Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash
A bleak weekend for box office numbers. Theaters are desperately awaiting the release of James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water. Initial reactions to the film have been overwhelmingly positive, but the question remains whether audiences want to sit through a three-hour movie. As for this weekend, not many people sat through any movie. Box office ticket sales reached a low $32.8 million, according to Variety.
The winner in North America for the fifth week in a row is Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. It’s able to keep its spot as it really had no competition. The Marvel Studios’ sequel added another $11.1 million bringing its domestic total to $409 million. Only the third film this year to cross the $400 million mark domestically. The only other two films to cross that mark were Top Gun: Maverick and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
In second place was Universal Pictures’ thriller, Violent Night. This film was able to bring in $8 million at the box office in its second week. It has now grossed $26 million domestically and $41 million worldwide. This is all great news as the film only cost $20 to produce.
Not so lucky as far as revenue is the film in third place at the box office this weekend. Disney Animation Studios’ Strange World brought in an additional $3.6 weekend after opening on Thanksgiving weekend. This brings its North American total so far to a terrifying $30 million. Which is a problem considering that it cost Disney about $200 million to produce alone. It is currently estimated that the film will lose at least $100 million.
In fourth place was Searchlight’s dark comedy film, The Menu. which added $2.7 million to its $28.9 million box office total. Then in fifth place came Sony Pictures’ war drama Devotion with $2 million to its $16.9 million. Another film may take a loss with a $90 million cost.
One positive takeaway from this weekend’s box office numbers comes in the form of a film from an arthouse release. A24’s, The Whale had a six-theater release ahead of expanding nationwide on December 21 starring Brendan Fraser. The film grossed $360,000 from those six theaters translating to $60,000 per screen. This is the highest per-theater average of this year.
We’ll see next week how the release of Avatar: The Way of Water shakes up these numbers.