The production of Dwayne Johnson’s “Black Adam” has been underway for more than ten years. The domestic box office for the DC Comics and Warner Bros. superhero film on Thursday previews from more than 3,500 cinemas brought in $7.6 million. It is tracking better than DC blockbuster “Shazam,” which had $5.9 million in previews for a $53.5 million opening weekend in 2019, and last year’s “F9,” which had $7.1 million in previews and a $70 million opening weekend.
This weekend, the comic book villain is anticipated to make a hero-sized entrance with a $60 million opening. That will be sufficient to unseat Universal’s “Halloween Ends,” which topped the box office last week, and this week’s new entry, “Ticket to Paradise,” a rom-com starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts that is aiming for a $15 million opening.
With a $195 million price tag, “Black Adam,” which was produced by New Line Cinema, Seven Bucks Productions, Flynn Picture Company, and DC Films, will need to remain in cinemas for a while to earn a profit. But until the following superhero tentpole, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” opens on November 11, it won’t have much of a challenge at the box office. The movie will give the sluggish box office some life, and it should be the first release since “Thor: Love and Thunder” in July to debut beyond $50 million.
Johnson dons a superhero costume for his first appearance as the all-powerful comic book antagonist who awakens after 5,000 years to battle the Justice Society of America, which also includes Cyclone (Noah Centineo), Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan), and Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo) (Quintessa Swindell). Despite the mixed reviews, devoted DC fans will probably go out in droves to witness the newest film set in the comic book universe.
Johnson has also been hyping up a Black Adam-Superman confrontation in a hypothetical follow-up, which may be wishful thinking for a sequel or clever marketing to get moviegoers to see this still-unknown figure. For comparison, the opening weekends of “The Batman” in March and “Thor: Love and Thunder” in July both grossed $143 million. The DC movie “The Suicide Squad” from last year generated $26 million even though it was simultaneously shown on HBO Max. Johnson’s star power will make “Black Adam’s” premiere better than “The Suicide Squad,” but it won’t come close to matching the stature of other well-liked heroes.
“Ticket to Paradise,” a movie not about superheroes, debuted nationally with $1.1 million in previews from 3,000 cinemas. It has already been popular abroad, earning $72.6 million outside. Clooney and Roberts’ celebrity power undoubtedly helps; they portray two ex-spouses who must reconcile to prevent their daughter from irresponsibly getting married.