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Wakanda Forever hangs on as the pre-Avatar box office slows to a crawl

Avatar: The Way Of Water? More like Every Other Movie: The Wait For The Way Of Water

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Wakanda Forever
Wakanda Forever
Photo: Marvel Studios

The U.S. box office moves like the ocean. It goes in and out at the whims of the moon or whatever, pulling back weakly and then surging forward with strength. We just made that up on the spot and don’t really know if it’s true, but if it is, we’re definitely in one of those “pull back” weekends, because nobody went to the movies in the United States over the last few days. How much nobody are we talking about? Well, this was one of the lowest-grossing weekends of the year, hitting depths that we haven’t seen since January when everyone just kept half-heartedly buying tickets to Spider-Man: No Way Home like it was a third helping of Thanksgiving dinner. You don’t need it or want it, but they put in so much work making it that you don’t want to seem disrespectful.

As for this weekend, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is still hanging out on top, making just over $11 million in its fifth week on the charts (bringing it to a little over $400 million total). Second place went to Violent Night, the film that dared to ask what would happen if Die Hard were a Christmas movie, which made $8.7 million for a total of $26 million after two weeks. Then we have Strange World with $3.6 million and $30 million after three weeks, followed by The Menu ($2.7 million and $29 million total) and Devotion ($2 million and $16 million total).


Finishing out the top 10 are Black Adam (a movie that Dwayne Johnson personally reached out to tell us was actually a huge hit), The Fabelmans, I Heard The Bells (of course the violent Santa movie made $8 million more than this CHRISTmas movie), Spoiler Alert, and Ticket To Paradise (the fact that it’s on here is either an indication of how popular/unpopular Peacock is or how slow the box office was this weekend). The notable newcomer further down the charts is The Whale, which debuted with a limited rollout on six screens and made $360,000—that’s a lot for six screens!

But, as was the case a month or so ago when the box office slowed way down to make room for Wakanda Forever, the real story here is what opens next week: Avatar: The Way Of Water. Are the Avatar-faithful right and it will be the biggest movie ever? Will James Cameron be vindicated after more than a decade of cracks about the original movie’s weird cultural irrelevance? Will everyone be excited to see Sam Worthington again for the first time since 2009?


Until next week, here’s the top 10 again, courtesy of Box Office Mojo.

  1. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  2. Violent Night
  3. Strange World
  4. The Menu
  5. Devotion
  6. Black Adam
  7. The Fabelmans
  8. I Heard The Bells
  9. Spoiler Alert
  10. Ticket To Paradise