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On a dismal film weekend, ‘Wakanda’ stays on top

By AFP - Dec 13,2022 - Last updated at Dec 13,2022

LOS ANGELES — Disney and Marvel’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” has again led the North American box office, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported on Sunday, but the film’s estimated weekend take of just $11.1 million reflected a deep slump in moviegoing.

Hollywood has suffered from a dearth of big new films and the growing popularity of home streaming services. This weekend’s top 12 films grossed under $35 million, one of the year’s worst totals, analysts said.

In its five weeks out, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” has now taken in a domestic total of $409.8 million. But that is far from the $700.4 million grossed by the original 2018 film, and “Wakanda” is expected to be knocked off its reigning perch next weekend. 

The release December 16 of 20th Century’s much anticipated “Avatar: The Way of Water” “can’t come soon enough”, said “Until then, the box office is slowing to a crawl.”

In second place this weekend was Universal’s action comedy “Violent Night”, at $8.7 million for the Friday-through-Saturday period. David Harbour stars as a sledgehammer-wielding Santa who takes on some bad guys trying to ruin one family’s Christmas.

Disney’s computer-animated sci-fi film “Strange World” again placed third, with ticket sales of $3.6 million. 

Searchlight’s horror-comedy “The Menu”, starring Ralph Fiennes, held at fourth place, taking in $2.7 million. 

And in fifth was Sony’s “Devotion”, about the friendship of two US fighter pilots during the Korean War, at $2 million.

One weekend bright spot, said, was A24’s “The Whale”, which in limited release took in $360,000 from just six theatres, the best per-screen average this year. Brendan Fraser, in a prosthetic suit, stars as a 270-kilogramme man who tries to reconnect with his daughter.

Rounding out the top 10 were “Black Adam” ($1.3 million), “The Fabelmans” ($1.2 million), “Met Opera: The Hours” ($791,000), “I Heard the Bells” ($751,000) and “Spoiler Alert” ($700,000).


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