Dwayne Johnson Celebrates 'Black Adam' 'Monumental and Historical' Box Office Win
Warner Bros. Pictures

The DC superhero movie's estimated $67 million opening gives the wrestler-turned-actor the biggest box office weekend as a leading man despite poor critic reviews.

AceShowbiz - Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's career transition from the ring to screen has culminated in a record-breaking opening weekend. The wrestler-turned-actor has scored his biggest box office weekend as a leading man with "Black Adam", which launched the DC Comics character he spent a decade to bring to the big screen.

"Black Adam", made on a budget of $200 million, soars to the top spot of the North American chart with an estimated $67 million on its first weekend. His previous record was held by "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw", which raked in $60 million. His other two biggest films, "Jumanji: The Next Level" and "San Andreas", brought in $59 million and $54 million respectively.

Celebrating the record-breaking opening, Johnson took to Instagram to express his gratitude to the audience. "THANK YOU SO MUCH to all of you for making BLACK ADAM a monumental and historical WIN this weekend," he wrote along with footage that mixes scenes from the film with audience's reactions to the movie.

Jeff Goldstein, distribution chief for Warner Bros. gushed, "It's all about making good movies. It's all about finding the right scripts." He added, "Our studio is definitely going through a major revamping of our production leadership and style and approach. I think that we'll be able to crack this nut. We're definitely focused in on doing that."

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for data firm Comscore, also chimed in as saying, "He was the engine that really drove this box office despite some headwinds in terms of the DC brand and this not being as known a character. This is a very strong starting point for Dwayne Johnson in the mix of DC Comics. He's like a box-office supercharger." He added of the odds against the negative reviews, "Forty-percent Rotten Tomatoes, but people just want to see Dwayne Johnson on the big screen because he is bigger than life."

"Black Adam" doesn't receive much love from critics as it has an approval rating of 39% based on 216 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but it apparently doesn't resonate with the audience. Moviegoers polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

Johnson also gushed over the audience's reaction, posting on late Saturday, October 22, "This phenomenal 90% AUDIENCE SCORE for BLACK ADAM is so gratifying for so many reasons."

Elsewhere in the domestic chart, fellow newcomer "Ticket to Paradise" also has a solid debut at No. 2 with an estimated $16.3 million. The romantic comedy that reunites "Ocean's Eleven" and "Money Monster" co-stars George Clooney and Julia Roberts gets mixed reviews with 55% of 162 critics' reviews being positive.

"It became an event film for all audiences this weekend but especially for older audiences that can be difficult to get into theaters," said Jim Orr, head of distribution for Universal. "We all know this is a demographic group that doesn't exactly run out to see films opening weekend. That gives us great encouragement for the weeks and months ahead."

Meanwhile, "Smile" is down one place to No. 3 with an estimated $8.4 million. Another horror film and last week's champion, "Halloween Ends", fails to maintain its position, dropping a significant 80% in ticket sales to No. 4 with approximately $8 million. Rounding out the top five, "Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile" also falls two places from No. 3 with an estimated $4.2 million.

Top 10 of North America Box Office (Oct. 21-23, 2022):

  1. "Black Adam" - $67 million
  2. "Ticket to Paradise" - $16.3 million
  3. "Smile" - $8.4 million
  4. "Halloween Ends" - $8 million
  5. "Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile" - $4.2 million
  6. "The Woman King" - $1.9 million
  7. "Terrifier 2" - $1.89 million
  8. "Don't Worry Darling" - $880,000
  9. "Amsterdam" - $818,000
  10. "Triangle of Sadness" - $600,000

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