Four weeks! Black Panther breaks another record by becoming the only Marvel Cinematic Universe film to stay at the number 1 spot on the domestic box office for four straight weeks! With an estimated $41.1m extra to its pot, it has now officially passed $1bn worldwide. That gives it the third largest fourth weekend of all time. We could be here all day listing the achievements of Black Panther and barely scratch the surface of what makes this film so groundbreaking. Christopher Nolan has already said that the film could have some real Oscar chances. Could this be the superhero film that breaks past that barrier? Dammit, it’s too early to tell, let us recover from the 2017 race before we get in there.
Coming in at number 2 is A Wrinkle in Time, with $33.3m. A third of your budget in the opening weekend is nothing to sniff at, and I’m hesitant to write this off as a flop in the way so many industry figures are seemingly dying to do so. It is true that Box Office Mojo’s projections were higher, and I’m sure Disney would have liked it to pass at least $40m, but hear me out. This is a family film that came out while kids were still in school. It’s also not impossible to imagine this as a slow burn success. Look at The Greatest Showman and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle: two films that made vast amounts of money through solid but unspectacular weekly grosses week after week. Call me hopeful or foolish or whatever, but I’m freaking exhausted with having to watch people scramble to laugh at a sweet kids’ movie as some inglorious failure. And don’t come at me with this ‘but actually’ nonsense that I know some of you are dying to do. This is not a film that was at war with its main competitor — never mind how weird it is to pit two history making films by black film-makers against one another, they’re both owned by Disney so they’re happy either way.
Strangers: Prey at Night debuts at number 3 with $10.4m. Did anyone else know this movie was getting a sequel? They certainly took their time. Opening weekend demographics for this horror were 51% female. Hey, we like scary movies.
It wasn’t so good a week for Red Sparrow, which fell to number 4 with $8.1m, a 51% change from its opening week. No other film in the top 10 this week fell by that much. Seems that Jennifer Lawrence’s star power may not have the long-term pull needed to make this a proper hit. Reviews definitely hit this one hard.
On the bright side, Death Wish also fell hard, slumping 4 places to number 7 with $6.6m (close to half its opening weekend).
The other new release in the top 10 this week was Hurricane Heist, a real life movie that actually exists in our realm of being. Sadly, not that many people seemed aware of that, and it only took in $3.1m, leaving it at number 8. Just outside of the top 10, right behind Jumanji, is Gringo. The latest film from David Oyelowo and Charlize Theron had a terrible opening weekend of $2.63m in 2404 theatres - averaging about $1k a screen. For a wide release, distributed by Amazon, that’s wince-inducing.
The Oscars are now over and it’s clear to see which film benefitted the most from that ceremony. The Shape of Water, the official Best Picture winner, took in $2.4m, as Fox Searchlight pushed it into an extra 700 theatres. Disney have said the indie distributor will not be affected by the Fox merger, but honestly, I can’t say I trust that promise. Here’s hoping I’m wrong. A Fantastic Woman, Chile’s Best Foreign Language Film winning entry, saw a boom thanks to its victory with its gross going up by a staggering 129.8%.
This week’s new releases include the gay teen rom-com Love Simon, the video-game adaptation Tomb Raider, and a Christian movie about a song, starring Dennis Quaid.
You can check out the rest of the weekend box office here.
What films did you see this weekend? Are you sick of my Wakanda puns yet? Which natural disaster or extreme weather situation would you like to perform a heist in? Is Pine the best Chris in the 5th dimension, and could he pull off bejwelled eyebrows like Oprah? Answers in the comments.