Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Shocks No One As This Weekend's Box Office Champion, But It Falls Short Of A Goal

As expected, there was really only one game in town this weekend at the box office. It was fully anticipated that Ryan Coogler's Black Panther: Wakanda Forever would be a box office juggernaut, and the only real question to be answered was about whether or not it would have the biggest theatrical opening of 2022. 

With early numbers in, it doesn't look like the Marvel blockbuster is going to take hold of that record, but the ticket sales are impressive nonetheless. Check out the full Top 10 below, and join me after for analysis!

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in Weekend Box Office November 11-13, 2022

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)
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1. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever*$180,000,000 $180,000,000 Row 0 - Cell 3 4,396
2. Black Adam$8,600,000 $151,123,090 13,603
3. Ticket To Paradise$6,100,000 $56,512,445 33,633
4. Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile$3,200,000 $40,839,609 62,486
5. Smile$2,330,000 $102,776,517 42,271
6. Prey For The Devil$2,010,000 $16,961,244 52,164
7. The Banshees Of Inisherin$1,700,000 $5,784,663 7960
8. One Piece Film: Red$1,447,807 $12,768,073 22,213
9. Till$618,254 $8,038,426 81,358
10. Armageddon Time$352,000 $1,582,570 12981

Earning $330 Million Worldwide, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Is An Instant Hit

Like Jaume Collet-Serra's Black Adam, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was produced with a massive price tag (to be specific, a $250 million budget, per Variety), but while it took the DC movie three weeks to reach $300 million worldwide, the Marvel film was able to earn that much money in three days. This weekend's only new title in wide release made an estimated $180 million domestically, and it also earned $150 million overseas, bringing its global box office total thus far to $330 million.

Those figures automatically launch the movie to high spots on the 2022 charts. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is already ranked as the eighth biggest film of the year domestically, and it sits in 14th place worldwide. 

There is no question that the Marvel movie is off to a terrific start... but it also wasn't quite able to grab the brass ring mentioned earlier. Earlier this year, Sam Raimi's Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness made $187.4 million in its first three days, and the early results via The Numbers show Black Panther sequel fell a bit short of that total. The silver lining is that there is a very real possibility that Wakanda Forever will have stronger legs and become the bigger hit in the long run.

Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Remembering back to this past May, those who track box office developments will remember that Doctor Strange And The Multiverse Of Madness did not have a strong second weekend – dropping a scary 67 percent. It continued to make money throughout the month, but eventually its core audience was taken by new blockbusters like Joseph Kosinski's Top Gun: Maverick and Colin Trevorrow's Jurassic World: Dominion.

The Doctor Strange sequel ended up doing quite well in its theatrical run, earning $411.3 million on the big screen, but Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has a lot of advantages that could eventually see it end up playing leap frog its Marvel sibling in the box office rankings.  For starters, the Ryan Coogler movie has earned a warmer critical reception, and, for what it's worth, it also has a superior grade from CinemaScore surveys ("A" vs. "B+"). Perhaps more importantly, its biggest competition isn't arriving until December 16 when James Cameron brings audiences back to Pandora with Avatar: The Way Of Water.

There is a lot of excitement about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and it will very likely reverberate through the Thanksgiving holiday and into next month. It's unlikely that it will end up making as much money as Ryan Coogler's Black Panther back in 2018, but it will be regarded as one of Marvel's premium hits since 2020 and the start of the pandemic.

Black Adam's Numbers Take A Dip, But The DC Film Crosses Another Domestic Milestone

The arrival of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was always going to spell trouble for Black Adam. The two movies have the exact same primary target audience, and while there is certainly a population of DC fans who don't see Marvel movies, they most definitely aren't the majority. As such, it's unsurprising to see the Dwayne Johnson film – after three weeks of coasting in the top spot at the box office – experience a rough 53 percent weekend-to-weekend drop.

For the first time, Black Adam failed to put up eight-figure numbers in ticket sales, and had to settle for $8.6 million added to its domestic total. On the bright side, this has pushed the film over $150 million earned in the United States and Canada, and in the region it now sits as the ninth biggest movie of the year (pushing just past Baz Luhrmann's Elvis). Now the question looms as to whether or not it will be able to finish the year in the Top 10, which definitely isn't guaranteed right now.

As has been the cast since the beginning, Black Adam's box office situation looks a lot rosier when one factors in the money from foreign markets. Adding to the list of milestones, this weekend saw the movie's overseas numbers eclipse $200 million, putting the worldwide earnings at $352.2 million.

In Super Limited Release, Steven Spielberg's The Fabelmans Has A Crazy Per Theater Average

While Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was the massive movie new to wide release this weekend, this past Friday also saw one of this year's big prestige titles arrive on the big screen: Steven Spielberg's The Fabelmans. The autobiographical drama will be  in theaters nationwide in time for Thanksgiving later this month, but it has launched in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles, and it did quite well in those locations.

Given its extreme limited release, The Fabelmans didn't make it on to this weekend's Top 10, but it did still end up being the fourteenth biggest movie domestically with $161,000 earned in ticket sales. Obviously that isn't a lot of money when you consider the budget of a film, but it's an awesome gross from just four theaters. Crunching the numbers, that's $40,250 per location, and that's a number that nearly matches what Black Panther: Wakanda forever did in more than 4,000.

Looking ahead to next weekend, it will surprise exactly zero people when the new Marvel blockbuster is back in the number one spot, but there are some interesting titles arriving in wide release – including Mark Mylod's horror film The Menu and Maria Schrader's docudrama She Said. Head back here to CinemaBlend on Sunday to see how they shake up the Top 10, and get a look ahead at all the features set to come out in what remains of the year with our 2022 Movie Release Calendar.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

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.