Dwayne Johnson’s long in the making dream DC project has paid off for the People’s Champion, as Black Adam has conquered a hot $67M U.S. opening, the best domestic box office start for him as a solo star, and a $140M global bow worldwide. That’s ahead of where we were seeing it.
“The success of Black Adam is truly a dream come true. We’ve been working towards this family goal here at Seven Bucks for 15 years, applying every bit of experience we’ve acquired over the years to help bring this project to life. So, to be here now seeing how our hard work has been paid off with the biggest opening of our careers is an incredible feeling. Our goal with this film was to establish several new characters in the DCEU that would give us an opportunity, in success, to really expand the universe, but most importantly we wanted to take care of the fans. We’ve been listening to their feedback for years and we were determined to give them what they wanted. Their enthusiasm for the film has been incredible and truly matches the passion that our Seven Bucks team along with FPC and Jaume poured into this movie,” said Hiram Garcia, a Black Adam producer and President of Production for Johnson’s Seven Bucks.
The pic collected $23.7M on Saturday. Back out those Thursday previews of $7.6M from Friday’s $26.7m, and Saturday is really up 24% from Friday. What happened? Late night shows were powerful, family audiences came out, and there was a lot of walk-up business in the West and South, with a great turnout by Latin and Hispanic audiences at 26% and Black at 20%.
Audiences are having fun with this movie, with a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is the highest for a DC movie in a decade, besting such films as Joker (88%) and The Batman (87%). There’s confidence that Black Adam could even overindex today and beat its forecast $16.6M Sunday.
Once again, another example of a popcorn movie besting the critical Rotten Tomatoes score (40%), as moviegoers come back to the cinemas from the pandemic, something that wasn’t always possible in pre-pandemic times. Critical scores typically dragged on ticket sales at the last minute. Sources told me that if Black Adam was in this RT critical range, there was no way it would go over $60M. However, the Dwayne Johnson movie did indeed go over $60M.
Black Adam producer Beau Flynn of FlynnPictureCo. calls the pic’s weekend box office momentum “The DJ effect: The way it starts like a comic book movie and then expands to families.” Warner began promoting this movie with a teaser during the pandemic at virtual DC Fandome in August 2020, when a majority of theaters were shut down. Despite WarnerMedia’s pandemic pivot to a theatrical day-and-date HBO Max model for 2021, Black Adam was always destined for theatrical.
Black Adam shot for 85 days during spring-summer 2021. The production had zero Covid shutdowns because of strict protocols, nor did Johnson’s Red Notice have any Covid pauses. “That’s not because of luck,” adds Flynn. However this past January, the producers realized they wouldn’t meet their end of July release because of the backlog at VFX houses. So Black Adam was moved to the third weekend in October here.
“It worked great in our favor, and we got to go to Comic-Con,” said Flynn. That’s where Johnson made an in-person appearance in costume in Hall H to many screams.
In addition to his massive promotion on talk shows and social media, Johnson has traveled Black Adam nonstop, beginning in Mexico, then heading to the L.A. global junket, then to the NYC premiere, a Toronto premiere, a London International premiere, and a premiere in Madrid.
More under the hood with Black Adam: PLFs and Imax drove 33% of the box office. Imax alone collected $6.3M. The top ten theaters overall are: 1. AMC Burbank, 2. AMC Empire New York, 3. Cinemark Egyptian Baltimore, 4. AMC Lincoln Square New York, 5. AMC Disney Springs Orlando, 6. AMC Orange, 7. Harkins Estrella Falls Phoenix, 8. AMC Veterans Expressway Tampa, 9. Cineplex
Cinemas Vaughan Toronto, and 10. Santikos Palladium San Antonio. And the top ten markets were1. Los Angeles, 2. New York, 3. Dallas, 4. Houston, 5. Chicago, 6. San Francisco, 7. Atlanta, 8. Toronto, 9. Washington DC, and 10. Philadelphia. Every film Warner Bros has had this year has opened to No. 1 at the box office.
Gotta give props to Universal’s older female counterprogramming, the George Clooney-Julia Roberts movieTicket to Paradise, working with $16.34M. Again, projections were at $12M. The movie will soon fly past $100m WW this week.
Beamed Uni Distribution Boss Jim Orr, “An incredible launch for Ticket to Paradise this weekend, as adult audiences loved seeing Julia Roberts and George Clooney and their undeniable chemistry together again in this very funny, heartwarming romantic comedy. No doubt this weekend is the beginning of a long, successful run at the domestic box office. “
Audiences scores of 82% positive and A- CinemaScore will keep this movie as a sleeper as we get into the holidays.