‘Wakanda Forever’ set to cross $350 mn in N. America, despite dull week in theatres

Marvel’s ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ is having no trouble staying above the competition at the North American Thanksgiving box office, even handily trouncing fellow Disney release ‘Strange World’, reports ‘Variety’.

After bringing in $8.1 million on Thanksgiving, the superhero sequel exploded on Friday, adding $18.2 million more in ticket sales to its haul. ‘Wakanda Forever’ is the only resounding box office success story this season, on target to push beyond a $350-million domestic gross through Sunday.

Overall, it’s been a fairly dire weekend for theatres. The five-day frame is projected to net $125.4 million in ticket sales across all releases, down 12 per cent from last year’s Thanksgiving weekend — which had the additional handicap of arriving during a time of heightened COVID-19 precautions. This year’s crop of films aren’t connecting as strongly as offerings last year, such as ‘Encanto’ and ‘House of Gucci’, ‘Variety’ notes.

Case in point: Disney’s new release ‘Strange World’ netted $5.2 million on Friday, pushing its domestic total to $11.8 million. That’s a terrible kickoff for the animated film, despite the overall nod it got from critics, especially because it is opening in a prime holiday window with children out of school and weighted by an $180-million production budget to recoup.

Theatres may, however, be receiving a stealth boost from ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’, which Netflix has released in approximately 600 theatres across North America for a limited one-week run.

Even with the streamer limiting supply and taking its first stab at marketing a major theatrical engagement, the film seems to be performing impressively, with some competition predicting a silent third-place finish for the weekend. Netflix does not report theatrical grosses, adds ‘Variety’.

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