‘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.

Last week’s champ Black Adam reigned once again this weekend, grossing $27.7 million and making up 42% of the total box office. The ten day cume comes to $111 million, vaulting it past nearly every film that has opened after the last big superhero film Thor: Love and Thunder came out in early July (the only film since that Black Adam hasn’t passed is Nope, which grossed $123 million, but it’s just days out from getting there). That’s all a good sign for the box office as a whole after a three month drought of big blockbuster content, but whether the 59% drop on the $195 million budgeted DCEU film is good is hard to say. The drop isn’t bad, especially accounting for the additional Halloween weekend dip, but some stronger legs were hoped for after a good but not exceptional $67 million opening. If Black Adam were able to triple its opening, that would have put it right past $200 million, but that looks less likely now.

At the rate it’s going, the year will likely end without a single non-sequel crossing $200 million, even when you count new characters in existing extended universes as non-sequels (even 2021 had Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings get to $225 million). Domestic comps from here on out are last November’s MCU film Eternals, which had a ten day cume of $118 million and went on to gross $165 million, and Dwayne Johnson’s own Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, which had a ten day cume of $108 million and went on to gross $174 million. Worldwide the cume is now $250 million, with international holdover territories dropping 45%. Whether it can still get to $400 million may depend on how well the gross holds up after Wakanda Forever comes out, but that seems to be an unlikely milestone if it doesn’t get a China release.

Last weekend’s number two Ticket to Paradise held its spot on the charts as it held great with $10 million, down just 39%. That puts the Clooney/Roberts rom-com at $33.7 million after ten days, not a great number for a $60 million budgeted film, but given its success abroad with $85.7 million in the bank from international markets, this one is already looking profitable. If it continues to show great legs domestically, then all the merrier. Some recent comps for where it could go from here are Where the Crawdads Sing, which had a $38.4 million ten-day and went on to gross $90.2 million, and The Woman King, which had a $36.2 million ten-day and currently has a $64.6 million cume (and it should creep up a few more million before finishing). Good word of mouth and the lack of mainstream titles for adults are working in the favor of Ticket to Paradise, and a $150 million worldwide cume should be in the cards here, though it remains to be seen if it can go much beyond that.

The rest of the top five is appropriately made up of horror films. The weekend’s only newcomer to go wide is Lionsgate’s Prey for the Devil, which came in third place with an unimpressive $7 million debut from 2,980 theaters. The budget is likely low here, so this may be good enough for what it is, though it’s worth pointing out that the director Daniel Stamm’s earlier film The Last Exorcism did more than that on its opening day and went on to gross $41 million off a $1.8 million budget. Hardly any critics turned up for Prey for the Devil and those that did were largely unenthusiastic (it’s at 20% from 20 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes), and the C+ CinemaScore isn’t bad for a horror film but also doesn’t give hope of it growing its audience much.

Smile continues its fantastic run, dropping 40% for a fourth place finish with $5 million. The cume is now $92.4 million after five weekends. Less impressive is Halloween Ends, coming in fifth with $3.8 million in its third weekend, bringing its total to just $60.3 million. The global cume of $94.7 million is still pretty good for the $33 million budgeted film, which has also been available since day one on the streaming platform Peacock, but the numbers here will end up well below that of Halloween Kills ($92 million domestic, $132 million worldwide) which itself was well below its predecessor Halloween (2018) ($159 million domestic, $256 million worldwide).

Also in the top ten is the biopic Till, which United Artists expanded to 2,058 theaters. The $2.8 million weekend gross (which placed it in seventh) and $3.6 million cume are nothing to write home about, but the A+ CinemaScore is, being just the third film this year to receive that highest level of praise from audiences. If Till keeps it up, it could become one of the few specialty box office titles this year to even pass $10 million.

The other noteworthy title in the top ten is Terrifier 2, the season’s most surprising indie success, which came in eighth place with $1.8 million as it expanded to 1,550 theaters. This is its fourth weekend, and each weekend has seen a bigger gross than the previous despite no significant expansions prior to this. The cume is now $7.6 million.