Warner Bros./DC’s “Black Adam” is meeting box office expectations with a solid $26.8 million opening day from 4,402 locations, as Dwayne Johnson’s DC debut is now projected for a $62 million opening.
That’s a couple steps above the $60 million pre-release projections set by both Warner Bros. and independent trackers, a figure that was also achieved by Johnson’s “Fast & Furious” spinoff “Hobbs & Shaw” in August 2019. Compared to other DC films, “Black Adam” is opening ahead of the $53.5 million launch of “Shazam!” in April 2019 and a few million below the $67 million opening of “Aquaman” in December 2018.
“Black Adam” has gotten weak reviews from the critics with a 41% Rotten Tomatoes score, but the film’s long-term fate was always going to come down to how much hardcore fans of Johnson and DC embraced it. On that front, early audience metrics are mixed as the film earned a B+ on CinemaScore. That’s the same grade that this year’s Marvel films “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and “Thor: Love and Thunder” earned, as well as last year’s DC bomb “The Suicide Squad.”
“Black Adam” should turn a profit for Warner Bros. when overseas results are included, but for Johnson to really have a strong case to push his plans for more “Black Adam” films — including a showdown with Superman — the film needs to have strong holds between now and the release of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” on Nov. 11.
Meanwhile, Universal is seeing mixed results from their films this weekend. On the one hand, the new romantic comedy “Ticket to Paradise” is off to a decent start with a $6.4 million opening day — more than the entire opening weekend of last month’s gay rom-com “Bros” — and is estimated for a $16 million opening.
While the film starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts cost $60 million to produce, this is a good result given the challenges that films aimed towards older audiences have had since theaters reopened. It is also consistent with the $16 million opening that Focus Features’ “Downton Abbey: A New Era” earned this past May.
With $75 million grossed overseas already, “Ticket to Paradise” has a good shot at profitability if it can leg out domestically, which is possible with an A- on CinemaScore and 87% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes despite mixed reviews with a 56% critics score.
But the bad news for Universal is that its franchise horror finale “Halloween Ends,” is estimated to take a staggering 80% drop from its $41 million opening weekend for a second weekend total of just $8 million. As it stands, “Ends” has fallen to fourth on the charts below “Ticket to Paradise” and Paramount’s “Smile,” which is showing much stronger legs as a seasonal horror title with an estimated $8.6 million in its fourth weekend.
Though “Halloween Ends” is set to turn a profit with an estimated 10-day total of just under $55 million domestically, any hopes theaters had that it would provide sustained box office support through the rest of October are now dashed. The film is now playing in theaters but also streaming on Peacock, which gives fans the choice to see it in a theater or stay home and watch it.
Sony’s “Lyle Lyle Crocodile” also looks like it is headed towards flop status as it slides to $4.1 million in its third weekend, giving it a total of $28.7 million domestic against a $50 million co-financed budget.