There’s major drama happening at the pre-Thanksgiving box office.
As expected, Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is staying atop the chart in its second weekend with $66 million-$67 million for a 10-day domestic total of nearly $290 million. On Friday, it earned $17.9 million for a domestic total of $238.6 million.
The Marvel Studios and Disney tentpole had hoped to clear at least $70 million in its sophomore outing, but is falling more than expected, or 63 percent.
It isn’t uncommon for a Marvel pic to decline more than 60 percent, although the first Black Panther, which opened to $202 million, declined less than 55 percent in its second weekend. The last two Marvel films, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Thor: Love and Thunder, both posted declines in the 67 percent range, according to Comscore.
Wakanda Forever launched to $181 million in North America last weekend, a November record. It was also the second-biggest box office debut of 2022 so far, behind Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($187.4 million).
Elsewhere, a special-event screening of faith-based series The Chosen, chronicling the life of Jesus, is pulling off a major upset. Fathom Events, which is showing the first two episodes of season three in more than 2,000 theaters, is projecting a $10 million-plus weekend for a second-place finish after grossing $3.4 million on Friday. The Chosen is from Angel Studios, which streams the independent show on such platforms as Prime Video and Peacock, as well as on its special app.
The Chosen beat new epicurean horror-comedy , which is opening in 3,211 theaters, the widest release in the history of specialty label Searchlight. The Menu, starring Ralph Fiennes, Anna Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult, should serve up a respectable $9 million debut after grossing roughly $3.6 million on Friday.
The new film suffering for attention is Universal’s She Said, which chronicles the work of New York Times investigative reporters Jodi Cantor (Zoe Kazan) and Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) in helping to expose Harvey Weinstein and give rise to the #MeToo movement. (The Universal film is based on the book of the same name authored by the two journalists.)
She Said is the latest adult drama to stall at the box office, and may only earn $2.2 million in its debut after earning roughly $830,000 on Friday. That would mark one of the worst openings in recent memory — excluding the pandemic — for a major studio release opening in more than 2,000 locations.
Universal believes it was important to make the film, and is counting on audiences discovering She Said throughout the holidays thanks to strong word of mouth. The film has been embraced by critics and earned an A CinemaScore from moviegoers. Nearly half of Friday ticket buyers were 45 and older, including 29 percent over 55.
In comparison, 65 percent of The Menu’s audience were between ages 17 and 34. (The Searchlight film earned a B CinemaScore.
At the specialty box office, Bones and All is opening in five theaters for a projected screen average of nearly $28,000.
Estimates will be updated Sunday morning.