It finally looked as though Black Panther would get some stiff competition this weekend with the release of Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time and the horror film Strangers: Prey at Night. Both were opening wide and expected to take a good chunk from the weekend box office. But would it be enough to knock Black Panther from the top spot? Let’s take a look!
The good news for Disney is that the company commanded both the top spots this weekend but the bad news, if you can call it that, is that Black Panther once again took the #1 spot at the domestic box office. With a $41 million fourth weekend (-38%) the film is now at $562 million in North America which is good enough for 7th all-time passing Star Wars: Rogue One and The Dark Knight. Next up is Star Wars: The Last Jedi at $619 million which Black Panther should catch in the next couple of weeks.
Worldwide the film crossed the $1 billion mark, the fifth MCU film to do so, when it opened in China to the tune of $66.5 million. That mark is the fourth best superhero opening in that market of all-time. Overall the film is sitting at $516 million internationally which as stated, gives the Ryan Coogler film new worldwide total of $1.078 billion.
As mentioned, only a company having the kind of run Disney is having would be upset by Black Panther taking the #1 spot as this weekend saw the release of A Wrinkle in Time. The Ava DuVernay directed sci-fi/fantasy film based on the classic book by Jennifer Lee opened to $33 million, which is bellow what Disney was hoping for. With a $250 million rumored budget including marketing, the film will struggle to break even but even Disney execs are conceding profitability wasn’t necessarily the goal with this one. Expanding into the marketplace with a diverse cast and female director will likely pay dividends for the company down the road and with their target audience being children, residual profits will be key.
What it isn’t helping is the poor reception the film is getting from critics and adults (25+), who make up 61% of the audience. Currently the film is sitting at 42% on Rotten Tomatoes and has received a B- score from adult viewers. Not surprisingly, the 25 and under crowd has given the film high praise and gave it an A- on CinemaScore. Internationally the film only opened in 14% of its markets bringing in $6.3 million.
Opening in a distant third place was the horror sequel Strangers: Prey at Night which brought in $10 million over the three days. The sequel which some are calling Strangers 2, managed only half the opening its predecessor did back in 2008 when it opened to $20.9 million, eventually ending its run at $52.5 million in North America. The good news is there’s nothing else like it on the market right now and the budget for these films are very small, the first one being $9 million.
Rounding out the top 5 are Jennifer Lawrence’s Red Sparrow in fourth and the comedy Game Night in fifth. The spy thriller Red Sparrow added $8.15 million to its $31.1 million North American total in its second week of release. And while its performing slightly better overseas, it will be a stretch to see a profit on its $69 million production budget, especially when you include the marketing dollars. As for Game Night, it added $7.9 million to its new North American total of $45 million on a $37 million production budget. As stated in previous weeks, the only press this movie is getting is the fact that its directors have been attached to helm DC’s Flashpoint movie.
Next week should be just as interesting as we’ll see the release of WB’s Tomb Raider starring Alicia Vikander which opens in over 3,600 theatres. Early tracking has the film opening in the $28-$30 million range which may not be good enough to take the top spot if Black Panther continues to see such small week to week drops. In all likelihood, Tomb Raider should take a good portion of the Black Panther audience which skews male and 25 years and older. It already has opened in a few international markets bringing in $14 million from nine tier 2 Asian markets.