“Black Panther” Unstoppable, Even Against Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time”

the box office-2

Film  Weekend Opening Weekend Current Gross
Black Panther (Marvel/Disney) $40.8m $202m $561.7m
A Wrinkle in Time (Walt Disney) $33.1m $33.1m $33.1m
The Strangers: Prey at Night (Aviron) $10,4m $10.4m $10.4m
Red Sparrow (20th Century Fox) $8.5m $16.9m $31.5m
Game Night (New Line/WB) $7.8m $17m $45m

PantherWrinkleBO2Walt Disney Pictures

(Note: The numbers above and below have been updated based on actual box office numbers.)

It was supposed to be a close race. At one point, it was so close you could taste a possible upset. Nope…  For the fourth weekend in a row, Marvel Studios’ Black Panther dominated over any and all competition in movie theaters, even as the movie’s director Ryan Coogler took to Twitter to recommend Disney’s other movie A Wrinkle in Time, directed by Ava DuVernay.

On Friday, the two movies were fairly close with $10 million each, but Black Panther picked up its pace on Saturday, pulling ahead of A Wrinkle in Time by $5 million. By Sunday, Black Panther had grossed an estimated $40.8 million, down just 38% in its fourth weekend and bringing its domestic total to $561.7 million.

That amount makes Black Panther the seventh highest grossing movie in North American box office history, also putting it ahead of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight to make it the second-biggest superhero movie behind 2012’s Marvel’s The Avengers. That movie had only grossed $523 million at the end of its fourth weekend, which included Memorial Day Monday, so there’s a good chance Black Panther will surpass it even with the stronger competition the next three weekends.

More importantly, Black Panther broke a billion worldwide over the weekend in less than one month, as it opened in China on Friday to gross an impressive $66.5 million for the weekend. That amount added greatly to the $100 million made internationally this weekend by the Chadwick Boseman starrer, which brought the movie’s international take up to $516 million. IMAX screens in China contributed $7.4 million to the $11 million Black Panther grossed just in IMAX theaters this weekend. So far, Black Panther has grossed $46 million just in domestic IMAX theaters.

A Wrinkle in Time grossed $1.2 million in Thursday previews that was added into its Friday take of $10.3 million, and though it held up well for the weekend, its $33.1 million weekend gross (around $8,3k per theater) put it in second place. Granted, that’s considerably less than the movie’s reported $100 million budget, but it’s also the biggest opening for any movie other than Black Panther this year. A little more worrisome is the film’s “B” CinemaScore, a grade that apparently was driven down by older moviegoers, because the film’s younger female target audience enjoyed the movie more.

The movie starring Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Minday Kaling, Chris Pine and newcomer Storm Reid grossed another $6.3 million overseas in six territories, so it still has a lot of room to grow its international audience. Either way, it’s too early to call A Wrinkle in Time a loss, and it’s still an impressive achievement as the first $100+ million-budgeted feature to be directed by a woman of color.

Opening in third place was Aviron Pictures’ initial release, the home invasion sequel The Strangers: Prey at Night, starring Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson and Bailee Madison, which grossed $10.4 million in 3,980 theaters or $4,222 per venue. That’s just about half what the original The Strangers movie did when released by Rogue Pictures in 2008, and the sequel’s “C” CinemaScore does not bode well for its future. (That’s compared to the “B-” rating for the original movie.)

20th Century Fox’s Red Sparrow, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton, dropped to fourth place with an est. $8.5 million, down almost 50% from its opening weekend with $31.1 million grossed so far.

The New Line comedy Game Night took fifth place with $7.9 million, down 24% in its third weekend to bring its domestic total to $45 million.

Sixth place went to Sony’s Peter Rabbit with $6.8 million, down 32% in its fifth weekend, and an impressive $93.5 million grossed just in North America so far. Even without the $26.2 million grossed overseas, the family film is doing fairly well compared to its $50 million budget, and Sony might want to start considering its sequel options.

Bruce Willis’ Death Wish dropped 49% and four places with $6.6 million and $23.9 million grossed so far.

The next new wide release, Rob Cohen’s The Hurricane Heist, was released by Entertainment Studios into 2,402 theaters, and it bombed pretty badly with just $3 million, falling just behind Paramount’s Annihilation to take ninth place.  Shockingly, the action movie had the second-best CinemaScore this weekend with a pretty awful “B-.”

It fared slightly better than Nash Edgerton’s action-comedy Gringo, starring David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton and Sharlto Copley, which took in just $2.7 million in 2,404 theaters or around $1,132 per theater. This isn’t a good start for Amazon Studios’ first attempt at self-distribution, and the film’s “C+” CinemaScore shows that audiences just didn’t get it.

Wisely, Focus Features opened Cory Finley’s comedic thriller Thoroughbreds more moderately into 549 theaters, where it averaged around $2.2k per venue to open in 15th place with $1.2 million. We’ll have to see how much further Focus expands the dark comedy starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Olivia Cooke and the late Anton Yelchin, because the studio is also opening the period thriller 7 Days in Entebbe nationwide this Friday.

As far as other specialty releases, IFC Films’ The Death of Stalin, directed by Veep creator Armando Ianucci and starring Steve Buscemi and Jeffrey Tambor, took in $185k in four theaters in New York and L.A., an impressive $46k per theater.

Sony Pictures Classics released the Helen Mirren-Donald Sutherland road comedy The Leisure Seeker into 28 theaters in select cities where it grossed just $114k or around $4,061 per theater, which doesn’t bode well for much further expansion.

Check back later today for an updated report based on actual numbers, and then check back Thursday where Disney will be getting some competition from the new Tomb Raider movie.

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

  | East Coast Editor
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Still quiet here.sas

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