BLACK ADAM ran over its box office competition by earning $27.7M this weekend, a decline of 59% from last week’s opening. While this drop is similar to those of other movies from the DC Extended Universe, it was greater than the week two decline of SHAZAM!, which dropped 54% in its second weekend from April 12-14, 2019.
The comparison with SHAZAM! is even more concerning since BLACK ADAM’s opening weekend was 25% higher than SHAZAM!’s, but its second weekend was only 13% higher. Warner Bros. may be disappointed, after having invested $200M to produce BLACK ADAM, whereas SHAZAM! was produced for one-half that number. On paper, BLACK ADAM should have had a huge advantage because it stars Dwayne Johnson, one of the top box office performers working today, compared with Zach Levi in the title role for SHAZAM!
In 2019, SHAZAM! went on to gross $141M in North America, while the more expensive, higher-profile BLACK ADAM looks as if it may do only marginally better. After 10 days, BLACK ADAM has earned $111M whereas SHAZAM! earned $94M at this same point. Next weekend will be critical for BLACK ADAM since after that it will be up against BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER, which will consume most of the attention from superhero movie fans.
As of late, Warner Bros. is taking a “bottom-line” approach to its movie franchises and the future potential for BLACK ADAM will be examined closely. Follow-on releases may be in doubt if this year’s movie winds up earning a similar box office to SHAZAM! Even Dwayne Johnson is not fully protected from financial accountability.
TICKET TO PARADISE finished in second place, with a gross of $10M and a drop of only 39% from last weekend. Universal is breathing a sigh of relief as the rom-com audience continued to show interest after its better-than-expected opening weekend. PARADISE has already grossed $33.7M in its first ten days, which puts it on track to earn $60M for its run in North American theatres. We expect that PARADISE will still be playing widely during Thanksgiving weekend, which will help it add to its box office tally.
Third place went to Lionsgate’s PREY FOR THE DEVIL with $7M in its opening weekend. This result was in line with most forecasts. The movie tells the story of a nun who is possessed by the same demon that tormented her mother years before. It is the last in a series of horror titles this October, which included SMILE, HALLOWEEN ENDS, and TERRIFIER 2.
In fact, all four are still playing in theatres this Halloween weekend, carving up the horror audience. To say that PREY FOR THE DEVIL was disliked by critics is an understatement. It’s 17% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes is one of the lowest for any major release this year. We expect PREY to suffer a rapid decline in ticket sales in the days and weeks ahead, leading to a rapid retreat.
SMILE took fourth place, with another $5M in its fourth weekend and a total to date of $92M. It is a considerable accomplishment to be going strong after four weeks in theatres, especially because it has had significant competition from other horror titles. HALLOWEEN ENDS came in fifth place this weekend with $3.8M.
Among independent films, we are watching THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN from Searchlight Pictures. After last weekend’s limited debut at four theatres, it expanded this weekend to 58 theatres where it grossed $540K, making for a healthy $9,310 per theatre average.
The film tells the story of two Irishmen who, after having been lifelong friends, decide to break off their connection, with dire consequences for both. BANSHEES stars Colin Farrell and Brendon Gleeson, who has drawn much critical acclaim for their performances. On Rotten Tomatoes, it is enjoying an enthusiastic 97% fresh score from critics and an equally impressive 94% score from audiences.