Black Adam To Hold Box Office Top Spot In Second Weekend, But With A Substantial Drop

It looks like the Halloween box office is more tricks than treats this year: according to Variety, "Black Adam" is holding onto the number one spot, but still not doing particularly heroic numbers. The Dwayne Johnson-led DC film brought in $7.5 million on Friday, for a projected weekend gross of about $24 million. While that'll be enough to push "Black Adam" over the $100 million mark, it's still a substantial drop from its opening weekend, which in itself wasn't exactly record-breaking. Especially when compared with a recent MCU film like "Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness" opening to a $187 million box office.

The long-gestating film about ancient antihero Teth-Adam (Johnson) and the Justice Society of America reportedly had a production budget of $195 million. It'll surely recoup that, but it's surprising to see the film make a relatively small splash after years of hype-building. Critics especially haven't warmed to the film, and it currently holds a 40% on Rotten Tomatoes, meaning fewer than half of all included critics reviewed it positively. /Film's own Witney Seibold gave "Black Adam" a 3.5 out of 10 score in his review.

Black Adam still managed to beat the Devil

The film's CinemaScore is somewhat more positive, though: it earned a B+, which isn't the lowest ranking of a DC Extended Universe film (that would be "Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice," with a B), but is tied with a range of films including "Wonder Woman 1984" and both Suicide Squad films. "Black Adam" dropped 72% Friday-to-Friday, another number that's not especially promising when it comes to the film's long-haul run. DC's recent hit "The Batman," in comparison, only dropped 50% in its second weekend.

Regardless of all this, "Black Adam" should continue to stay atop the box office — at least until "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" hits theaters on November 11, 2022. This weekend, its stiffest new release competition was "Prey for the Devil," Lionsgate's exorcism horror flick that earned $2.83 million on Friday per Variety. That modest opening will put the film in third place for the weekend after the George Clooney and Julia Roberts-led rom-com "Ticket to Paradise," which is poised to earn $10.3 million in its second weekend in theaters.

It'll be interesting to see how a recent shakeup at DC headquarters impacts the DCEU going forward. This week, "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "The Suicide Squad" filmmaker James Gunn was announced as co-chair and co-CEO of the newly formed DC Studios, alongside producer Peter Safran. Upon the announcement, the pair released a statement sharing their commitment to "Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Harley Quinn, and the rest of the DC stable."