Julia Roberts, left, and George Clooney, the co-stars of "Ticket to Paradise," pose together at the premiere of the film, Monday, Oct. 17, 2022, at the Regency Village Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

‘Black Adam’ takes top spot at box office again

Black Adam, the Dwayne Johnson-fronted DC superhero film, kept its hold on the No. 1 spot at the North American box office in its second weekend in theaters. Down 59 per cent from its launch, and facing little new competition, Black Adam added $27.7 million in ticket sales, bringing its domestic total to $111.1 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Johnson spent a decade trying to bring the character to the big screen and has visions for follow-ups involving Superman. But the future of Black Adam is not written quite yet, though it’s earned $250 million worldwide. The Warner Bros. film carried a hefty price tag of $200 million, not including marketing and promotion costs, and a sequel has not been officially greenlit.

But big changes are afoot at DC—the studio just announced a new leadership team of Peter Safran and James Gunn, whose love for propping up little-known comic book characters is well-documented. And on Sunday, Johnson posted a note to his 344 million Instagram followers about the end of the world press tour, thanking those who worked behind the scenes to launch “our NEW DC FRANCHISE known as BLACK ADAM.”

Bucking recent romantic comedy trends, moviegoers remained curious about Ticket to Paradise, Universal’s Julia Roberts and George Clooney destination romp, which fell only 37% in weekend two to claim second place. The genre has not been the most reliable bet at the box office lately, with films like “Bros” stumbling in theaters, but the star power of Roberts and Clooney is proving hard to resist. Ticket to Paradise added $10 million from 3,692 North American theaters, bringing its domestic total to $33.7 million. Globally, it’s grossed $119.4 million to date.

Horror movies, meanwhile, claimed spots three through five on the weekend before Halloween on Monday. Lionsgate’s Prey for the Devil opened in third place with $7 million from 2,980 theaters. Notably, it is the only of the three horror films that carried a PG-13 rating. The others were R-rated.

Paramount’s Smile took fourth place in its fifth weekend with another $5.1 million, bringing its domestic total to $92.4 million (on a $17 million budget), while Halloween Ends landed in fifth place in its third weekend with $3.8 million.