Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Stays At Number One At The Weekend Box Office While David Harbour's Violent Night Slays In Second Place

Letitia Wright as Shuri in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

The first weekend in December has historically never been big when it comes to box office results. With studios usually filling theaters to the brim with new tentpole movies during the Thanksgiving holiday, it's often been the case that zero fresh wide releases are put out in the week that follows. This year, however, has presented a break in the pattern.

As expected, Ryan Coogler's Black Panther: Wakanda Forever once again took the top spot at the box office, but Tommy Wirkola's Violent Night – which arrived in over 3,600 theaters on Friday – ended up being legitimate competition and finished with an eight-figure haul. Check out the full Top 10 below, and join me after for analysis!

Weekend Box Office banner Black Panther Wakanda Forever December 2-4, 2022

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)
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1. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever$17,593,000 $393,724,077 13,855
2. Violent Night*$13,300,000 $13,300,000 Row 1 - Cell 3 3,682
3. Strange World$4,921,000 $25,519,736 24,174
4. The Menu$3,556,000 $24,724,732 52,810
5. Devotion$2,800,000 $13,800,007 43,405
6. I Heard The Bells*$1,817,446 $2,584,458 Row 5 - Cell 3 474
7. Black Adam$1,665,000 $165,171,640 62,231
8. The Fabelmans$1,300,000 $5,565,446 7638
9. Bones And All$1,191,431 $6,041,165 82,727
10. Ticket To Paradise$850,000 $66,524,175 91,715

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Spends Its Fourth Weekend In A Row At The Top Spot: A New High For 2022

In its second weekend playing in wide release, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever took a surprise dip at the box office – with a 63 percent weekend-to-weekend drop – but the film has held strong in the weeks since then, and in doing so has set yet a domestic record.

This weekend marks the fourth time in a row that the Marvel Studios blockbuster has been in the number one movie in the United States and Canada, and that's something that no other film has managed to do in 2022. Major films like Matt Reeves' The Batman, Sam Raimi's Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, Joseph Kosinski's Top Gun: Maverick, and Jaume Collet-Serra's Black Adam all managed to stay in first place for three straight weekends earlier in the year, but all of them ended up being dethroned. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has outlasted all of them, and continues to climb the box office rankings as a result. 

When it premiered, the film notably fell short of having the biggest opening weekend of 2022, but while it failed to outpace Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness in its first three days, the blockbuster is getting closer and closer to outgrossing it domestically. To date, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has made $393.7 million in the US and Canada, which is less than $20 million away from the total that the Doctor Strange sequel earned before it left theaters during the summer. 

Winston Duke as M'Baku in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Globally, the 30th Marvel Cinematic Universe movie has earned $733 million, which is good enough for seventh place on the worldwide box office chart. It should ultimately make enough money to surpass Taika Waititi's Thor: Love And Thunder ($745.2 million) and Matt Reeves' The Batman ($767.6 million), but it likely won't be able to reach Doctor Strange, which finished its big screen run around the world earning $952.2 million.

In the next week, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will likely claim the top of the box office again, but where things go from that point forward will really depend on the performance of the next blockbuster from Disney: James Cameron's Avatar: The Way Of Water. The long-anticipated sequel to the biggest movie of all-time will be playing in theaters around the globe on December 16, and it has the potential to either steal all of the attention away from the Marvel film or merely co-exist with it at the box office for what remains of 2022.

David Harbour's Killer Santa Makes Bank As It Earns Second Place At The Box Office

We are most definitely in a season that invites warm and fuzzy movies and families unite for the holidays, but every so often there is a fun bit of counterprogramming that audiences latch on to. In 2022, Violent Night is scratching the itch, and its off to a wonderful start after its first three days playing in wide release.

After earning a positive reception from critics, Violent Night made $13.3 million in its debut, which is a terrific start when you factor in that it had a reported production budget of $20 million (per Variety). Adding in the money its made from release in foreign markets, the film has already brought in $20.4 million. Audiences are evidently getting a kick out of it, with CinemaScore surveys returning a "B+" grade, and while it's not going to grow to be a four-quadrant hit because of its R-rating, those who are looking for a bloody and fun time at the movies could keep it in the Top 5 in the weeks that remain in the year – and it may end up getting a bump from Christmas as well.

It's the second success story for production company 87North in 2022, which had a win with David Leitch's Bullet Train in the final weeks of the summer. Violent Night won't end up being able to match it at the box office, as the Brad Pitt-led action film made $238.8 million worldwide, but it will be regarded as a solid win.

The Menu Moves Up To Fourth Place As It Nears $25 Million Domestically

Looking at the rest of the Top 10 beyond the first two spots from this past weekend is a rather depressing endeavor, but in the search for a bright spot, one small one can be seen in the performance of Mark Mylod's The Menu. Since opening in second place on November 18, the film has managed to move very little, and this weekend it even managed to move up a spot, from fifth place to fourth. It's not exactly setting 2022 records, but it's performing modestly as a small movie made with a $30 million budget (according to Deadline), and it's made $47.2 million worldwide thus far.

As noted, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will likely be the number one movie domestically again next weekend, but two new titles in wide release that may lure audiences to theaters include Darren Aronofsky's The Whale starring Brendon Fraser and Michael Showalter's Spoiler Alert with Jim Parsons. Check back here next Sunday for our breakdown of the box office results, and hit up our 2022 Movie Release Calendar to discover all of the films set to come out in what remains of the year.

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.