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Weekend Box Office: Wakanda Forever! Black Panther Continues to Dominate; Red Sparrow Respectable

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By Chris Kavan - 03/04/18 at 11:59 PM CT

Another weekend, another big win for Disney and Marvel as Black Panther easily crossed the $500 million mark, cementing itself as one of the greatest superhero films of all time. Both of the two new wide releases managed to score decent openings against this behemoth, sitting nicely in the second (Red Sparrow) and third (Death Wish) position - though neither could top $20 million. It's going to be more interesting to see how A Wrinkle in Time eats into Black Panther's numbers - but that's a tale for next weekend. This weekend it's still all about Black Panther, and the film shows little sign of slowing down just yet.


With another dynamite weekend, Black Panther eased just 41% (the fourth lowest drop among all Marvel films in their respective third weekends) and brought in $65.7 million (the third best third weekend of all time behind only Avatar and Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and crossed the $500 million mark (the third fastest film to that mark behind the last two Star Wars movies) to wind up with $501.1 million. Considering that Star Wars and Avatar both benefited from post-holiday crowds - Black Panther looks even more impressive by comparison. It is also the third-best total for any superhero film behind only The Dark Knight ($534 million) and The Avengers ($623 million). It is pretty much guaranteed to pass Dark Knight by next weekend - meaning it will in short order be the best solo outing for a superhero by a long shot. It still has a good chance to catch up to Avengers, or at least Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($619 million) before it ends its run. It has also passed Finding Dory to land in the top 10 of all films - and could rise to as high as fifth place on that list before it's done. It is also nearing $900 million worldwide, and it's a given it will hit $1 billion before it's done in that department as well. If it can get passed $1.2 billion, it will also become the biggest solo superhero film of all time globally - and there's a very good chance it will. All told, Black Panther is still going strong and should be able to ride out March.


The sexy, very adult spy thriller wound up in second place with a $17 million debut. That was right along with the studio's forecast. Jennifer Lawrence has been trying to shed that every-girl image first with mother! and now here. While the film wasn't as lambasted as mother! Red Sparrow drew middling reviews. Audiences gave it a "B" Cinemascore, firmly in average territory. It drew an audience that was 53% female with 79% coming in over the age of 25. Drawing comparisons to Atomic Blonde and Ghost in the Shell, Red Sparrow is looking at a total in the $45-$50 million range. It's a bit low for the $69 million production, but its international total (currently sitting at $26.5 million) should hopefully get it into the black. It's not going to be a huge hit, but it's an important step for Lawrence, drunk or not, in her career and will hopefully lead to bigger and better things in the future.


The remake of the classic 70s vigilante/revenge actioner scored a $13 million third-place opening. Bruce Willis takes center stage as the grieving father who turns his fury to the streets after a home invasion costs him his family. The hyper-violent film may seem a bit out of place these days, but it still made for a decent opening and scored better than Red Sparrow - "B+" among audiences. Guess what? Guys made up the majority (57%) with 53% coming in over 35. The film should play solidly and if it winds up like The Foreigner (which opened with $13 million itself), Death Wish is looking at a $30-$35 million total. Given the current political climate about gun control, it's a wonder it did this well. You must also consider that the star power of Willis isn't near as big as it was in the late 90s, early 2000s (Death Wish will easily be among his lower-grossing films). Still, given all that, it's also not a bad spot to be in and, with a little help from overseas, it may even eventually be profitable.


Following its decent opening against Black Panther, Game Night dipped just 37% in its second weekend, adding $10.7 million to its total, which now stands at $33.5 million. It is fast approaching its $37 million production cost (which it should easily hit before next weekend), and it should wind up firmly in the $50 million or so range. Factoring in international numbers ($16 million and counting) and Game Night should earn a tidy profit once everything is said and done.


Rounding out the top five, and proving making light of food allergies isn't that big of deal, Peter Rabbit added $10 million to raise its total to $84 million. Having little trouble hitting that $75 million mark, we'll see if the live action/animated hybrid has enough gas to hit the sweet spot of $100 million or if it peters out when A Wrinkle in Time drops. Even if it falls short of the next milestone mark, the $50 million production is looking good - dropping just 22% compared to last weekend. It's also beginning its major international push with a $12.7 million debut in China, with many of the bigger markets yet to come. It has already topped $100 million worldwide, so anything it adds from here on out will just sweeten the pot.

Outside the top five: Pretty much all the big Oscar-nominated films that were still in theaters added to their theater count - Call Me By Your Name had the most theaters added (239) and also had the biggest jump - from 21st to 14th place and a nearly 76% increase over last weekend, adding about $920,000 to raise its total to just over $17 million.

The Shape of Water (SPOILER: and best picture and director winner) added 111 theaters and jumped a little over 18% for a 12th place $1.4 million weekend and new $57.4 million total.

Next week will bring us the release of A Wrinkle in Time, Gringo, Strangers: Prey at Night and The Hurricane Heist. Despite the number of new films coming out, only Wrinkle in Time is likely to give Black Panther any real competition.


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