“Violent Night” is receiving some holiday cheer with a second place opening on domestic charts, but Santa and his reindeer won’t be able to sleigh the reigning box office leader “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
Universal’s action film, which stars David Harbour as a cranky Kris Kringle that takes on a team of mercenaries, is debuting around the middle of its projections, projecting an $11.8 million haul from 3,682 locations. That’s a decent result for the 87North production, which carries an economical $20 million production budget.
Directed by Tommy Wirkola, “Violent Night” landed so-so with critics, but earned a more positive “B+” grade through research firm Cinema Score, indicating some solid approval from ticketbuyers. Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman wrote that the film “throws every genre it can into the compactor, but that may prove to be a winning holiday buffet.” With a foundation to build from, “Violent Night” could find itself in a solid position moving forward, potentially drawing seasonally tickled viewers looking to express some holiday spirit through the month.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is dominating the box office once again. The superhero sequel added $4.4 million on Friday, expanding its already hefty domestic total to $380 million. A finish above $400 million seems more than likely, which would make “Wakanda Forever” only the third release this year to surpass that total in North America.
The “Black Panther” follow-up will then look to overtake fellow Marvel entry “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” which topped out in the summer with $411 million and currently stands as the second-highest grossing domestic release of the year. Beyond that, a finish matching the first “Black Panther” ($700 million) is out of the cards.
Former box office champion “Top Gun: Maverick” is also making an appearance back in theaters this weekend, as Paramount is re-releasing the Tom Cruise sequel from through Dec. 15. The film, which is now available to watch at home, isn’t making much of a splash, looking to add $600,000 this weekend.
Disney’s “Strange World” is collapsing in its second outing. The animated adventure earned $1.08 million on Friday, roughly 79% down from its daily total a week ago. That’s already after the film mounted a disappointing $18.6 million five-day opening over the Thanksgiving holiday — a terrible start for a release carrying a $180 million production budget. With a domestic total that currently stands at $21 million, “Strange World” stands to lose as much as $100 million for Disney when all is said and done.
Searchlight’s “The Menu” is putting up a strong hold, projecting a drop of just 36% in its third weekend. The film earned $1.04 million on Friday, pushing its domestic total to $22.2 million. The culinary horror-comedy has been one of the few speciality releases to find a theatrical audience in recent months, though its genre slant likely provided some benefits in cooking up interest.
Sony’s aviation action film “Devotion” should slot in at fifth, projecting a $2.8 million haul for the weekend. The domestic cume should reach $13.8 million through Sunday — far off from recouping the film’s $90 million production budget.
Ethan Shanfeld contributed to this report.