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It’s Santa vs Wakanda as Violent Night takes on Black Panther this weekend

Violent Night

Coming off one of the worst Thanksgiving Weekend’s in box office history (if you exclude the Pandemic ridden results of 2020 and 2021, you’d have to go all the way back to 1994 for a worse Thanksgiving weekend when The Santa Clause topped in its third week while Junior, A Low Down Dirty Shame and The Pagemaster all failed to make an impression in their respective first week’s of release.) The box office looks to rebound a bit this weekend, but with only one new wide release set to debut, that may be a bit tough!

Traditionally the weekend after Thanksgiving is a bit slow as people start their decent into Holiday shopping madness. Luckily this year Universal Studios has decided to give us a yuletide, R rated, John McClane/ John Wick in a bright red suit mash-up in the festively titled Violent Night. I can’t lie, this has been my most anticipated movie since I first heard about it and that first trailer only made the long wait for this release all that more excruciating! Movies like Nobody and the aforementioned John Wick have been some of my favorites made over the past few years. Add in to that shades of the ultimate Christmas action movie Die Hard and you have the makings of a new Christmas classic!

I recently had the honor of meeting John Lequizamo, who plays the film’s main antagonist and when I told him how much I was looking forward to Violent Night he told me how good it was and that his wife had to watch certain scenes with her hands over her eyes! That is about as good of a ringing endorsement as you could ever give a movie like this! But don’t just take mine (or John Lequizamo’s) word for it, check out the review by our own David Arroyo here, he called the film great and quite bluntly said that he loved every minute of it!

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

So the question is, will solid reviews and the start of the Christmas season translate to big box office bucks? I’m going to go a bit more optimistic with this one. Right now tracking has it in the $10 million range, but it seems anticipation is high for this one, so I’m going to say it can fly higher to a $13-$15 million opening weekend (I already have my ticket booked for the 5pm show today!)

First place should once again go to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever as it closes in on the $400 million domestic mark. This one was always destined to be a hit. Although not quite hitting the high marks of its predecessor, Marvel and director Ryan Coogler have a lot to be thankful for here (Coogler even recently thanked the fans for the films success.)

True to their word, Netflix has pulled Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery from theaters after just one week where it reportedly pulled in over $15 million on under 700 screens. Many see this as evidence that had the film been given a proper theatrical release, it could have been a major player over the holiday stretch with some saying Netflix may have left as much as $200 million on the table.

Top Gun: Maverick, Oscar, Tom Cruise

With that box office draw out of the way, some other studios are seeing their chances to strike. Paramount is re-releasing their highest grossing film of all time: Top Gun: Maverick back onto nearly 2000 screens, in a hope to not only drum up more business, but get the film fresh in award season voters minds (if this film doesn’t get a Best Picture nod at the Oscars than all hope is lost. I enjoy a nice art house film as much as the next pretentious guy, but this movie did something for the movie going experience that was desperately needed in these times and it deserves to be recognized for that.)

Crunchyroll Studios is also releasing their latest project to theaters The Quintessential Quintuplets Movie on around 1000 screens. Crunchyroll has been on a roll (I’m hilarious) recently with their releases of One Piece Film: Red finishing in second place just a few weeks back while Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero had a massive $20 million, first place finish back in August. I’m not expecting those types of numbers for this release, but never count out the audience for these animated films. They come out in droves when something they want to see hits theaters. A top ten finish is not an unlikely outcome. 

Searchlight Pictures has announced the release date for the thriller The Menu, starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Ralph Fiennes.

Another studio with recent success is Fathom studios who saw their limited release of The Chosen: Season3- Episodes 1&2 pull in solid numbers over the past few weeks. This week they are back with the holiday themed true story I Heard The Bells playing on an estimated 1200 screens. The closest comp for this release would be the 2017 release The Man Who Invented Christmas which wasn’t exactly a box office hit only pulling in $8.1 million total with $1.3 million of that coming on its opening weekend. But as with Crunchyroll studios and their niche releases, Fathom is making a name for themselves with these targeted films and this one could also be a surprise top ten finisher. 

Apart from those new releases, you can expect to see a pretty sizable drop from the much talked about bomb that is Disney’s Strange World while Devotion and The Menu should continue to draw in crowds (The Menu has managed to come in second place all week long, just behind Black Panther, proving that people are seeking out this tremendous slice of dark comedy.)

Will you be heading to theaters this weekend? If so, let us know what you plan on seeing in the comments section and don’t forget to check back on Saturday when we give a brief update on the box office numbers.

TOP FIVE PREDICTIONS:

  1. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever- $23 Million
  2. Violent Night- $14 Million
  3. Strange World- $5 Million
  4. Devotion- $4 Million
  5. The Menu- $3 Million

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