By Ron Wynn

NASHVILLE, TN —  Even though it wasn’t released until November, that didn’t prove a problem in terms of commercial success for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” The film’s $418 million (to date) gross more than made a great tribute to deceased star Chadwick Bozeman. it was also one of 2022’s Top 10 highest grossing films, something else that was expected…

The established franchises were huge money makers.  

But it wasn’t quite good news for films made in the $50 million to $100 million range, Many of them struggled for the second year in a row. That mostly includes adult dramas (including many award-minded prestige pics like Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans)” and comedies Analysts have been predicting that such films will eventually abandon theaters and soon be relegated entirely to streaming. Based on the box-office tallies, that point is hard to argue.

The year’s single biggest winner was “Top Gun: Maverick.: Currently “Avatar 2” looks as though it might ultimately challenge it for box office supremacy. 

Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water,” still has a ways to go after opening slightly below expectations with “only” $134 million over the past weekend. Other winners included 

“Spider-Man No Way Home” netting $231 this year for a total of $804 million, becoming the third-highest U.S. earner of all time. Spring brought about Matt Reeves’s “The Batman” reboot, which crusaded to $369 million. May saw huge returns for “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” ($411 million), while mixed fan reactions couldn’t keep :Thor: Love & Thunder:from hammering home $343 million. Still, there are signs that superhero films have either peaked or are starting to lose steam according to some analysts. Whether that proves true will be one of the big questions for 2023.