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‘One Piece’ To Challenge ‘Black Adam’ In Quiet Weekend

Next weekend will give a much needed jolt to the box office when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens and likely pushes the overall box office above $200 million for the first time since July. This weekend, it’s unlikely to even cross $60 million. With nothing significant opening, expect a drop from last weekend’s soft $67.7 million total, which itself was down 40% from the $114 million cume the weekend before when Black Adam was able to rescue us from the box office slump, if only for one weekend.

‘Black Adam’ Drops 59% But Retains Top Spot With $28 Million, ‘Prey For The Devil’ Opens To Soft $7 Million In Weak Pre-Halloween Weekend

After a $114 million overall box office last weekend, the first since July to hit the nine digits, the numbers plunged back down again to a weak $65.8 million pre-Halloween weekend. The weekends leading up to or including October 31st are often among the year’s lowest grossing, so this isn’t such a buzzkill, but it’s still far below the pre-pandemic norms, with no late October weekend grossing this little since the 1990s. Next weekend looks to be even worse, and though Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will bring the numbers back up the following weekend and possibly give us just the year’s fourth $200+ million total weekend box office, the current state of the yo-yoing box office is still far from ideal.

‘Black Adam’ To Dominate 2nd Weekend, ‘Ticket To Paradise’ Faces Off Against Newcomer ‘Prey For The Devil’ For Runner-Up

After the box office lifted up past $100 million last weekend for the first time since July, propelled by the latest superhero saga Black Adam, it is set to fall back down below the nine-digit line once again this weekend with no major titles opening to keep it afloat. It should still be a “good” weekend relative to the dry spell from mid-August through mid-October which saw seven straight weekends below $65 million, but the numbers may stoop that low again next weekend. Thankfully,Black Panther: Wakanda Forever comes the weekend after and will boast some of the biggest, if not the biggest, opening numbers of the year, but the rocky up-and-down box office of the post-Covid era continues to persist.Armageddon Time

Blockbusters Return As ‘Black Adam’ Opens To $67 Million, ‘Ticket to Paradise’ Is Solid Counterprogramming with $16 Million

After 12 straight weekends with an overall box office under $100 million, we’re finally back above the nine digit threshold. Led by Black Adam, the latest film in the DC Extended Universe, this weekend had an overall gross of $113 million, the best since July and the third best non-summer weekend of the year. Black Adam’s $67 million start is the best sinceThor: Love and Thunder (which, perhaps not coincidentally, was the last big superhero film) in July, and it is the best opening of the year for a property that hasn’t already been established on the big screen (though it of course has big franchise connections).

‘Black Adam’ Brings Back The Blockbuster, ‘Ticket to Paradise’ Provides The Counterprogramming

Finally, Black Adam signals the return of the blockbuster. The DCEU film could not come soon enough, arriving after a brutal box office drought with 12 straight weekends where the overall box office was below $100 million, a streak that will hopefully be broken this weekend. After over two months of what was ultimately counter-programming without the main programming, it’s great to have some heavier weight classes back in the ring, which started with last weekend’s disappointing but still good $40.1 million opening for Halloween Ends. Black Adam isn’t the sort to come even close to a nine digit opening (for that we’ll have to wait three weeks for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), but two weeks in a row of at least mid-eight digit openings is bringing some much needed relief to a struggling marketplace.

Horror Reigns This October As ‘Halloween Ends’ Opens To $41 Million And ‘Smile’ Continues Its Phenomenal Holds

First up, the good news. This weekend had the best total box office in eight weekends, led by Halloween Ends, which had the best opening in 12 weekends. The weekend was 31% above last weekend and 39% above the average of the past seven weekends. After a disastrous two and a half month stretch, the box office is finally lifting back up, and next weekend it should vault above $100 million for the first time since July, led by the release of Black Adam.

‘Halloween Ends’ To Scare Away Box Office Slump

At last, the reinforcements are arriving. After 11 weekends in a row under $100 million and seven in a row under $65 million, the overall box office will finally start returning to non-disastrous levels this weekend with the first tentpole title in months, Halloween Ends. Unless the Universal film has a huge overperformance, we won’t be getting into the nine digits this weekend, but Halloween Ends should be the top opener since Thor: Love and Thunder over three months ago and it will likely lead the biggest total weekend box office since Bullet Train opened in the first weekend of August (that weekend had an overall cume of $92.1 million, a number that is possible but not especially likely this weekend). Next weekend, the combination of the Dwayne Johnson-starring DCEU film Black Adam and the George Clooney and Julia Roberts starring rom-com Ticket to Paradise will be enough to push the box office past the $100 million mark for the first time since July.

‘Smile’ Has Year’s Best Second Weekend Hold As It Falls Just 22%, ‘Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile’ Bites Off A Meager $11.5 million, ‘Amsterdam’ Flops With $6.5 Million Start

It was another lousy weekend with a total box office of just $57 million, the 11th in a row under $100 million and the seventh in a row under $65 million. There hasn’t been a stretch this bad since before the summer of 2021, but thankfully reinforcements are on the way. The next two weekends will see the releases of Halloween Ends and Black Adam, which will bring us to an era where these truly dire weekend grosses are exceptions rather than the norm.

‘Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile’ & ‘Amsterdam’ Open As Dry Spell Winds Down

September turned out to be the lowest grossing month since May 2021, and by pre-pandemic standards it was the lowest grossing since 1996. Though a few individual films did okay, there’s no denying that the $319 million cume for the entire month was a horrendous return. Hopefully it will never be repeated, and thankfully the changing of the box office seasons is upon us. This weekend is the last of the doldrums, and the one-two punch of Halloween Ends next weekend and Black Adam the following weekend will bring the numbers back up to levels we haven’t seen since July, with the bigger fireworks show coming November 11 when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens. The year’s final quarter may not live up to pre-pandemic years, but it is still a huge relief after the two month dry spell. We just had 10 weekends in a row (11 after this weekend) below $100 million, with the past six weekends coming in under $65 million and this weekend likely continuing that trend.

‘Smile’ Overperforms With Great $22 Million, But It Can’t Turn The Box Office Frowns Upside Down As ‘Bros’ Flops

Paramount’s cleverly promoted horror film Smile may be full of terror and trauma, but it is the sole bright spot in the box office this weekend, opening to $22 million and coming in first place by a huge margin. The $17 million budgeted scarefest nabbed the best opening since Bullet Train nearly two months ago, beating out bigger budget and more hyped titles such as The Woman King and Don't Worry Darling. This is all from a film that was once planned to go straight to Paramount+, only changing direction and ultimately getting a 3,645 theater launch after a strong response from test audiences. Time will tell if it has the legs that The Black Phone had (grossing $89.9 million from a $23.6 million opening) and Barbarian is having (opening to $10.5 million and now at $33.1 million after four weekends, and that’s off a budget of just $4 million), but this is a great opening even if it it plays like a more typically frontloaded horror film from here. The better than expected hold following its $8.2 million Friday-plus-previews gross bodes well for its long term potential, as do the pretty good reviews (75% on Rotten Tomatoes) and the not bad for a horror film B- CinemaScore. Internationally the film grossed an additional $14.5 million for a global cume of $36.5 million.

‘Smile’ To Bring Screams & ‘Bros’ To Bring Laughs In Another Slow Weekend

This weekend and next weekend are the last two before Halloween Ends arrives to kick off the fall/winter blockbuster season and revive the box office, but until then the smaller titles are doing their best to keep the box office afloat. Last weekend’s $61.8 million overall box office cume may not have been good in absolute terms (before the pandemic it would have been the worst in decades), but it was the best weekend in over a month, and this weekend could see similar numbers with two new studio films leading the way. We’re almost out of the slump, and it turned out to not be as bad as expected.

‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Scores Best Opening In Five Weekends With $19.2 Million, ‘Avatar’ Brings In Another $10 Million In Re-Release

This is another weekend that would have been the weakest in decades before the pandemic but was relatively solid in the terms of the current post-summer box office slump. With an overall box office of $59.7 million (up 17% from last weekend), this is the biggest weekend in over a month, the first time since July there were three movies over $10 million, and “only” the ninth lowest grossing weekend of the year. The tentpoles won’t begin to arrive for another three weekends to lift the overall numbers back up, but individual films are generally performing solidly, if not exceptionally. In other words, though the main events are missing, the counterprogramming is doing well. This weekend and the previous weekend both had newcomers opening to nearly $20 million and saw none of the holdovers in the top ten fall more than 42%, and while the overall numbers are still dismal by normal standards, the drought-era is not as bad as many had expected.

Can ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ & ‘Avatar’ Re-Release Relieve The Box Office Blues?

The drought of tentpoles began in early August after the release of Bullet Train, and it will last until the mid-October release of Halloween Ends. Despite the lack of the main events, which has caused the overall box office to plunge below $60 million for four weekends straight and possibly three more to come, the season has had some solid counterprogramming, best exemplified by last weekend’s overperforming $19 million opening of The Woman King which should have strong legs given the film's exceptional word of mouth (including the rare A+ CinemaScore). This weekend, we get the release of Don’t Worry Darling, perhaps the season’s buzziest title, and it may be the biggest weekend gross for a film since Bullet Train’s $30 million debut seven weekend’s ago (the biggest since then is Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero’s $21.1 million opening five weekends ago).Harry StylesFlorence PughOlivia WildeGemma ChanKiKi LayneNick KrollChris PineViola DavisJames Cameron

‘The Woman King’ Slays With Overperforming $19 Million Debut & A+ CinemaScore

Though the box office slump continues, it looks like the worst is over. The weekend’s $48.5 million overall box office is the fourth worst of the year, but it's around a 13% increase from last weekend’s $42.3 million, which was the year’s second worst weekend and may turn out to be the season’s weakest. This weekend is the first in September to perform better than the same weekend last year, which had an MCU title at the head of the month with little else to follow, and the buzz on Don't Worry Darling suggests that next weekend should see more growth. Of course, these low overall numbers are still bleak (keep in mind no pre-pandemic weekend dropped below $60 million since 2001), and the numbers will remain ugly until Halloween Ends opens in four weekends from now, but after seven of the past ten weekends declining, any improvement is a decent sign.

‘The Woman King’ To Reign Over Niche Releases

We’re still knee deep in the current box office slump, with five weeks left until Halloween Ends carries us out of it. However, after a better than expected $42.3 million overall box office last weekend (a 24% drop) and solid buzz on this weekend’s The Woman King and next weekend’s Don't Worry Darling, it looks like we may be able to weather the storm without hitting a new low overall weekend low for the year (January 28-30’s $34.9 million gross is the number to beat). This would only be a minor consolation, and we may not see a single weekend even get over $60 million until October 14-16, but having a few doubles and triples will tide theaters over until the upcoming season of homeruns and grand slams.

‘Barbarian’ Wins With $10 Million In Year’s 2nd Worst Weekend

The late summer/early fall box office woes continue. Though the new releases opened well on their own terms in this post Labor Day weekend (which was once set to have Salem’s Lot come out, alas it was delayed), they weren’t enough to keep this from becoming the year’s second worst grossing weekend. With an overall box office of $40.3 million, it comes in only ahead of the $34.9 million weekend of January 28-30, which didn’t have a single new wide release. If there’s a positive spin to put on the weekend, it’s that the newcomers overperformed slightly and the weekend fell less than expected, "only” dropping 28% despite larger than usual drops on the holdovers thanks to inflated grosses last weekend with the National Cinema Day $3 ticket promotion last Saturday. If the coming weeks’ releases such as The Woman King and Don’t Worry Darling hit their targets and then some, it could be enough to keep the box office from falling to new 2022 lows over the next month before Halloween Ends opens and ushers the industry out of the current slump.

‘Barbarian’ Could Be A Sleeper Hit In Dire Box Office Climate

The box office was up 5.9% last weekend, bolstered by the lure of $3 tickets on National Cinema Day on Saturday, making it one of just two weekends over the past eight weeks where the box office didn’t decline (though it was still the fifth worst weekend of the year). Unfortunately, the numbers will once again fall this weekend, likely below the year’s second worst weekend in the overall box office (January 21-23 with $46 million, around 17% below last weekend’s $55.2 million) but probably staying above the year’s worst weekend (January 28-30 with $34.9 million, around 37% below last weekend). We can expect larger drops than usual given the juiced grosses from National Cinema Day, but we still may see decent holds and openings this weekend. Still, there’s no denying the grim state of the box office. This may even be the third weekend in a row where no film hits $10 million, a modest milestone that only three weekends in the entire 2010s failed to reach but which nonetheless could be a difficult hurdle for most of the next five weekends. Halloween Ends, the next tent pole, is still over a month away, and until then every weekend will be a bleak forecast.

Holdovers, Re-releases, & $3 Tickets Keep Box Office Afloat Over Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day weekend is not a shining spot for the box office, often known for being a dumping ground and among the year’s lowest grossing weekends. The rare exception is 2021, with the MCU film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings breaking the holiday weekend’s record as it opened to $75.4 million for the three-day and $94.7 million for the four-day and led to the overall three-day box office ($110 million) being the year’s fifth best. This year, it’s back to the status quo of the holiday weekend being stuck in the doldrums, and it is looking even more dire than usual. Estimates put the weekend at $53 million for the three-day (slightly above last weekend’s $52 million) and $62.3 million for the four-day, making it the worst Labor Day outing since the 1990s, leaving aside 2020 (for comparison’s sake, 2019 had a $91.7 million three-day and $121 million four-day gross). The three-day is the fourth lowest grossing of the year, and we may soon see the lowest grossing weekends since May 2021 due to the dearth of big new releases in the coming weeks.

Holdovers & Re-Releases To Rule Quiet Labor Day Weekend

Last weekend was the third lowest grossing of the year, bringing the box office to lows not seen since January. The 40% drop was the largest of the year for a weekend not following the release of an MCU movie, and that was despite three new films going wide. With no new theatrical exclusives going wide this weekend, we can expect another dip at the box office, though the holiday and the high profile re-releases should keep the box office from dropping as much as it did last weekend. Nonetheless, barring 2020, this will be the weakest Labor Day weekend since the 1990s, and this comes a year after the fourth highest grossing Labor Day weekend of all time, led by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which broke the Labor Day Weekend record with its $94.7 million four-day gross. In contrast, nothing this weekend will even beat the top grosser of Labor Day weekend 2020 when Tenet grossed $11.6 million for the four day, and that was in the height of the pandemic before vaccines were available and theaters were still closed in many parts of the country. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

The Invitation’ In 1st Place With $7 Million In One Of The Year’s Worst Weekends, ‘Three Thousand Years of Longing’ Casts A Weak Spell With $2.9 Million

Expectations for this weekend were low, but it still feels like a disappointment as it dropped 34% from last weekend and became the year’s third lowest grossing at the box office. Despite three wide releases, the overall box office dropped to $52.1 million, making this the worst weekend since January and the first weekend since May 2021 where no film grossed over $10 million. The newcomers failed to spark and the top film from last weekend took a massive plunge in the final weekend of August, and while the month outperformed August 2021 (which had a $418 million cume compared to this month’s $451 million with still a few days to go), September may bring us to box-office lows we haven’t seen since the late May 2021 summer kickoff.
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