New Movies Shake Up The Box Office On A Slow Thanksgiving Weekend, But Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Still Reigns

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

As is the tradition come late November, filmmakers offered up an eclectic mix last week for moviegoers to enjoy alongside their Thanksgiving feasts. A handful of new movies hit theaters with Wednesday releases, resulting in quite a bit of movement in the box office rankings. Overall the numbers were disappointing — and specifically for Disney’s pulpy sci-fi adventure Strange World — as domestic ticket sales are estimated to have brought in just $125 million overall. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, however, held strong to its No. 1 spot for a third week in a row, adding an additional $45.9 million to its domestic total at the end of the three-day weekend and continuing its climb up this year's overall global and domestic charts.

Take a look at this week’s Top 10 — which looks wildly different from last week’s pre-Thanksgiving box office chart — and then we’ll break it all down below: 

Weekend Box Office November 25-27, 2022

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)
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TITLEWEEKEND GROSSDOMESTIC GROSSLWTHTRS
1. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever$45,900,000$367,670,59614,258
2. Strange World*$11,900,000$18,600,000 4,174
3. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery*$9,200,000$13,300,000 696
4. Devotion*$6,000,000$9,040,0003,405
5. The Menu$5,200,000$18,670,44323,228
6. Black Adam$3,350,000$162,972,609 42,664
7. The Fabelmans*$2,220,000 $3,429,766638
8. Bones and All*$2,206,000$3,710,5372,727
9. Ticket to Paradise$1,850,000$65,069,83052,238
10. She Said$1,100,000$4,302,00062,023

After a worrisome second week saw Black Panther 2 drop 63 percent from its premiere, Ryan Coogler’s sequel was able to bring its domestic earnings to $367.7 million after three weekends. With a reported budget of $250 million, Marvel can count this one a success, as it currently stands at No. 6 for highest grossing movies of the year and is threatening to overtake both The Batman (No. 5, $369.3 million) and Minions: The Rise of Gru (No. 4, $369.5 million).  

The MCU blockbuster — which had the challenge of continuing without its predecessor’s star, when Chadwick Boseman passed away after battling colon cancer — also increased its international earnings to $307.9 million for a worldwide total of $675.6 million, jumping to No. 7 in the 2022 global rankings. 

This good news is one of few silver linings of an overall tepid Thanksgiving weekend, whose $125 million overall is down more than 10 percent from 2021’s $142 million, per Variety, which itself was considered a concern. These past two years have brought in just a fraction of pre-pandemic Thanksgiving box office results, which often reportedly topped $250 million over the five-day holiday. 

Strange World Disappoints For Disney On Holiday Weekend 

The year-over-year Thanksgiving drop might not have felt so drastic if we’d seen the success that’s come to be expected from Disney with its holiday release. When the kids are out of school, families are accustomed to hitting the theaters for a Disney animated flick to enjoy on Thanksgiving weekend, with past holiday offerings including Encanto, Frozen II and Ralph Breaks the Internet. That makes it all the worse that Strange World opened to such low numbers, earning just $18.6 million over its first five days — which include Wednesday and Thursday in addition to the traditional three-day weekend total.

In comparison, Encanto earned $40.3 million in its first five days last year, with the pre-pandemic Frozen sequel garnering $123.7 million in 2019; Ralph Breaks the Internet earning $84.6 million in 2018; and Coco raking in $71 million in 2017.

The new movie didn’t get any help from international ticket sales, either, as it picked up $9.2 million for a worldwide total of just $27.8 million. With a reported budget of $180 million, it’s unlikely that Disney is going to be able to break even with this one, especially as it opened to mixed reviews from critics — though CinemaBlend’s Sarah El-Mahmoud said in her review that she thought the Jake Gyllenhaal-starrer was a blast. 

And not to kick a movie while it’s down, but Strange World’s grade of a B from CinemaScore makes it the first Disney Animation Studios film to ever receive a grade lower than A- since polling began with 1991’s Beauty and the Beast (which received an A), per ScreenRant

Edward Norton in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Glass Onion Scores A Big Win In Limited Run Ahead Of Netflix Release 

Of the new releases during this holiday weekend, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery easily saw the most success, landing at No. 3 in the box office rankings with its five-day haul of $13.3 million. The sequel — which is receiving rave reviews from critics, including a perfect score from CinemaBlend’s own Mike Reyes — was released in fewer than 700 theaters for a one-week run before it hits Netflix on December 23. 

While its earnings are considerably less than Knives Out’s 2019 five-day total of $41 million, it’s important to remember that the original was released before COVID wreaked havoc on movie theaters, and it was released on more than 3,800 screens — over five times as many as Glass Onion in its limited release. In fact, according to The Numbers, Glass Onion earned $13,218 per theater this weekend, in comparison to the $10,780 per-theater earnings of the week’s No. 1 movie, Wakanda Forever, and No. 2 Strange World’s paltry $2,851 per theater.

It’ll be interesting to see how this week’s new releases — which also included the Korean War drama Devotion, Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans and the cannibalistic romance Bones and All — do in their second week, as the only new competition will be the Christmas dark comedy Violent Night, starring Stranger Things’ David Harbour, so be sure to join us for next week's box office breakdown! In the meantime, be sure to take a look and see what else is heading to theaters in December, and check out our 2023 Movie Release Schedule to start planning ahead for movie nights in the new year. 

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.