Who said movie stars don’t matter anymore in Hollywood?
Let’s start with the winner of the weekend:black adam.”
The Warner Bros. film, which stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as a powerful superhero, took the top spot at the domestic box office with an estimate of $67 million. It is the biggest national opening ever for Johnson in a leading role.
It’s also a much-needed win for theaters, which have been on a dry spell lately due to a lack of blockbusters. The debut of “Black Adam” is the biggest box office opening since July’s “Thor: Love & Thunder.” (Warner Bros., like CNN, is owned by Warner Bros. Discovery.)
The $195 million film was helmed by Johnson, one of Hollywood’s most recognizable stars at a time when content and characters are more bankable than the big names. He has also starred in lucrative franchises such as Fast & Furious and Jumanji.
Universal Pictures’ “Ticket to Paradise” comes in at No. 2. The film, which was made for $60 million and stars George Clooney and julia robert as an ex-attendant at their daughter’s tropical wedding, grossed an estimated $16.3 million at the domestic box office.
Now, $16.3 million might not seem like the biggest total in the world, but it’s remarkable since rom-coms have become a nearly dead genre at the box office. In fact, Universal suffered a setback just a few weeks ago when “Bros.”, another romantic comedy, flopped at the box office.
Billy Eichner, the star of “Bros.” said after the film’s disappointing debut, “straight people, especially in some parts of the country, simply didn’t show up for Bros.”, which was the first gay romantic comedy to be produced and distributed by a major studio with a wide theatrical distribution Liberation.
That may have been a factor, but it probably also detracted from the fact that the film lacked major stars, while “Ticket to Paradise” was led by two of Hollywood’s biggest names over the past 30 years.
The film has so far grossed $96.6 million worldwide, according to Universal.
Ultimately, movie stars may not mean as much in Hollywood as they once did, but they can still help sell tickets, according to Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.
“The star power is alive and well, with the two top films clearly enjoying the brand recognition and silver screen appeal of Johnson, Roberts and Clooney,” Dergarabedian told CNN Business. “While many have downplayed the importance of having big stars headlining a film, this weekend shows that having actors with genuine movie star credentials can lead to box-office success- office.”