Black Adam Tops The Box Office With $67 Million, But Ticket To Paradise Is The Real Winner

It was the weekend the movie industry has been looking towards ever since August brought on a surprisingly dry end of summer at the box office. Heck, it had mostly been dry until "Smile" opened surprisingly big earlier this month, followed by a good opening weekend for "Halloween Ends" last week. But this past weekend finally saw Dwyane Johnson's DC superhero film "Black Adam" debut after spending well over a decade in development hell. Once again, superheroes saved the day as the DC Comics adaptation earned $67 million, a record for The Rock up to this point in his career. But it was "Ticket to Paradise," the rom-com that reunited George Clooney and Julia Roberts, that arguably won the day.

"Black Adam" is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and carries a massive $195 million price tag. Unfortunately, that kind of inflated budget is becoming all too common for these big blockbusters. In any event, according to Box Office Mojo, it easily won the weekend with $67 million domestically and $73 million internationally for a $140 million global start. It's a nice win for DC after "Wonder Woman 1984" and "The Suicide Squad" both struggled during the pandemic.

Now, the real question is whether or not it holds well enough in the coming weeks. Critics largely disliked the film, though audiences have responded far better. It earned a decent B+ Cinemascore, which puts it in the same neighborhood as "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" and "Thor: Love and Thunder." But The Rock and DC have big plans for the character, so they really need this to pan out on a longer timeline. We shall see. Luckily, they have until "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" arrives to face more major blockbuster competition.

Ticket to Paradaise gives life to the rom-com

While Warner Bros. won the day, Universal Pictures snuck into the number two spot with "Ticket to Paradise," which earned $16.3 million in its domestic debut. The appeal of Clooney and Roberts was more than enough to put meat in seats. It is especially encouraging because rom-coms have largely been relegated to Netflix in recent years, with movies like "Bros" bombing at the box office. But in the right situation, with A-list stars, audiences will absolutely turn up and spend hard-earned money to watch these movies.

Case in point: the film has been playing overseas for several weeks and has already earned $80.2 million, meaning it stands at $96.6 million. Assuming it will hold well in the coming weeks (and all signs point to that happening) it should easily justify its $60 million budget. So, along with "The Lost City of D," there's enough evidence from 2022 to prove that rom-coms can be viable beyond streaming.

That's important looking at a weekend like this. We know superheroes work. They've been propping up the box office for years now. We know horror movies work. They've been Hollywood's unrespected bread and butter for decades. But to keep theaters up and running, we need more than superheroes and scares. Rom-coms to the rescue. 

You can check out the weekend's full top 10 at the box office below.

Top 10 movies at the box office October 21 to 23 

1. Black Adam – $67 million

2. Ticket to Paradise – $16.3 million

3. Smile – $8.3 million

4. Halloween Ends – $8 million

5. Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile – $4.2 million

6. The Woman King – $1.9 million

7. Terrifier 2 – $1.89 million

8. Don't Worry Darling – $880,000

9. Amsterdam – $818,000

10. Triangle of Sadness – $600,000