December 11, 2022

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 12.11.2022


OPENINGS:  The combination of the typically low early-December box office and the approach of Avatar 2 dissuaded the studios from introducing any new product this week.  The closest thing to a wide release in the US was the expansion of SPOILER ALERT (Focus/Universal) to 783 theaters, where it fared badly with $700K, averaging $900 per theater for the weekend.

Overseas, PUSS IN BOOTS: THE LAST WISH (DreamWorks Animation/Universal) opened in 24 markets in advance of its December 21 US release with $8.9M, and it will look to hold the family audience through and past the holidays.

HOLDOVERS:  In the continued absence of any serious competition, BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER (Marvel/Disney) stayed on top for the 5th time, and like all the other holdovers it had a very moderate weekly drop-off, down 37% to $11.1M, and may reach $450M in the US with the holiday season boost.  It also has $358M overseas after an $11.8M weekend in 50 territories.  If Wakanda Forever hits $850M worldwide, it will be down 38% from the first Black Panther.

VIOLENT NIGHT (Universal) lost just 35% to $8.7M, a fine result for an R-rated genre item, and it might pass $50M in the US before it’s done.  It has $15.1M overseas after a $4.6M weekend in 75 markets.

STRANGE WORLD (Disney) stabilized with a 29% drop to $3.6M in its 3rd weekend, but at that level it won’t get much past $40M, woefully below its costs.  The international result was no better, with $23M after a $3.7M weekend in 43 territories.

THE MENU (Searchlight/Disney) dipped just 22% to $2.7M in its 4th weekend, and might get as high as $40M in the US, although that may not be enough to justify its $60M production/marketing costs.  It has $28.7M overseas after a $3.6M weekend in 51 markets.

DEVOTION (Black Label/Columbia/Sony) declined 27% in its 3rd weekend, but its $2M weekend puts it on track for perhaps $25M in the US, not nearly enough to recoup its $125M+ production/marketing costs.  It still hasn’t had a meaningful international release.

The suddenly controversial BLACK ADAM (DC/New Line/Warners) dropped 14% to $1.3M in its 8th weekend, on its way to $170M in the US.  Its overseas total is $222M after a $1.5M weekend in 73 territories.  Here’s what can be said about its profitability on a likely $400M worldwide total:  the fact that Warners controls the film’s pay TV/streaming rights in-house means that it will largely determine itself whether Black Adam goes on the books with a small loss or a small profit, and either result will represent a major disappointment.

THE FABELMANS (Universal) expanded its theater count by over 50% to 973 in advance of Tuesday’s VOD release, and slipped 7% to $1.2M, headed for around $10M in US theaters, with a negligible overseas release thus far.

LIMITED RELEASE:  In a rare piece of good news for the awards circuit, THE WHALE (A24) launched at 6 NY/LA theaters with a $60K per-theater weekend average, surpassing Everything Everywhere All At Once‘s $50K for the best average of the year.  (The asterisks:  The Whale was boosted by in-theater celebrity Q&As on both coasts, and Everything Everywhere opened in 10 theaters, so its all-in weekend total was higher.)  However, EMPIRE OF LIGHT (Searchlight/Disney) began its campaign weakly with a $1500 average at 110.  The horror movie THE MEAN ONE (Atlas) averaged $1200 at 162.  ALL THE BEAUTY AND THE BLOODSHED (Neon) widened to 35 with a $2K average.  EO (Sideshow/Janus) averaged $2800 at 14.

NEXT WEEKEND:  No one will even try to counterprogram the behemoth that AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER (20th/Disney) is expected to be.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."