Whew. Thanks to a pair of movies featuring some of the world’s biggest movie stars, the domestic box office came alive after a tough fall.
DC and Warner Bros.’ superhero pic Black Adam flew to the top of the weekend chart with a promising $67 million to mark the biggest domestic opening of Dwayne Johnson’s career outside of the primary Fast & Furious franchise. (Johnson’s previous best was Hobbs & Shaw, which launched to $60 million.)
Overseas, Black Adam opened to $73 million from 77 markets for a global start of $140 million. The U.K. led with $6.1 million, followed by Mexico ($5.3 million), Brazil ($4.9 million) and Australia ($4.7 million).
While a $67 million domestic launch would usually be considered a relatively modest start for a big-budget superhero pic, Johnson’s movies are known to have especially strong multiples, which Black Adam will need to cover a production budget in the $195 million to $200 million range, including reshoots.
The New Line/Warner Bros. movie is playing in 4,350 cinemas, including Imax and premium large-format screens. Critics are mixed about the movie, while audiences gave it a B+ CinemaScore and OK exit scores. Males purchased more than 60 percent of all tickets sold.
Black Adam reunites Johnson with his Jungle Cruise director Jaume Collet-Serra and features a team of heroes new to the DC films: the Justice Society of America. That includes Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo) and Dr. Fate (Pierce Brosnan). As for Johnson, he plays Black Adam, an antihero imbued with ancient power.
Coming in No. 2 was Universal and Working Title’sTicket to Paradise, starring Julia Roberts and George Clooney as two bickering exes who try to stop their daughter from getting married. In a huge win for adult-skewing movies — and romantic comedies — the movie took flight with a better-than-expected $16.3 million from 3,542 theaters. Globally, it has cleared $96.6 million after earning a stellar $80.3 million overseas.
Ticket to Paradise marks the highest opening domestically for George Clooney since Tomorrowland (2015) and the highest opening for Julia Roberts since Wonder (2017). Females made up the majority of the audience, while 64 percent of all ticket buyers were 35 and older.
Paramount’s horror sensation Smile continued to chuckle loudly, coming in third in its fourth weekend with $8.4 million for a domestic total of $84.3 million and a whopping global total of $166.2 million.
Universal, Miramax and Blumhouse’s Halloween Ends fell 80 percent in its second weekend to $8 million for a domestic total of $54.7 million and $82.1 million globally (in the U.S. it is available on Peacock).
Combined revenue for the weekend exceeded $100 million for the first time since the summer box office recovery in July 2022, according to ComScore.
At the specialty box office, awards hopeful The Banshees of Inisherin, from Searchlight, posted a stellar opening location average of $45,250 from four theaters in New York and Los Angeles. It was the highest of the weekend, and among the best location averages of the year alongside fellow awards hopefuls Tár and Triangle of Sadness.
Banshees of Inisherin is among a number of awards players unfurling at the fall box office. Among holdovers, Till built momentum as it expanded into 104 locations to finish Sunday with an early domestic total of $667,000 from 104 locations. Next weekend, the acclaimed MGM and UAR film — which boasts a 99 percent critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes — will expand nationwide.
Tár finished its third weekend with a domestic total of $1.2 million from 141 locations, while Triangle of Sadness has earned $1.4 million.