Friday Box Office Analysis

By Kim Hollis

March 17, 2018

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It's going to be yet another weekend of Black Panther at the top spot (its last), but on the plus side, there are some good stories to be found among the smaller scale films.

Although Black Panther will take the #1 position for the weekend, Tomb Raider did manage to win Friday. Its total was $9.1 million, which includes $2.1 million from Thursday night sneak previews. That means that the true Friday number for the Warner Bros. production was $7 million, less than Black Panther earned yesterday. With Alicia Vikander in the lead role, international grosses may bail this one out, but a $24.3 million start to its theatrical run is not going to be enough to deliver success from just domestic totals.

So, that means that Black Panther will repeat as our weekend box office champion for a crazy fifth consecutive weekend. With $7.5 million in box office yesterday, it was down only 25 percent from last Friday's total. Crazy. It should come in with another $31.8 million as it works its way toward becoming the biggest domestic superhero film ever. And maybe the biggest one worldwide, too. I'm sure everyone predicted this at the beginning of 2018.

Roadside Attractions has to be thrilled with the performance of faith-based film I Can Only Imagine, which earned $6.2 million yesterday. Based on the story of MercyMe's song "I Can Only Imagine," it had a tiny $7 million budget, which it will have been surpassed by the time you read this. MercyMe is a Christian band with a pretty significant following, and they were able to translate that to a nice grass-roots effort at getting groups out to theaters.Look for a three-day total of $18 million.


Another happy little movie is Love, Simon, a coming-of-age/coming out story that has been embraced by audiences. In fact, both I Can Only Imagine and Love, Simon earned A+ Cinemascores, meaning that their target demographics were MORE than pleased with what they saw. Anyway, Love, Simon is a well-reviewed little movie from Fox that managed to take in $4.6 million yesterday. I'd say it will have a weekend total of $13 million, which is a perfectly delightful start for a movie budgeted at only $17 million. It seems that Fox realized it had magic on its hands a little late and didn't know how to properly market it, but it still found its tribe.

A Wrinkle in Time lost 55 percent of its audience from last Friday, which is probably to be expected given the tepid reaction. It should have a weekend total of $16.5 million. The other holdover from last weekend's new releases is Strangers: Prey at Night, which fell off an expected-for-horror 62 percent. Its weekend will come in at $4.7 million.



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