‘Black Adam’ Tops In Third Weekend With $18.5 Million, ‘One Piece Film: Red’ Is Another Solid Anime Release With $9.5 Million Opening
This was another rough weekend at the box office with the combined gross of all films clocking in at $57.7 million, which is down 15% from last weekend and ranks as the year’s eighth lowest grossing. It isn’t all bad news, though. The weekend saw some great holds and a solid opening, and the post-summer box office slump will come to an end next weekend when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever delivers what may be the year’s biggest opening, leading what could potentially be the year’s highest grossing weekend.

Until then, Black Adam continues to lead the way. The DCEU film starring Dwayne Johnson brought in another $18.5 million in its third weekend, holding well as it dropped 33%, much improved from last weekend’s 59% decline. With a cume of $137 million, it is ahead of comp Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, which dropped 44% in its third weekend with a gross of $14.2 million and a cume of $134 million. Hobbs & Shaw went on to gross $174 million, though Black Adam may not keep the same pace with the big superhero competition coming next week, and it should also be noted that these numbers may not be enough for the film to make up its $200 million budget. The international numbers are similarly solid but not especially strong considering the cost. It grossed $25.4 million this weekend from most markets (though China is out of play here, and Japan has yet to open), down 35% in holdover markets, bringing it to an international cume of $182 million. Worldwide the total is $320 million. At this point, it’s safe to say that this isn’t a smash, but it’s not a flop either.

It looked like Black Adam had a serious challenger this weekend from the anime One Piece Film: Red, which is the ninth highest grossing film of all time in Japan with $120 million. The audience didn’t prove to be quite as large in North America, though, with the $9.5 million weekend cume giving it a second place finish. Still, this is a solid showing for the Crunchyroll release, which continues to show the expanding market for anime. Just a few years ago, an anime film opening in 2,367 theaters including IMAX and other premium large formats and grossing nearly $10 million would have been surprising and noteworthy. Today, it feels routine. Before 2021, only two anime films opened above $10 million, and both were Pokémon titles released at the height of the craze for the games (1999’s Pokémon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back still ranks as both the biggest opener for an anime with $31 million and the biggest domestic grosser with $85.7 million, and the following year’s Pokémon the Movie 2000 still ranks top tier as well with a $19.6 million opening and a $43.8 million domestic cume). In the past year and a half, we saw Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train, Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie, and Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero all open around $20 million, and now One Piece Film: Red, though much softer than those titles, should still end up as one of the biggest domestic grossing animes ever. To compare within the same franchise, the 2019 One Piece: Stampede grossed just $1.3 million in North America, and we saw similar growth from the Dragon Ball series, with the recent Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero opening more than double its 2019 predecessor Dragon Ball Super: Broly ($21.1 million compared to $9.8 million), though the final grosses were closer together ($38.1 million compared to $30.7 million). These are frontloaded affairs and so far we’re only seeing around a handful of them a year, but nonetheless the anime successes are a nice addition to the box office.

Third place went toTicket to Paradise, which is having another great hold, dropping just 14% for a third weekend gross of $8.5 million and a cume of $46.7 million. That’s ahead of the $7.6 million third weekend of Where the Crawdads Sing (which was a drop of 27%), though that film still leads in its post-third weekend cume with $53.6 million. Crawdads grossed $90.2 million, and it would be a big surprise if Paradise catches up to that, but it’s possible if it keeps up with the killer holds. Either way, it looks like it will leg out well through the holiday season, and the $90.5 million international gross puts the $60 million budgeted rom-com at $137 million worldwide with still more to come, making it one of the few clear winners of the fall season.

As for the biggest winner of the fall season, Smile remains in the top five in its sixth weekend, dropping 26% and grossing $4 million. The domestic cume is at $99.1 million, just shy of the century mark, and the international cume of $104 million puts it past $200 million worldwide, a remarkable feat for a $17 million budget film.

Prey for the Devil took fifth place with $3.88 million. The 46% weekend two drop is pretty good for a horror film that isn’t especially well received, but the $7.2 million opening last weekend was too small for it to really go anywhere even with solid holds. The cume is now $13.6 million.

The specialty box office is still struggling. The Banshees of Inisherin expanded to 895 theaters and came in seventh place with $2 million (and a $3 million cume). This beats last weekend’s expansion of Tár ($1 million from 1,087 theaters, and this weekend it brought in another $670k for a cume of $3.7 million), but it’s hardly a sign of recovery for the segment. Armageddon Time’s 1,006 theater expansion is less impressive, grossing $810k and falling outside of the top ten (the cume is $902k). Till is faring the best of the season’s awards hopefuls, and it dropped 32% to come in eighth place with $1.88 million this weekend, bringing the total to $6.58 million.