Elsewhere, Netflix’s unprecedented nationwide release of ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ took the third spot.
With an estimated $64 million across five days, Disney’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever topped the extended Thanksgiving weekend at the box office, exceeding expectations by a couple of million dollars. On the other hand, the House of Mouse’s latest animated release, the action-adventure Strange World bombed with just $18.6 million.
Wakanda Forever debuted with $181 million in its opening weekend, and earned $66 million in its second weekend. A $64 million third weekend takes its running domestic total to $367 million, and over $650 million globally. The first Black Panther film, also directed by Wakanda Forever’s Ryan Coogler, made a staggering $700 million domestically and $1.3 billion worldwide in 2018.
Wakanda Forever has now also passed fellow Marvel sequel Thor: Love and Thunder at the domestic box office, and is on track to overtake the $411 million lifetime haul of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in the coming weeks.
Thanksgiving has been a successful period for animated Disney releases historically; Frozen II made $125 million during the same period in 2019. Which is why the subpar $18.6 million debut of Strange World is all the more surprising. Was it a lack of publicity, or a pre-planned strategy to build buzz for the film’s upcoming streaming release? It’s difficult to say. But when a $180 million movie opens this low, questions will be asked. Strange World fell short of its already modest $40 million five-day projections. That would’ve put it on par with last year’s Encanto, which became an even bigger hit when it was released on the Disney+ streaming service a month after its theatrical debut. Strange World is currently expected to land on Disney+ around Christmas.
In happier news, Netflix’s unprecedented nationwide release of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery made an estimated $13.3 million in its extended opening in around 650 theaters. A sequel to director Rian Johnson’s hit 2019 murder mystery Knives Out, Glass Onion will play in the country’s top three cinema chains in special one-week-only engagements, before landing on the service next month.
Sony’s Devotion, starring Jonathan Majors and Glen Powell, also underperformed. Directed by J.D. Dillard and budgeted at a reported $90 million, the Korean War drama made an estimated $9 million for a fourth place finish. While it’s the top-performing new release this week, the film’s significant budget means that celebrations will have to be delayed, or at least tempered. The top five was rounded out by Searchlight’s dark comedy The Menu, which has added $7.3 million since Wednesday, taking its running domestic total to $18 million.
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