“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” continued to rule over the Thanksgiving holiday box office. Faced with only token opposition, the superhero sequel picked up $10 million on Wednesday. The Marvel and Disney release is on pace to earn roughly $63 million over the five-day period, easily topping the competition.
Another Disney movie, “Strange World,” is bombing, grossing a disappointing $4.2 million on Wednesday as it eyes a five-day haul of under $24 million. That’s a terrible result for the $180 million-budgeted animated adventure. For comparison sake, “Encanto,” another recent Disney animated offering, earned $40.3 million over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2021 — and that was considered to be a soft result for the family film. “Encanto” didn’t really tap into the zeitgeist until it started streaming on Disney+ when “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” became ubiquitous.
Among the other newcomers, Sony and Black Label Media’s “Devotion,” an inspirational drama about two elite US Navy fighter pilots, grossed $1.8 million. It’s looking at a five-day haul of $10.2 million.
MGM and United Artists Releasing’s “Bones and All” is stumbling in its expansion, earning roughly $900,000 on Wednesday. The off-beat story of young cannibals in love is on pace to earn $4.3 million over the five-day period. It opened last weekend in limited release.
And Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans” picked up $400,000 on Wednesday after expanding from four theaters to over 600 venues. The semi-autobiographical look at the filmmaker’s early years should earn $3 million over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Searchlight’s “The Menu” earned $1.1 million and should pick up $8 million over the holiday. The horror comedy’s domestic total stands at $12.4 million. Warner Bros. and DC’s “Black Adam” earned $660,000 on Wednesday and is eyeing a holiday gross of $4 million. The superhero film’s domestic total stands at just under $160 million.
It’s a pretty dark picture for the film business, which has been in a slump since mid-summer and is still grappling with the aftershocks of COVID closures. The holiday box office is shaping up to be down about 10% from last Thanksgiving when ticket sales topped out at $142 million. That was a far cry from pre-pandemic Thanksgiving results. In 2019, for instance, the Turkey Day frame generated $263.3 million in sales. The exhibition business did have some reason to celebrate after news broke that Amazon plans to spend $1 billion to make 12 to 15 movies that it will release in theaters. The internet giant has toggled between embracing cinemas and focusing primarily on feeding its streaming service. Its latest shift in strategy is a boon for exhibitors, as the announcement goosed their stocks.
Theater operators could be getting a silent assist from “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” the follow-up to Rian Johnson’s hit 2019 whodunit. However, Netflix isn’t reporting grosses for the movie, which is playing in 600 North American cinema.