Black Panther was the No. 1 film his weekend for the fifth straight weekend in a row. However, it looked like its status was on shaky ground for a minute since Tomb Rider (which we’ll get to shortly) actually beat out Black Panther Friday by just under $1.5 million, but Black Panther rallied back Saturday to take over the top spot again this weekend.
This weekend, Black Panther edged out Tomb Raider, making $27 million with a domestic total of $605.4 million and $1.182 billion worldwide, moving up the box office list to now the seventh biggest grossing film domestically and 14th worldwide. It is the second-fastest film wot reach the $600M mark and is soon approaching The Avengers to be the top-grossing superhero film. It currently has $623 million without inflation.
After an excellent opening last weekend in China of $66.5 million, the film dropped a stunning 88 percent this weekend, prompting questions as to why it happened. Many people claimed immediately it was due to racism. As I’ve stated before, China is known for not having the most progressive attitudes when it comes to us, and there were discussions and even articles on Shadow and Act, by yours truly, and other venues such as Forbes and The Hollywood Reporter, speculating as to how would Black Panther would do in that country. In fact, an article appeared last week online which was circulated around in which Chinese filmgoers expressed that they did not like Black Panther because they considered it “too dark” or “too black.” That same article was later discarded as being, what in the current parlance is called, “fake news” or a hoax.
However, there have been those who explain the huge decrease as a result of cultural differences and that other big franchise or tentpole films have also not fared well in China such as Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which also suffered a similar severe second week dropoff and its final gross was well below both The Force Awakens and Rogue One. Yet, Jedi still went on to gross $1.3 billion worldwide, and that’s the most important thing about Black Panther. No matter what it does in China, the film is a massive box office success, heading towards $1.3 billion worldwide.
Also remember that it was the No. 1 film in other Asian countries outside China and also Japan, where the film has done well, but did not reach the No. 1 status. And right now, Black Panther stands at just over $90 million in China, heading towards over $100 million. Though that’s about half of what other Marvel films have done in China it’s actually more than what some Marvel films have made there, (such as the first Avengers movie which made only $86 million in China) $100 million is not chump change. Plus, keep in mind that $100 million is $100 million more for Black Panther than what it had two weeks ago, and the film is still the No.1 biggest grossing film worldwide so far this year. By the way, the second and third biggest grossing films after Black Panther happen to be both Chinese films, Operation Red Sea with $529 million and Detective Chinatown 2 with $522 million.
As for second place, the aforementioned reboot of Tomb Raider with $23.5 million has to be a disappointment for Warner Bros. which no doubt was hoping to capitalize on the success of their Wonder Woman movie last year. As for A Wrinkle in Time, the film dropped to fourth place with a 50 percent dropoff with $16.5 million for a total of just over $61 million. It has another $10.6 million overseas in just four territories, mainly from Russia and Spain. So far, it looks like the film will wind up doing around $85-90 million domestically before all is said and done. The question is how the film will do in the UK, where it opens later this week, and the rest of Europe, Asia and South America. But honestly, Disney should have nothing to worry about.
The real surprise this weekend was the independently-made, faith-based film I Can Only Imagine released by Roadshow Attractions, which came in third with a where-did-that-come-from $17 million. That has stunned everyone, including Roadshow, who were predicting a very modest $5 million opening for the film, which is about the story of how “the most played Christian radio single ever” was written.
Meanwhile, Fox was hoping for better numbers for the gay teenage love story, Love Simon, (said to be the first of its kind for a major studio) which came in fifth with $11 million. However, Sony really had a few winners on its hands going up against Blakc Panther with their animated film Peter Rabbit which has made over $102 million domestically so far, and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which with $939 million worldwide, won’t hit the billion-dollar worldwide mark, but came awfully close.
Fox’s Red Sparrow, with just $39.6 million to-date, is dying on the vine proving once again Jennifer Lawrence isn’t the box office sure thing that she’s been touted as.
1) Black Panther BV $27,024,000 Total: $605,400,528
2) Tomb Raider WB $23,525,000
3) I Can Only Imagine RAtt. $17,064,640
4) Wrinkle in Time BV $16,565,000 Total: $61,059,654
5) Love, Simon Fox $11,500,000 Total: $11,500,000
6) Game Night WB (NL) $5,570,000 Total: $54,174,184
7) Peter Rabbit Sony $5,200,000 Total: $102,440,268
8) Strangers: Prey at Night Aviron $4,810,000 Total: $18,612,052
9) Red Sparrow Fox $4,450,000 Total: $39,583,642
10) Death Wish MGM $3,368,000 Total: $29,949,685
11) Annihilation Par. $1,700,000 Total: $29,594,743
12) Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Sony $1,650,000 Total: $400,273,59