Black Panther crosses the $500 million mark and moves into the all time top ten after just three weekends, as two new films, both with some star power, open on Academy Awards weekend to mixed results.
by Tim Briody
March 4, 2018
Black Panther added $65.7 million this weekend, down just 41%, giving it $501.1 million after three weekends. Oscar weekend tends to see a larger than average Sunday decline, so Black Panther defies the odds yet again. Also it’s been significantly underestimated the last two weekends, so the actual figure will likely be a couple million higher.
That’s the third biggest third weekend of all time behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($90.2 million) and Avatar ($68.4 million), which begins to dominate this chart for the next several weeks. The domestic total bumps Finding Dory ($486.2 million) out of the all-time top ten, and Black Panther will take ninth place tomorrow, passing last year’s Beauty and the Beast ($504 million) and then will spend the week passing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ($532.1 million) and The Dark Knight ($534.8 million) before firmly lodging itself in seventh place, as after that it’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi at $619.1 million before the current king of the Marvel hill, The Avengers at $623.3 million. Oh, and worldwide grosses are lagging presently, as the worldwide total is a touch under $900 million. A billion is clearly a lock, with the potential for a lot more.
That’s a lot of big numbers and some epic box office history for you. While everyone assumed Black Panther would be huge, as Marvel continually takes their B and C-level players to A-list box office performances, I don’t think anyone expected this performance. It’s simply outstanding and there just aren’t any other words I can use to describe what we’re witnessing.
Jennifer Lawrence’s Red Sparrow (a title which totally has nothing to do with Black Widow, by the way) takes second with $17 million. Lawrence is one of the few female names considered a decent draw these days, even if she hasn’t had many major hits outside of The Hunger Games series. The 20th Century Fox release was probably hoping for at least $20 million here, so it’s a slight disappointment. The opening actually matches the total for last year’s mother! which also starred Lawrence, so it’s got that going for it. It wasn’t that well reviewed, so I don’t see a lot of staying power here for Red Sparrow, and its reported $69 million budget (part of which was JLaw’s reported $15-20 million paycheck) is going to be tough to make back.
Third goes to our other new release this weekend, the reboot of Death Wish, starring Bruce Willis. Throwing his hat into the Old Guy Action Movie ring (albeit a few years too late), this is actually his first major theatrical release (he’s been a Straight-to-DVD guy for a few years now it seems) since 2014’s ill-fated Sin City sequel ($13.7 million total) and Red 2 ($53.2 million). Death Wish was originally slated for release over Thanksgiving last year, but held back, perhaps due to the Las Vegas shooting from last year. There was talk it would be held again after the recent Parkland school shooting, but with things as they are, will there ever be a good time to release a film like this?
That said, Death Wish does a bit better than expected, coming in with a weekend of $13 million despite atrocious reviews from critics. I don’t expect it to hang around very long, but it only cost MGM $30 million to make, so add in some foreign box office and they should have a winner in the end.
Game Night holds reasonably well, down just 37% from opening weekend to $10.7 million, giving it $33.5 million in just two weekends. The Jason Bateman/Rachel McAdams comedy remains an appealing choice for those who’ve already seen Black Panther and think Red Sparrow or Death Wish are too dark for date night.
Peter Rabbit adds another $10 million, off just 22%, and now has $84 million in four weekends. Predictably holding well as family films should, it gets a little bit of competition for family dollars with next weekend’s A Wrinkle in Time, but it’s still pretty smooth sailing to $100 million for the Beatrix Potter adaptation.
Annihilation follow’s last weekend’s disappointing opening with a 49% decline to $5.6 million and $20.6 million after two weeks. Being too high concept led to poor word-of-mouth and that just really hurt the earnings potential here. As mentioned before as well, there is no international theatrical distribution here, as it’s going to Netflix in the rest of the world. There goes any chance of making back its reported $40 million budget.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle spends its 11th weekend in the top ten and I’m tired of writing about it. It earned $4.5 million (again down just 20%) and creeps closer to $400 million with $393.2 million. Movies aren’t supposed to spend three months in the top ten in 2018!
Fifty Shades Freed drops another 54% to $3.3 million and $95.5 million after four weekends. Continuing our comparison to the other movies in the “literary” trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey had $156.3 million at this same point while Fifty Shades Darker had $109.9 million. Trending slightly better than Darker (had Freed followed the same path, it would have finished with about what it has earned now) Fifty Shades Freed will wheeze over the $100 million mark before it’s done, but that’s about it.
One last time, the only film up for an Academy Award in the top ten, The Greatest Showman earns $2.6 mililion, good for ninth place. It’s got $164.6 million after 11 weekends and has one of the highest, if not the top, opening weekend to final multipliers of all time.
Teen drama Every Day clings to tenth place, down 48% from last weekend to $1.5 million. It’s got a total of $5.2 million so far, which isn’t the worst considering the low screen count of just 1,669 theaters.
This weekend, your top 12 films earned $136.9 million, compared to last year’s $200 million, led by Logan’s $88.4 million opening weekend. Next weekend brings fantasy novel adaptation A Wrinkle in Time and horror entry The Strangers: Prey at Night.
Be sure to check out our Academy Award predictions and be sure to follow along during our live blog during the show!