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Weekend Box Office: No Wrinkle This Time, Black Panther Remains Top Draw Four Weeks in a Row

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By Chris Kavan - 03/11/18 at 07:16 PM CT

While A Wrinkle in Time was supposed to give Black Panther a run for its money, in the end there was really no contest. Despite star (and girl) power, A Wrinkle in Time ended up a distant second to Marvel's Black Panther, which had little issue crossing the $1 billion global mark this weekend as well as continuing its impressive domestic run. At this point, i't's up to Tomb Raider, Pacific Rim: Uprising or Ready Player One to dislodge the superhero, which is shaping up to be one of the biggest films of all time.


Black Panther continues to impress. It become the only Marvel film to top the box office for four straight weekends, and its $41.1 million raised its total to $562 million, the second-best superhero film behind just The Avengers ($623 million) and the best superhero film featuring a single character, topping The Dark Knight ($534 million). That fourth weekend is the fourth best on record, and its 24-day total is the best save for the last two Star Wars films. There is a better than average chance Black Panther is going to surpass both Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($619 million) and The Avengers. While it is currently the 7th best domestic earner of all time - it could easily wind up in third place behind only Avatar and Star Wars: The Force Awakens when it ends its run. If A Wrinkle in Time barely caused it any harm, it will be interesting to see if Tomb Raider and Pacific Rim have any better luck.


With star power like Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, Zach Galifianakis and Gugu Mbatha-Raw among others, A Wrinkle in Time was supposed to give Black Panther a run for its money. But the $33.3 million it opened with was below many forecasts, including Disney who expected at least $35 million. Director Ava DuVernay was given a massive budget ($103 million) to bring Madeleine L'Engle's classic novel to the big screen, but the audience gave it a mere "B" Cinemascore - above the mediocre reviews, but not by much. It is performing much like Tomorrowland, another slight disappointment itself, and if it follows the same path, is looking to wind up just below the $100 million mark. Worst case scenario is that it flames out like Where the Wild Things Are and barely breaks $75 million. Still, I think families are more likely to embrace this, and even if Black Panther continues to dominate, A Wrinkle in Time won't wind up completely out in the cold, especially with some overseas help but like John Carter, Valerian and Jupiter Ascending before it, A Wrinkle in Time is going to under perform domestically.


It was horror over action as the long-time-coming Strangers sequel took the third spot with a $10.48 million debut. That is well under the $20 million the original Strangers opened with back in 2008. Still, with a reported $5 million budget, if the film can leg it to $30 million, it will turn out just find. The horror film drew in an audience that was pretty much evenly split between men and women, and they gave it a "C" Cinemascore - pretty much on par with most horror films. Prey at Night didn't suffer that big of a drop compared to how long it took to come out after the original. Still, it wasn't exactly a barn-burner, either, so this is going to live and die by its post-theatrical numbers. It will probably hand around through March, but not any longer.


After a decent debut, Red Sparrow suffered the biggest drop of the weekend, taking a 51.6% hit. The sexy Jennifer Lawrence spy thriller landed a $8.15 million weekend for a new total of $31.1 million - less than half of its $69 million budget after two weekends. It is looking to wind up right in line with Atomic Blonde - $45 million give or take a few, but whereas the Charlize Theron vehicle had just a $30 million budget, Red Sparrow is going to have to bank on some major overseas help to make it into the black.


The murder-mystery-comedy with a killer ensemble cast dipped a bit over 24%, bringing in $7.9 million for new total of $45 million. The film should hit the $50 million sweet spot by next weekend (or shortly thereafter), a nice result for the $30 million film. Globally, the film stands at $70 million. It's not going to break any records, but it's a solid result in a crowded box office. This one should also last through March.

Outside the top five: It wasn't a good weekend for action films as both Gringo and Hurricane Heist failed to generate much of a response. I figured Gringo would be a decent draw, but it was actually the biggest loser, winding up outside the top 10 with just $2.6 million in the 11th place spot. It would as the 27th worst average for a film opening in 2000 or more theaters with a mere $1094 per-theater average. Hurricane Heist wasn't much better with an 8th-place $3.15 million opening and barely-better $1,311 per-theater average. Neither are likely to survive long with Tomb Raider and Pacific Rim on the way.

The Shape of Water tried a post-Oscar push by adding 720 theaters to its count. While its audience did jump about 63% over last weekend, it still fell from 11th to 12th place with $2.4 million. Still, that was enough to push it above the $61 million mark.

Next weekend brings us the release of Tomb Raider, along with the romance/drama Love, Simon, inspirational I Can Only Imagine and just above wide release crime/thriller 7 Days in Entebbe.


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