Black Adam Earns $7.6 Million In Thursday Box Office Previews, DC And The Rock Off To A Good Start

After spending well over a decade in development at Warner Bros. and New Line, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's "Black Adam" has hit theaters and is the first bonafide blockbuster to arrive in weeks. September and much of October were left barren by Hollywood, with "Halloween Ends" providing some relief last weekend. But there will be a new king in town with DC's latest certainly set to take the top spot. The question is, by how much? We have our first indication of how the film is doing with moviegoers as the Thursday preview numbers have surfaced.

According to Variety, "Black Adam" earned $7.6 million on Thursday, giving it a nice jumpstart on the weekend. The film is playing in 3,500 theaters, making it far and away the widest release of the weekend. Though Universal is also hoping to score with George Clooney and Julia Roberts' "Ticket to Paradise," which also opens this weekend and has already done very well overseas. But back to the matter at hand, these preview numbers are better than "Fast and Furious 6" ($7.5 million), "Hobbs and Shaw" ($5.8 million), and Jumanji: The Next Level" ($4.7 million). They're also better than last year's "F9" (which The Rock) wasn't in, which earned $7.1 million on its way to a $70 million opening weekend.

Be that as it may, this one may be a bit more front-loaded as projects are still hovering closer to $60 million. For what it's worth, critics have been mixed-to-negative, with our own Witney Seibold calling it "a jumbled mess of a movie" in his review. However, audiences seem to be responding far better as it currently holds an 88% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. This could prove to be a "Venom" situation where critics and moviegoers just roundly disagree. That would be ideal for Warner Bros.

How the numbers stack up

The really good news is that Johnson is a global superstar and, regardless of what happens domestically, this movie figures to be a worldwide hit. Looking at other similar debuts in the DCEU, the numbers are kind of all over the place in terms of how the movies finish. "Shazam!" (which Black Adam was originally supposed to be in) opened to $53.5 million back in 2019 and finished with $363.5 million worldwide, with $140.3 million of that in domestic ticket sales. Meanwhile, "Aquaman" opened to $67.8 million in late 2018 and went on to earn a staggering $1.14 billion globally, ranking as the highest-grossing DC movie ever, largely thanks to robust international grosses.

So, let's say "Black Adam" falls somewhere between $60 and "$70 million domestic on its opening weekend. Will it be closer to "Shazam!" or "Aquaman?" Again, it's tough to say right now but, depending on the global appetite, this could still be a gigantic hit for Warner Bros. And that's good, because they seem to have pretty grand plans for the character well beyond this one film. We'll see how the chips fall.

Jaume Collet-Serra ("Jungle Cruise") is in the director's chair with a cast that includes Aldis Hodge ("On Night in Miami"), Pierce Brosnan ("GoldenEye"), Quintessa Swindell ("Euphoria"), Noah Centineo ("To All the Boys I've Loved Before"), Marwan Kenzari ("Aladdin"), and Sarah Shahi ("Person of Interest").

"Black Adam" is in theaters now.