6%) for a $7.64 million 24-day domestic cume. Jokes aside, the mostly crowdfunded, unrated and hardcore horror sequel was thrown into theaters for a few days as a bit of seasonal “Why the hell not?” content. The demographically specific event movie is now likely to outgross most of this year’s designated award-season releases. Will Art the Clown go to Hawaii for Terrifier 3, or will he skip straight to space? Either way, might I suggest making it a musical? I checked, and, yes, Lauren LaVera can sing.

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