Black Adam is projected to achieve an opening weekend of over $50 million, the first 2022 film to do so since this July. The DCEU project, which opened this weekend on October 21, re-teams Jungle Cruise star Dwayne Johnson with director Jaume Collet-Serra. Johnson stars as the titular antihero, a former slave from Khandaq who is given godlike powers before being imprisoned for 5,000 years. When he is finally released in the modern era, the Justice Society of America, which includes Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan), and Atom Smasher (Luke Centineo), endeavor to teach him how to be a proper hero.
Certain pundits fretted that the film would not perform well at the box office, given the fact that it has taken a critical drubbing and landed the worst Rotten Tomatoes score for the franchise since 2017’s Justice League. However, the audience score on Rotten Tomatoes as well as other aggregator platforms has reflected a huge gulf between critics and viewers. This is likely what led to Black Adam’s solid opening night, which was the best for the franchise since Aquaman debuted in 2018.
Per Variety, Black Adam is projected to complete the weekend with an opening 3-day gross of $62.2 million. Although the box office has seen a resurgence in October, with the slasher franchise finale Halloween Ends raking in a $40.1 million opening gross last weekend, this marks the first time that a film has opened over $50 million in domestic theaters since this summer. The last project to meet this mark was a rival superhero flick: Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder, which opened on July 8.
This opening weekend gross has more than bested Black Adam’s immediate predecessors, the pandemic-era releases of 2021’s The Suicide Squad ($26.2 million) and 2020’s Wonder Woman 1984 ($16.7 million). However, both of those releases’ opening box office grosses were compromised by a simultaneous at-home streaming release on HBO Max. Taking those out of the equation, Black Adam is still competing well with pre-pandemic opening weekends for Birds of Prey ($33 million) and Shazam! ($53.5 million), the film that Black Adam is directly spun off from.
As with its opening night grosses, it’s not until one looks as far back as Aquaman’s opening weekend of $67.8 million in 2018 that Black Adam is bested. That film is still the highest-grossing DCEU project with a worldwide gross of $1.15 billion, so the Johnson vehicle is in very good company. It remains to be seen if the project can keep its current momentum, but with the next big tentpole release not coming until Black Panther: Wakanda Forever takes to theaters on November 11, the film has the chance to build a strong box office takeover the next few weeks.