The Thanksgiving weekend box office was unimpressive. Still, there are some noteworthy nuggets from this holiday weekend. As always, we turn to the incredible The Numbers for the latest in box office projections.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever retained first place due to there being literally zero competition for the third straight week. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever brought in a projected $45.9 million in the domestic box office. This is a large 31% which is a real disappointment for a Thanksgiving weekend. Let’s compare this to the two years before the pandemic. Ford v. Ferrari fell 16% in its third weekend over the 2019 Thanksgiving weekend. Dr. Suess’ The Drink was down 21% in its third weekend over the 2018 Thanksgiving weekend. This has to be a real disappointment for Disney.
This follows the disappointing box office run for Thor: Love and Thunder, which had a $745 million worldwide box office. We did the math and Thor: Love and Thunder needed to clear $700 million for Disney to break even. This meant that Love and Thunder struggled to make a small profit for Disney. It appears that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is on the same trajectory as Thor: Love and Thunder.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s worldwide box office now stands at $675 million. We did the math after the opening weekend, at Black Panther: Wakanda Forever needs to hit roughly $700 million to begin to make a profit. It looks like that should happen by the fourth week. However, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is not even going to come remotely close to Black Panther’s $1.3 billion worldwide box office. It gets even worse when you adjust for inflation, which brings Black Panther’s worldwide box office to $1.55 billion in 2022 dollars.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is not going to come even close to $1 billion. It appears that the movie is tracking for a finish in the high $700 million range. At some point, Disney is going to have to adjust how much they allow for the production and marketing budgets for the MCU movies. It is becoming too much of a struggle for these MCU movies to make Disney a profit.
Strange World was an embarrassing disaster for Disney. Strange World crashed and burned on its opening weekend with a pathetic $18.6 million at the domestic box office. Strange World brought in an equally awful $9.2 million at the international box office. This gave Strange World a worldwide box office of $27.8 million. This is beyond horrendous.
Strange World had a $180 million production budget. There is no way Disney spent the customary half of the production budget on a marketing budget. The marketing budget was probably smaller, around $50 million. But, let’s not even worry about the marketing budget. Covering just the $180 million production budget alone would require Strange World to make $360 million at the worldwide box office. Obviously, that is not going to even remotely happen. Strange World is set to lose up to $100 million.
Disney should be alarmed at their complete failure in its animation efforts in 2022. Earlier this year, Lightyear completely bombed at the box office. Now, Disney has Strange World come out during a Thanksgiving Day weekend with absolutely no competition at all, and it failed even worse than Lightyear.
It is stunning to see Disney completely swing and miss with two animated blockbuster movies in the same year. It is obvious that Disney rolled out movies that failed to connect with the movie-going audience. Not only that, but it will be imperative that Disney examine their approach to its animated movies and figure out why movie viewers shunned their offerings for 2022. There is no doubt that some changes will be required for Disney to rehabilitate their animated efforts.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery came in third place with $13.3 million at the domestic box office. This was a minor release in just 696 theaters. Moreover, everyone knows that Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery will be available on Netflix on December 23, 2022. So, I am not particularly surprised by this box office number.
Devotion took fourth place with $9 million at the domestic box office. This is a massive theatrical bomb. Devotion had a $90 million production budget. Throw on top of that another $45 million for the marketing budget, and you get a total of $135. As always, to make up for the fact that we do not know specifically the marketing budget, I will use the 50/50 split used in the domestic box office for the entire worldwide box office. This means that Devotion has to make an estimated $270 million at the worldwide box office in order for Sony to break even. That is obviously not happening given how badly Devotion bombed on its opening weekend. Top Gun: Maverick, this movie is not.
The Menu slid into fifth place with an additional $5.2 million at the domestic box office. This brings the worldwide box office up to $33.4 million. The Menu had a production budget of $30 million. We do not even need to bother throwing the marketing budget into the formula. Just using the production budget alone means The Menu needs to make $60 million for Searchlight to break even. That does not look possible at all.
Black Adam came in at sixth place with $3.3 million at the domestic box office. This brings the worldwide box office up to $378 million. We did the math and Black Adam needs to make $600 million for Warner Bros to break even. That is obviously not going to happen. Once again, DC Comics takes a massive loss at the box office. James Gunn definitely has his work cut out for him.
The Fablemans in its third week brought in $2.2 million at the domestic box office. This movie has only been released domestically. The total box office now stands at $3.4 million. The Fabelmans had a $40 million production budget. Again, there is no need to bother with the marketing budget. With just the production budget, The Fabelmans would need to make $80 million for Universal to break even. This movie looks to be a big loss for Universal.
Bones and All in its second week came in eighth place with $2.2 million at the domestic box office. This brings the worldwide box office to $5.8 million. The production budget was $16 million for this film, therefore, Bones and All needs to make $32 million at the box office in order for United Artists to break even. That seems like a hopeless endeavor at this point.
All right, that is it for this week! At this point, it looks like the box office is going to remain quiet until Avatar: The Way of Water releases on December 16, 2022. Until next week, be good and stay safe!