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Black Panther: Wakanda still tops

When it comes to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the box office numbers are undeniably strong. Following the MCU film’s $45.6 million Thanksgiving three-day and $63.8 million five-day weekend, it should stay above $20 million in this outing, which will push the cume ($372 million as of Tuesday) towards $400 million, if not beyond it, becoming just the third film this year to cross that line.

Once again, this weekend will belonged to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. That the film will (and likely the fifth time next weekend) may say more about the lack of serious competition in the marketplace than about the film’s performance. The buzz is still hot and the film is likely to benefit from the late movie-goers that heard about the film through word od mouthy.

By next weekend, Black Panther 2 will pass Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ $411 million cume to become the second best grosser of the year. Worldwide it is in seventh place with $681 million, and it should at least make it into the year’s top five, pulling ahead of The Batman’s $771 million, if not getting further.

Violent Night Strikes a chilling holiday note

Taking second place will be Universal’s Violent Night, the one new entrant that looks to command a decent audience and the only other film likely to make the double digit millions.

The Christmas-set action comedy is about a team of mercenaries (whose leader is played by John Leguizamo) robbing the mansion of a wealthy family (whose matriarch is played Beverly D’Angelo), with the only hope of saving the day coming from the one and only Santa Claus (played by David Harbour).

Genre films have been reliable through these difficult box office times, and Violent Night could continue the trend of modestly budgeted titles (this one cost $20 million) doing solid if not especially strong numbers (see Barbarian and The Menu), which is better than most films can claim as of late. A very optimistic holiday season comp would be Krampus, which opened to $16.3 million in the post-Thanksgiving weekend in 2015 and legged out to $42.7 million. The reviews are leaning positive here, with the Tomatometer coming in at 70%.

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