Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is having a solid if not spectacular second weekend at the box office, with industry estimates currently projecting a $66 million total for the weekend after the film made $17.9 million on its second Friday.
While it’s possible that strong Saturday turnout for the 161-minute sequel could push the weekend total closer to $70 million, the current figure would amount to a 63% drop from the film’s $181 million opening weekend. That’s slightly better than the 67% drop that “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” scored from its $187.4 million opening back in May, though the first “Black Panther” had a much better hold of just 55% back in 2018
Through eight days, “Wakanda Forever” is approximately 2% behind the domestic pace of “Multiverse of Madness.” That could change next weekend with strong turnout for Thanksgiving weekend, though, for now, this sequel is on pace to finish shy of $1 billion worldwide with a domestic total in the $450-500 million range.
A trio of specialty-leaning wide releases are hitting theaters this weekend in “Wakanda”‘s shadow, and the top grosser of the bunch, in a slight upset, is Fathom Events’ limited engagement screenings of the crowdfunded Christian series “The Chosen.” Following the lives and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth and his disciples, “The Chosen” screened the first two episodes of its third season before their release on streaming platforms in 2,009 theaters and is estimated to earn $10 million this weekend.
Just behind “The Chosen” is Searchlight’s satirical horror film “The Menu,” which is estimated to earn a $9 million opening from 3,211 theaters that would meet projections of an $8-10 million start. Starring Ralph Fiennes as the sadistic head chef of an ultra-exclusive island restaurant, the film has earned a solid reception with Rotten Tomatoes scores of 89% critics and 81% audience to go with a B from CinemaScore.
The big flop of the weekend is Universal’s “She Said,” a film about the New York Times investigation into Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse that is only grossing around $2.25 million from 2,022 theaters. This was expected by trackers and analysts, which had projected a $5 million opening at best for this $32 million journalism drama. The film is opening outside the Top 5 below the fifth weekend of fellow Universal release “Ticket to Paradise,” which is taking in $3.1 million as its domestic total has reached $61 million.
The only silver lining for “She Said” is that reception for the film has been strong, earning an A on CinemaScore to go with Rotten Tomatoes scores of 87% critics and 80% audience. For Universal, the hope now for this film is that it can eventually turn a profit from video-on-demand and streaming revenue, something that might be possible if it wins Oscar consideration.