Some weekends at the box office prove very hard to predict and offer big surprises... but this is not one of those weekends. Despite the fact that we are right in the heart of spooky season, David Gordon Green's Halloween Ends in its second week never stood a chance against Jaume Collet-Serra's Black Adam, and that's exactly what we saw play out over the last three days. The new DC superhero comic book blockbuster starring Dwayne Johnson had one of the biggest debuts of 2022 thus far, and the final battle between Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie Strode and Michael Myers utterly crated – which is surely a result of the film's hybrid release strategy.
Take a look at the weekend's Top 10 below, and join me after for analysis!
|1. Black Adam*
|Row 0 - Cell 3
|2. Ticket To Paradise*
|Row 1 - Cell 3
|4. Halloween Ends
|5. Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile
|6. The Woman King
|7. Terrifier 2
|8. Don't Worry Darling
|10. Triangle Of Sadness
Black Adam Is The New #1 Movie... But It Didn't Quite Put Up Marvel-esque Numbers
Like any major studio tentpole, Black Adam is a movie that cost a lot of money to make. Not even counting the project's decade-plus in development, publicity, or marketing, the film had a production budget of $195 million (per Variety) to ensure that the scale of the action made it fit right into the modern field of superhero blockbusters. That, obviously, has a major impact on the way that we view the box office results from the film's first Friday-to-Sunday in theaters.
When viewed in the vacuum of "movies released in 2022," Black Adam's performance this weekend looks good. Early estimates from The Numbers say that the DC Comics adaptation brought in about $67 million from ticket sales in the United States and Canada, and that's enough money to firmly place it in the Top 10 of domestic debuts since January – sandwiched between Jeff Fowler's Sonic The Hedgehog 2 ($72.1 million) and Angus MacLane's Lightyear ($50.6 million).
As of right now, it seems primed to be called one of the years biggest releases of the year .. but the aforementioned budget for the film adds a layer of context that makes one question how we will look back on the project's theatrical run once we get to the end of the year.
One big positive that Black Adam has working for it is the foreign release of the film. With some exceptions, Dwayne Johnson movies have long had a tendency to perform better overseas than in the United States and Canada, and it presently appears as though the star's latest project will continue that trend. In addition to the aforementioned $67 million made domestically, the film has also brought in an estimated $73 million from abroad, bringing its present global total to $140 million.
But are the box office earnings substantial and potentially stable enough to allow the blockbuster to have long legs that put Black Adam in the same league as the global totals for Taika Waititi's Thor: Love And Thunder ($745.2 million), Matt Reeves' The Batman ($767.6 million), or Sam Raimi's Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness ($952.2 million)? There's good reason to think that it won't.
For starters, significant as the star power of Dwayne Johnson may be, Black Adam doesn't have the same established brand cachet, and in addition to getting off to a slower start at the box office, the hype isn't as significant. Critics haven't been particularly kind to the movie – which is presently holding a 40 percent on Rotten Tomatoes – and the CinemaScore "B+" grade doesn't suggest any kind of populist edge over the previous 2022 superhero blockbusters (it matches the two Marvel movies, and The Batman got an "A-").
As far as competition is concerned, Black Adam does have some runway, as there aren't any other major blockbusters set to come out in the next couple weeks... but mid-November is when Ryan Coogler's Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to be unleashed to the world . The Hollywood Reporter says that the new Marvel Studios film could make as much as $175 million in its opening weekend, and that kind of launch would quickly move Dwayne Johnson's movie to long-term memory in audience's minds.
Black Adam is basically in a position where it needs to make as much money as possible before November 11, and tracking it across the next couple of weeks will be interesting.
Like Halloween Kills, Halloween Ends Suffers A Massive Second Week Plummet Of About 80 Percent
Even more predictable than what happened with Black Adam this weekend is the end result for Halloween Ends... which I'll describe with the words I used when I foresaw this happening in last weekend's box office column: it's a nightmare. Thanks to the choice by Universal Pictures to release the trilogy capper in theaters and on Peacock simultaneously, the horror movie's box office numbers have proven to be extremely front-loaded, and the film tanked in its second weekend.
The reason this was so easy to see coming is because almost the exact same thing happened with David Gordon Green's Halloween Kills in October 2021. That movie had a solid start at the box office, making $49.4 million in its first three days, but one week later it was proven that pretty much everyone who wanted to see the film on the big screen saw it within 72 hours. It collapsed in its second weekend, resulting in a shocking 71 percent weekend-to-weekend drop.
Bad as that was, the results for Halloween Ends are far, far worse. Not only did the 2022 release make less than its predecessor when it debuted (earning only about $40 million), but it has suffered an even worse weekend-to-weekend drop of about 80 percent, and it only managed a seven figure total. Because Universal doesn't officially release numbers about Peacock subscriber engagement and traffic, we have no idea how many people watched the slasher sequel online since this past Friday, but we do no that relatively few movie-goers left their house to watch it at their local cineplex.
The silver lining for Halloween Ends is that, unlike Black Adam, it didn't cost a crazy amount of money to produce. USA Today says the reported budget is between $20-30 million, and it has made $82 million globally to date. That being said, it's sad that the film didn't get the opportunity to reach its full box office potential as we get closer and closer to the holiday that it's named after.
Ticket To Paradise Has A Middling Opening As Counter Programming To Blockbusters And Horror
Unlike Black Adam and Halloween Ends, one big release this weekend that didn't come loaded up with expectations was Ol Parker's Ticket To Paradise, and it did... ok. The romantic comedy starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts is late getting a domestic release, as it hit theaters in other markets last month, but that just means that the money it makes in the United States and Canada is icing on the cake. The movie was surprisingly expensive to make – Variety pins the production budget at $60 million – and to date it has made $98.7 million globally.
How will things shift around next weekend with Halloween set to arrive the following Monday? What kind of drop can we expect from Black Adam? We'll have those answers for you next Sunday as part of our box office report, so be sure to return here to CinemaBlend for the results.
To learn more about all of the films set to come out between now and the end of the year, check out our 2022 Movie Release Calendar.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.