This Was the Worst Thanksgiving Weekend in Box-Office History.

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is still number one and Strange World has tanked, but most importantly, the three-day Thanksgiving box office weekend came in at $95 million. In 2o19, the total for that weekend was $181 million; $216 million in 2018. In all of 2019, just four weekends fell short of $100 million.
The last time a Thanksgiving weekend grossed less than $100 million was...never? Nearly 30 years ago, 1994 Thanksgiving looked like a three-day, $94.5 million weekend...when ticket prices averaged $4.08.
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Dominant distributor Disney will take the crown for 2022 by a slim margin. The cause is helped by filling the top two slots on this holiday, which is usually a huge achievement. But the asterisk that accompanies this “triumph” is huge.
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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Disney) made nearly half of the weekend's earnings at $46 million. That's below average for Thanksgiving weekend as #1; For many years, two films grossing over $40 million were watched in three days.
Strange World Photo Credit: Courtesy of Disney
Courtesy of Disney
At number 2, Disney's animated Strange World is something of an unprecedented disaster. Forget the disappointment of Pixar's "Lightyear" in June with its $50 million opening weekend. Strange World costs less than $19 million over five days on one of the best release dates of the year.
Its budget was given as between 130 and 180 million US dollars. Marketing spend could exceed final domestic revenue (which could be under $40 million, especially with expected streaming ahead of Christmas).
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Aside from the standards of 2018's Black Panther (and theaters' need for films to exceed expectations), Wakanda continues to perform well. By the third weekend, it's almost $370 million. It's on track to hit $500 million domestically, with games running until Christmas. That would be $700 million compared to before (closer to $850 million in today's prices), but also position it as #2 of the year — at least until Avatar opens. Decent results, but theaters today need more than that.
Theaters would have been happy to see a wide release of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. Netflix, in line with its usual practice, has not released earnings. Sources suggest they whispered estimates of $9.2 million for three days, up from $13.3 million so far. Studios have the resources to make accurate estimates themselves without the need for independent verification. What our sources say -- about $8.75 million for three days, $12.5 million for five days -- might be a more accurate estimate.
That's in 696 theaters, mostly single screens, for a PTA of over $12,500. That's excellent. It was good enough for #3 and a bonanza for theaters toying with a deal that supposedly saw theaters pay far less film rentals. Too bad it only runs for a week. It remains to be seen whether there is a method to the madness for the streamer.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Photo Credit: Courtesy Netflix © 2022
Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
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"Glass Onion" has great appeal, especially among older (35+) viewers. Its success probably took a toll on other films hoping to attract adults. Among them is The Fabelmans (Universal), which plays in slightly fewer theaters but only draws about a quarter as many viewers. Expectations for its appeal were below par for a Spielberg film, but it might end up not much more than half last year's disappointing "West Side Story," which grossed $38 million. This is worrying.
Two more wide openers disappointed. Sony releases independently produced Korean War drama Devotion, starring Maverick co-star Glen Powell. It was reportedly made for $90 million and fetched 10 percent of that for five days. Military-themed films often outperform; The date might have been an issue, but general malaise is more likely.
“Black Adam” (Warner Bros. Discovery) remains standing above the storm. DC Comic lead man Dwayne Johnson has had a more than believable run, coming in at #6 and falling just 27 percent with his PVOD release last week. It sits at $163 million domestically.
Searchlight's "The Menu," also with older appeal, fell 42 percent in its second weekend to peak at No. 5 with $5.2 million. While not a breakthrough result, the film could stay afloat through Christmas.
The weekend accounted for 52 percent of 2019's unadjusted gross. Buoyed by the first two weekends of "Wakanda," the four-week rolling comparison to three years ago is still 92 percent.
The Top 10 (Fri-Sun)
1. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Disney) Week 3; Last week #1
$45,900,000 (-31%) in 4,258 (-138) theaters (5 days total: $64,000,000); PTA (average per theater): $10,780,000; Cumulative: $367,671,000
2. Strange World (Disney) NEW – Cinemascore: B; Metacritical: 65; European daylight saving time. Budget: $135-180 million
$11,900,000 in 4,174 theaters (5 days total: $); PTA: $2,581; Cumulative: $18,600,000
3. Glass Onion (Netflix) NEW – Metacritic: 81; European daylight saving time. Budget: $40 million (+significantly higher acquisition costs)
$8,750,000 in 696 theaters (5 days total: estimated $12,500,000); PTA: $12,572; Cumulative: $(est.) 12,500,000
4. Devotion (S0ny) NEW – Metacritic: 66; European daylight saving time. Budget: $90 million
$6,000,000 in 3,405 theaters (5 days total: $9,000,000); PTA: $1,762; Cumulative: $9,000,000
5. The Menu (Searchlight) Week 2; Last weekend #2
$5,200,000 (-42%) in 3,228 (+17) theaters (5 days total: $7,344,000); PTA: $1,611; Cumulative: $18,670,000
6. Black Adam (WBD) Week 6; Last Weekend #4; also on PVOD
$3,350,000 (-27%) in 2,664 (-708) theaters (5 days total: $4,575,000); PTA: $1,258; Cumulative: $162,973,000
7. The Fabelmans (Universal) Week 3; Last weekend #15
$2,220,000 (+2,374%) in 638 (+634) theaters (5 days total $3,100,000); PTA: $3,480; Cumulative: $3,430,000
8. Bones and All (United Artists) Week 2; Last weekend: $17
$2,206,000 (+1,723%) in 2,727 (+2,723) theaters (5 days total: $3,562,000); Price per person: $809; Cumulative: $3,709,000
9. Ticket to Paradise (Universal) Week 6; Last Weekend #5; also on PVOD
$1,850,000 (-42%) in 2,238 (-1,030) theaters (5 days total: 2,630,000); Price per person: $827; Cumulative: $65,070,000
10. The Chosen Season 3: Episodes 1 & 2 (Fathom) Week 2; Last weekend #3
$1,586,000 (50%) in 609 (-1,430) theaters (5 days: $); Price per person: $936; Cumulative: $13,450,000
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