‘Black Adam’ is Dwayne Johnson’s biggest domestic box-office debut as a leading man
Dwayne Johnson’s “The Rundown,” his second movie about a hit man, is a thriller with a strong social conscience. It is also a rare example of an independent film to make back its money in less than three weeks, a testament to how big an event “Black Adam” came to be. It has earned about $10 million so far, and will finish out the week with just under $20 million.
The opening weekend of the film in North America, a rare feat of Hollywood stardom, was a record-breaker. It was the highest grossing debut for a Hollywood film outside of North America in at least a decade. “Black Adam” opened to over $31.8 million and, when you add in the $5.5 million of Thursday night screenings, it had the biggest three-day total for an open-market release in over a decade. And the film turned a profit that weekend.
All right. Let’s get one thing straight. “Black Adam” is not a crime film. It’s a thriller with a social conscience, like “Taken” or “Tombstone.” It’s a movie about a hit man, but it has nothing to do with bank heists or gunplay. “Black Adam” is the kind of movie that if it can get five people to show up in a room, it’s a guaranteed hit.
And, in fact, the film was an idea in the first place, not a film. It was the brainchild of three men, all the way back in 2001. They pitched it at a meeting for the production company they worked for. At that meeting, David Koepp, who directed “Rocky IV” for Universal, said something that stuck with everyone in the room; he said, “We have this idea, and it is a cool idea, but we shouldn’t do it. We should do the next idea.” The meeting that night