‘Black Panther’ sequel scores 2nd biggest debut of 2022

With the release of the long-awaited Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the box office is in full swing again.

The Marvel sequel has grossed $180 million in more than 4,396 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, making it the second-biggest of the year, behind “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” overseas, according to estimates from The Walt Disney Company on Sunday. , which brought in $150 million in additional revenue from 50 regions, bringing its global total to $330 million.

“Wakanda Forever” has been eagerly anticipated by audiences and exhibitors, whose box office has been in the doldrums since the summer film season ended, and there are fewer big-budget blockbusters in the pipeline. The film got off to a strong start with $84 million in opening-day box office receipts (including $28 million in previews Thursday), even stronger than the first film.

“Some people might be hoping for $200 million like the first movie, but it’s solid,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “This is the type of film that theaters really need to attract audiences.”

The first film, released in February 2018, grossed $202 million and grossed over $1.4 billion worldwide, making it one of the highest-grossing films of all time and becoming a cultural phenomenon.A sequel was inevitable, and development began shortly after director Ryan Coogler returned, but everything has changed back Chadwick Boseman passed away unexpectedly in August 2020Instead, “Wakanda Forever” becomes about the death of the Boseman King T’Challa/Black Panther, and the mourning kingdom he leaves behind. Returning cast includes Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke and Danai Gurira, who will star in Tenok Huerta’s Face new enemies in Namor. The film will also face more complications, including Wright’s injury and some COVID-19-related setbacks. All in all, the production cost was reported to be $250 million, not including marketing and promotion.

Associated Press film writer Jack Coyle wrote in his comment That, “‘Wakanda Forever’ is superlong, a little clumsy, and a little mysterious climaxes on a barge in the mid-Atlantic. But Coogler’s smooth command that blends intimacy with spectacle remains captivating.”

It currently holds an 84% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and like the comic book movie, audience ratings are even higher.

Superhero movies have done well during the pandemic, but have yet to reach the heights of “Spider-Man: Way Home,” which opened in December 2021 with $260.1 million. Other big releases included “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” ($187.4 million in May), “Thor, Love and Thunder” ($144.2 million in July) and “The Batman” ($134 million in March).

“Wakanda Forever” is the first film since “Thor” in July to top $100 million at the box office, which is tough for exhibitors already dealing with about 30% fewer calenders than normal years .

The rest of the top five didn’t come out, as none of the films dared to be released nationally against the Marvel behemoth. Second place went to DC superhero “Black Adam” with $8.6 million, bringing its domestic gross to $151.1 million. “Tickets to Paradise” came in third with $6.1 million in its fourth week. Julia Roberts and George Clooney’s romantic comedy has made nearly $150 million worldwide. “Lyle, Lyle, Alligator” and “Smile” rounded out the top five with $3.2 million and $2.3 million, respectively.

Some award-winning hopefuls have struggled with expansion lately, but Searchlight’s “Inisherin” with Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson looks to be an exception. The Martin McDonagh film expanded to 960 theaters in its fourth week and took seventh with $1.7 million for a total of $5.8 million.

“It’s been a really fun post-summer period for movie theaters, where some of the gems are doing well, like ‘Tickets to Heaven’ and ‘Smile,'” Dergarabedian said. “But movie theaters can’t survive on non-blockbuster-style films. The industry needs more of that.”

After “Black Panther,” the next blockbuster on the schedule is “Avatar: Ways of Water,” which hits theaters on December 16.

The weekend wasn’t entirely devoid of any other high-profile releases. Steven Spielberg’s autobiographical drama ” Fabermann ” opened in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles for $160,000. Universal and Amblin will bring the film to more theaters in the coming weeks to build around the possible Oscar contender Excited. Michelle Williams and Paul Dano play the parents of Spielberg stand-in Sammy Faberman, who falls in love with film and filmmaking when his parents’ marriage falls apart.

“It’s going to be a fun vacation,” Dergarabedian said. “I think a lot of TV shows and independent films are going to shine in the next few months.”

Expect ticket sales for theaters in the U.S. and Canada Friday through Sunday, according to Comscore. Final domestic data will be released on Monday.

1. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” $180 million.

2. “Black Adam,” $8.6 million.

3. “Paradise Tickets,” $6.1 million.

4. “Lyle, Lyle, Alligator,” $3.2 million.

5. “Smile,” $2.3 million.

6. “Devil’s Prey,” $2 million.

7. “The Banshee of Inisherin,” $1.7 million.

8. “One Piece Red,” $1.4 million.

9. “Until,” $618,000.

10. “Yashoda,” $380,000.


Follow AP film screenwriter Lindsay Barr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr.

Lindsay Barr, Associated Press

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