Black Adam, the DC superhero film starring Dwayne Johnson, held the #1 spot at the North American box office for its second weekend in cinemas. Down 59% since its launch and facing little new competition, “Black Adam” added $27.7 million to ticket sales, taking domestic sales to $111.1 million, according to studio estimates as of Sunday.
Johnson has spent a decade bringing the character to the big screen and has visions for a follow-up with Superman. But Black Adam’s future is yet to be determined, despite having earned $250 million worldwide. The Warner Bros. film was priced at a whopping $200 million, excluding marketing and advertising expenses, and a sequel has not been officially approved.
But big changes are afoot at DC – the studio has just announced a new executive team of Peter Safran and James Gunn, whose penchant for supporting little-known comic book characters is well documented. And on Sunday, Johnson released a note to his 344 million Instagram followers about the end of the world press tour, thanking those who worked behind the scenes to launch “our NEW DC franchise known as BLACK ADAM.”
Bucking recent romantic comedy trends, moviegoers remained curious about Ticket to Paradise, with Universal’s Julia Roberts and George Clooney falling just 37% over the second weekend to take second place. The genre hasn’t been the most reliable bet at the box office of late, with films like ‘Bros’ stumbling into theaters, but the star power of Roberts and Clooney is proving hard to resist. Ticket to Paradise added $10 million from 3,692 North American theaters, bringing the domestic total to $33.7 million. It has grossed $119.4 million worldwide to date.
Horror films ranked third through fifth for the weekend leading up to Halloween on Monday. Lionsgate’s “Prey for the Devil” opened in third place with $7 million from 2,980 theaters. Remarkably, it’s the only one of the three horror films to carry a PG-13 rating. The others were R-rated.
Paramount’s “Smile” finished fourth in its fifth weekend with another $5.1 million, bringing its domestic total to $92.4 million (on a budget of $17 million), while “Halloween Ends ‘ finished in fifth place on his third weekend with $3.8 million. Ends, which grossed $60.3 million in North America, was released simultaneously on NBC Universal’s streaming service, Peacock.
“This is just another mandate in favor of horror,” said Paul Dergarabedian, Comscore’s senior media analyst. “It’s not just about being in October, horror films have performed well throughout the pandemic. It’s a genre that keeps making it to the box office.”
Chinonye Chukwu’s Mamie Till-Mobley film Till widened this weekend, adding $2.8 million from 2,058 locations and finishing seventh. With a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film received good word of mouth from United Artists Releasing, with much of it centered on Danielle Deadwyler’s performance.
This weekend also saw the expansion of several notable films, such as Todd Field’s “Tár,” which expanded to 1,087 theaters nationwide, where it grossed $1 million and finished in 10th place. Cate Blanchett’s performance as a renowned composer and conductor earned her a top acting award at the Venice Film Festival last month.
Another Venice winner, The Banshees of Inisherin, expanded to 58 cinemas and 12 new markets over the weekend. The Martin McDonagh film, starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, grossed $540,000. The Searchlight Pictures release will be expanded to around 800 locations this coming weekend.
Charlotte Wells’ “Aftersun” expanded to 17 locations, where it grossed $75,242, bringing his total earnings to $166,030. The A24-released father-daughter film, starring Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio, will continue to expand during awards season.
James Gray’s “Armageddon Time” opened in six theaters in New York and Los Angeles with a prize purse of $72,000. Gray used his own childhood to tell the story of an 11-year-old boy in Queens in the fall of 1980. The film, which premiered in Cannes earlier this year, stars Banks Repeta, Anne Hathaway, Jeremy Strong and Anthony Hopkins.
But as far as blockbusters go, things are getting a little tough until Black Panther: Wakanda Forever comes out on November 11th.
“It gets the box office going again in a way that feels more like summer,” Dergarabedian said.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday in US and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. The final domestic figures will be released on Monday.
1. “Black Adam”, $27.7 million.
2. “Ticket to Paradise”, $10 million.
3. “Booty for the Devil,” $7 million.
4. “Smile,” $5.1 million.
5. “Halloween Ends”, $3.8 million.
6. “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile,” $2.8 million.
7. “Until,” $2.8 million.
8. “Terrifier 2”, $1.8 million.
9. “The Woman King,” $1.1 million.
10. “Tár”, $1 million.
Follow AP film writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr.
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