Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has kept its position at the top of the box office, as the film has finally crossed $400M to do so. What stands out though is that while it’s a rough weekend for the box office, this marks Ryan Coogler as the first director to have two of his films stand at the top spot for five weeks consecutively; that back-to-back releases. The film did luck out with Wakanda Forever having no true competition until Avatar: The Way of Water that’ll release next weekend.
One thing is clear though, Wakanda Forever is not going to scratch the $700M domestic or the $1.3B global from the original Black Panther in 2018. While some corners of the internet are calling it a flop, the film is far from it. Its success is quite commendable if you also consider it lost its main draw, the title star Chadwick Boseman, and a movie market that is simply not what it once was. Only in 2022 can a film that’s going to pass $800M be considered a flop of any kind; a fate cursed upon Thor: Love and Thunder just a few months back. As of now, Wakanda Forever stands at an impressive $767.8M and is the sixth-highest grossing movie of 2022.
The big question on everyone’s mind is: what is going on? The weekend pulled in $38.5M and marks the second worst of the entire year followed by the soft opening back in January at around $35M. Sadly, with no real releases throughout the last few weeks, there’s simply no momentum or reason for people to go to the theater. We’ve seen some standout successes this year that still managed to revive the box office, such as Marvel Studios’ three massive openings, The Batman and Top Gun: Maverick‘s impressive legs, Jurassic World still showing its dominance, and even a Minion movie almost crossing a billion.
Yet, the fall release schedule has been abysmal with minor releases and barely anything to draw audiences in. Black Adam did not reignite the spark that Warner Bros. hoped it could when it’s saving measures led to it only releasing two films for the rest of the quarter. Smaller releases did quite well like Violent Night‘s impressive hold at the second spot but Disney couldn’t give it a boost with its undermarketed Strange World animated film. Devotion went on to proof that Top Gun Maverick was more a lightning in a bottle rather than the new norm. There’s hope that the packed schedule for 2023 could bring some more life back into theaters, but 2022’s only remaining hope is Avatar: The Way of Water.