“Black Panther” Didn’t Just Break February Records with Its Astounding $242 Million Weekend


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Film  3-Day Weekend 4-Day Weekend  Opening Weekend Current Gross
Black Panther (Marvel/Disney) $202m $242m* $202m $242m
Peter Rabbit (Sony) $17.6m $23.4m $25m $54.4m
Fifty Shades Freed (Universal) $17.3m $19.4m $38.6m $78.6m
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Sony) $7.9m $10m $36.2m $379.7m
The 15:17 to Paris (Warner Bros.) $7.6m $8.9m $12.5m $26.7m

black panther poster bannerMarvel Studios / Disney

(*UPDATE: Disney is now estimating Black Panther to make $242 million over the four-day weekend, which makes it the second-biggest first four days for a movie since Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and it’s just ahead of The Last Jedi‘s recent four-day opening. Look for more updates later today.)

Ryan Coogler and Marvel Studios’ Black Panther successfully shut down the naysayers and the non-believers (including your truly) by not only breaking the February and President’s Day records set by Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool. No, the groundbreaking Marvel film even surpassed the impressive openings by Avengers; Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War, two of the studio’s rccent benchmark releases, and that’s without the presence of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans or even Chris Hemsworth.

Starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Garira, Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker and Andy Serkis, Marvel’s Black Panther opened semi-modestly with $25.2 million in Thursday previews, in itself a record for the month in terms of Thursday box office. That amount was rolled into the film’s Friday estimate of $75.8 million, which was lower than Batman v Superman and Avengers: Age of Ultron, but slightly higher than Captain America: Civil War.

Disney estimated $192 million for the three-day weekend on Sunday morning, but that amount was boosted to $202 million on Monday with the movie grossing more than $60 million Sunday, the second-highest Sunday gross ever (after 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens). Disney’s updated four-day extended weekend box office for the movie is $242 million, as Black Panther grossed $40.2 million on the holiday Monday, setting a new record for that day of the week.. The film’s four-day opening easily surpasses the previous Presidents Day record set by Deadpool with $152.2 million, but it’s also the biggest holiday opening ever. It seems so long ago that Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park: The Lost World held that record with $90.2 million, but that’s because it was twenty years ago and so many movies have been able to surpass that seemingly insurmountable amount.

It would be an understatement to say that I completely underestimated the manic frenzy to see Black Panther as soon as possible. Clearly, it was the right time for a Black Panther movie, and the Marvel brand continues to bring in audiences of all genders, ages, races, shapes and sizes. Black Panther‘s celebration of Africa and African culture made the movie more of a social event then just another superhero movie.

Even so, Marvel’s latest  didn’t surpass the $207 million opening of Marvel’s The Avengers going by its three-day estimate, yet it’s the fifth-biggest domestic opening weekend for any movie ever and also only the fifth movie to gross more than $200 million in a single weekend. On top of that, the $242 million Black Panther made in its first four days is more than the first four days of the recent Star Wars: The Last Jedi, making it the second-biggest four-day opening. Also, in just four days, Coogler set a new record for a movie directed by an African-American filmmaker, surpassing last year’s Fate of the Furious directed by F. Gary Gray, as well as Jordan Peele’s Get Out rather briskly. Sorry, guys!

Overseas, Black Panther also did quite well in 48 territories, most of which aren’t celebrating Presidents Day despite having much more worthy presidents to celebrate. The movie grossed $169 million in those markets bringing its three-day global total to $361 million and setting many records in those international territories. Disney will open Black Panther in Japan on March 1 and in China on March 9, so we’ll have to see how the movie fares in those two big markets.

The release of Black Panther helped the IMAX Corp. attain their second-highest global weekend with almost $53 million over the four-day weekend. $35 million of that came from Black Panther‘s global IMAX release over the four days and $23.5 million from 404 domestic IMAX screens, averaging more than $58,000 per location. That’s also the biggest IMAX opening for a Marvel movie, surpassing Captain America: Civil War in that respect.

Black Panther received an extremely rare “A+” Cinemascorebut it’s not the first superhero movie to do so, as 2012’s Marvel’s The Avengers managed the same score, and that grossed $623 million after opening with $207.4 million. It might be too early to tell whether Black Panther can achieve the same numbers domestically, but it’s well on its way to $450 million plus based on its opening weekend.

The other two new movies, Aardman Studios’ Early Man and Pure Flix’s biblical epic Samson, didn’t even make it into the top 5. In fact, one of them barely een made it into the top 10 as audiences showed little interest in anything besides Black Panther and the returning movies.

Sony’s Peter Rabbit sustained its second place at the box office with $17.6 million over the three-day holiday and $23.4 million including Monday, bringing its total to $54.1 million.

It also surpassed last week’s winner, Universal’s Fifty Shades Freed, which took the biggest plunge in the top 10, down 55% from its opening weekend to an est. $17.3 million over the three-day weekend and $19.4 million including Monday. The end to the romance trilogy based on E.L. James’ books has grossed $78.6 million domestically, compared to its predecessor’s $91.4 million in the same amount of time.

Sony Pictures’ astounding blockbuster Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, starring Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan, which surpassed $350 million last weekend and is now leveraging its way to $400 million. Over the holiday weekend, Jumanji added another $10 million, bringing its domesic total to $379.8 million.

Jumanji also crossed the $900 million mark at the global box office, potentially making it one of the rare films to gross more than a billion worldwide.

Clint Eastwood’s The 15:17 to Paris dropped to fifth place with $8.9 million over the four-day weekend, down 27% to bring its 11-day total to $26.7 million.

Fox’s The Greatest Showman fell to sixth place but with barely a drop from last weekend, grossing an est. $6.4 million over the four-day weekend, as it crossed $150 million and surpassed 2016’s La La Land to become the fourth-highest grossing movie musical domestically. The $504 million made last year by Disney’s Beauty and the Beast will keep it in the number one slot for a very long time.

Getting back to the stop-motion animation Early Man, released by Summit/Lionsgate Friday into 2,450 theaters, the PG film featured the voices of Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hiddleston but failed to bring in much of an audience. Opening in seventh place, Early Man grossed $3.2 million over the three-day weekend and an est. $4.2 million including Monday, averaging $1,714 per theater. Early Man‘s “B” CinemaScore was nothing to write home about either.

Pure Flix’s biblical epic Samson didn’t fare much better in 1,249 theaters, bombing with just $2.3 million over the four-day weekend and $1.9 million for the three-day. Both of the new movies abvoe averaged less than $2,000 despite the Monday holiday, which is not good at all. So much for counter-programming.

A Chinese family film called Monster Hunt 2 was released into 69 U.S. theaters by Lionsgate on Friday but only grossed about $401,000 over the holiday weekend or $5,812 per theater.

In China, that same movie grossed $190 million, almost as much as Black Panther, just to show you what huge business local movies are doing in China. That was only a small portion of the half a billion dollars grossed by Chinese theaters over the Lunar New Year weekend. Monster Hunt 2 was joined in the China market by two other local films, the sequel Detective Chinatown 2 and Operation Red Sea. Those three movies alone made $19 million in Chinese IMAX theaters over the four-day weekend.

Produced by Warner Bros. International, Detective Chinatown 2 grossed $862,000 over the four-day weekend in North America in 115 locations, an average of just $7,500.

The Bleecker Street release Nostalgia, starring Jon Hamm and Ellen Burstyn, bombed with just $18,000 in three theaters in New York and L.A. or $6,000 per theater.

(Source: boxofficemojo.com. Figures represent estimated numbers at time of writing, and they may change.)

  | East Coast Editor

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