The good news: Tommy Wirkola’s holiday-themed action-thriller Violent Night Scared up a solid $13.3 million from 3,682 theaters in its box debut, while Black Panther: Wakanda Forever continued to be a crowd-pleaser in topping the chart with $17.6 million from 3,855 locations.
Wakanda Forever has now earned an impressive $394 million domestically to pass up such superhero pics as The Batman, and $733 million globally. It is also the first film since Spider-Man: No Way Home to stay no. 1 for four consecutive weekends.
Violent Night was the only new wide studio release over the Dec. 2-4 weekends. From Universal and 87North, the genre pic follows a team of mercenaries who break into the compound of a wealthy family on Christmas Eve and take everyone inside hostage. But they aren’t prepared for a surprise combatant: Santa Claus (David Harbour), who proves that Nick is no saint.
Overseas, Wirkola’s film opened to $7 million from 72 markets for a global stat of $20.4 million.
Violent Night — earning a respectable B+ CinemaScore and placing No. 2 — also stars John Leguizamo, Alex Hassell, Alexis Louder, Leah Brady, Eddie Patterson, Cam Gigandet and Beverly D’Angelo.
Otherwise, it was a frosty weekend for moviegoing as a number of leftover Thanksgiving films failed to see much action. Complicating matters, Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery was only allowed by Netflix to play in theaters for one week over the holiday (while the streamer didn’t report Thanksgiving grosses for Glass Onionthe movie fared well, according to sources).
Disney’s family animated pic Strange World continued to struggle in its second weekend, earning a mere $4.9 million from 4,174 cinemas for a 12-day domestic total of $25.5 million and $42.3 million worldwide. At this pace, the movie could lose more than $100 million.
Searchlight’s The Menu placed no. 4 with $3.6 million from 2,810 theaters for a domestic tally of nearly $25 million and north of $47 million globally.
Sony and Black Label Media’s Devotion rounded out the top five with $2.8 million or thereabouts in its sophomore session for a 12-day domestic tally of $13.8 million. The Korean War drama stars Jonathan Majors and Top Gun: Maverick‘s Adam Powell.
Powell had double duty over the weekend as Paramount rereleased Top Gun 2 in 1,854. The blockbuster, placing no. 11, earned another $700,000 for a domestic total north of $717 million.
Back on the top 10 chart, Fathom Events’ special showing of I heard the bells, about the story behind the famous Christmas poem, earned nearly $2 million from 955 theaters for the three-day weekend to place No. 6.
Steven Spielberg’s top awards contender The Fabelmans continues to hold steady at 638 theaters in hopes of growing its theater count once Oscar nominations. The film grossed another $1.3 million for a muted domestic total of $5.6 million.
Both Hollywood and exhibitors are counting on James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water to provide a boost to the year-end box office when hitting theaters mid-month. In regards to the new year, many aren’t expecting the box office to heat up until March due to ongoing production and post-production delays connected to the pandemic.
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