Vakanda Forever leads the box office for fourth consecutive weekend

Vakanda Forever leads the box office for fourth consecutive weekend

The black Panther: Wakanda Forever kept the box-office crown for the fourth consecutive weekend, and the comic holiday thriller Violent Night debuted with US $13.3 million, according to studio estimates on Sunday December 4. The biggest talking point on the weekend was a movie that wasn't shown in theaters.

If Netflix had Rian Johnson's whodunit sequel, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, in theaters, it would have been one of the weekend's top draws. The streamer released Glass Onion in about 600 theatres last weekend, in its first such pact with North America's top chains. The Netflix film was reportedly worth $15 million, less than the 4,000-plus theatres most big movies open in, which is a good total for a medium scaled release.

Netflix did not release ticket sales and pulled Glass Onion on Tuesday, so they decided to keep it limited to a one-week sneak-peak theatrical run before it debuts on the streaming service on December 23. On Wednesday, Reed Hastings, chief executive of Netflix, acknowledged that the company left lots of money on the table in the move.

Moviegoers were fed mostly leftovers this weekend instead of feasting on Glass Onion, as ticket buyers did after Thanksgiving in 2019 when Lionsgate released Knives Out.

For four weeks, the Walt Disney Co's Wakanda Forever ruled the box office. Ryan Coogler's Marvel movie has totaled US $733 million worldwide, including US $339 million in overseas sales.

Violent Night was the only new wide release in cinemas. The Universal release got off to a good start, starring David Harbour as a not-so saintly saint Nick. Violent Night, which earned a B CinemaScore from audiences, cost about $20 million to make.

While Avatar: The Way Of Water and other holiday releases like Puss In Boots 2, Babylon and I Wanna Dance With Somebody loom in the coming weeks, theatres continue to see fewer films in wide release than they did pre-pandemic. There has been a dearth of family releases in theatres. After a muted debut last weekend, Disney's big-budget animated fantasy adventure Strange World dropped to third place with a mere US $4.9 million in its second week. Some of the season's notable kid-friendly movies are streaming instead.

The Roald Dahl film Matilda The Musical, starring Emma Thompson, was made jointly by Netflix, Sony Pictures and Working Title Films. The film has worldwide distribution rights, except for the United Kingdom and Ireland, where Sony put the film into theatres last weekend. Matilda has been the top film in the UK box office for two weeks, grossing US $9.7 million over that stretch. Matilda starts steaming in the US on Christmas.