“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” will get to rule over domestic charts one more time as total box office grosses for the weekend threaten to hit a 2022 level.
Analysts are projecting $38.5 million in ticket sales across all theatrical releases for the three-day period. Not only is that the worst collective result in some months, it’s also just a small step above the roughly $35 million total gross of the weekend beginning with Jan. 28.
A solid fraction of those numbers are coming from “Wakanda Forever,” which has faced next to no threats as the box office leader since its release in mid-November. The Marvel sequel earned $2.8 million across 3,725 locations on Friday, on its way to a weekend gross of about $11 million. Domestic ticket sales now stand at $401 million. The film should soon pass the $411 million earned by fellow Marvel entry “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” to become the second-highest grossing domestic release of 2022, behind only “Top Gun: Maverick.”
Beyond a round of holdover titles, the weekend is also seeing the release of arthouse films entering limited release, such as Darren Aronofsky’s drama “The Whale” and Sam Mendes’ swoony period piece “Empire of Light.”
Though it won’t bring in superhero dollars, A24’s “The Whale,” starring Brendan Fraser, is making a splash in its arthouse debut. Starring as a 600-pound reclusive English teacher trying to reconnect with his daughter (played by Sadie Sink), Fraser has found himself at the front of the best actor race through this years awards season. As Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman wrote in his review, “Fraser is a better actor — slyer, subtler, more haunting — than he has ever been.”
More to come…
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