Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Falls Hard But Remains Atop The Box Office

It was, at first glance, a somewhat unexciting weekend at the box office. Of course "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" repeated at number one. Naturally, the adult-skewing drama about the Harvey Weinstein scandal, did not perform very well. Yet, the genre film that was also aimed at adult audiences, "The Menu," did perform well. But when we look at the larger picture, it is all pretty fascinating. Let's dig into the numbers, shall we?

"Black Panther" once again stayed atop the competition — rather easily we might add — with a $67.3 million haul in its second weekend, per Box Office Mojo. However, director Ryan Coogler's sequel did fall a pretty hefty 62.9% compared to its record-setting $181 million opening last weekend. That is on par with other recent Marvel Cinematic Universe sequels such as "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" and "Thor: Love and Thunder." Phase 4 of the MCU has still been very successful on paper, but the declines have been steeper following the studio's big opening weekends, that much is certain.

Be that as it may, "Wakanda Forever" now stands at $546.2 million worldwide after just ten days in theaters. Considering that Chadwick Boseman is sadly no longer with us and the entire production had to pivot, leaving us with a nearly three-hour movie about grief without T'Challa in it, I'd call this a win. It was never going to touch the $1.3 billion cume of the original "Black Panther." But it still has a shot at around $900 million, and that's the envy of everyone else in Hollywood.

The Chosen made how much money?!

Taking the number two spot was Searchlight Pictures' thriller "The Menu," which over-performed a bit with $9 million. Good news for original genre movies, to be certain. But the crazy thing was that the number three spot was occupied by a Fathom Events release of the first two episodes of the third season of the faith-based series "The Chosen." That made, rather stunningly, $8.2 million with next to no mainstream advertising. Holy s***. Say what you will, but serving underserved audiences always seems to pay off. And anything that puts meat in seats is a good thing right now.

Rounding out the top five were "Black Adam" which, through a month, has earned $366 million globally. Against its reported $200 million budget and with a finish likely in the $400 million range, this is going to be a whiff for Warner Bros. I do not envy James Gunn and Peter Safran for having to sit down with The Rock and tell him he's probably not getting a sequel. "Ticket to Paradise," meanwhile, is still keeping the rom-com alive with another $3.2 million and a $158 million global total against a $60 million budget.

I will go into more detail on this in another post, but the big disappointment of the weekend was "She Said," Universal's new drama about the Harvey Weinstein scandal. With just $2.25 million from more than 2,000 theaters and a reported $32 million budget, this is one of the worst results ever for a wide release studio film. Ouch. The only thing that might ease the pain is some awards season love, but there's no escaping the brutality of that result. 

You can check out the full list of the top 10 movies at the box office this past weekend below.

Top ten movies at the box office November 18 – 20, 2022

  1. "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" – $67.3 million

  2. "The Menu" $9 million

  3. "The Chosen Season 3: Episode 1 & 2 – $8.2 million

  4. "Black Adam" – $4.48 million

  5. "Ticket to Paradise" – $3.2 million

  6. "She Said" – $2.25 million

  7. "Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile" – $1.9 million

  8. "Smile" – $1.15 million

  9. "Prey for the Devil" – $935,000

  10. "The Banshees of Inisherin" – $703,000