Third week in a row and there’s just no stopping Black Panther. Even with two new releases opening wide this weekend - albeit none with blockbuster power like the competition - Wakanda held strong and took in another $65m, bringing its domestic total past $500m. That makes it only the 3rd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to pull off three weeks at the top. Now, it’s already the third fastest film to ever gross $500m domestically. Star Wars: The Last Jedi beat it by one day. Worldwide, numbers are also excellent, with the international gross ever so close to $900m. Remember, this thing hasn’t even opened in major territories like China. We may have an early contender for highest grossing film of the year. I expect that new Avengers film to top it but even then, it could be a close race. I’d say Solo is running scared, but Disney owns all and shall reign supreme regardless.
Coming in at number two is Red Sparrow. Despite mediocre reviews - including a slam from our own team - Jennifer Lawrence’s star power pulled in a respectable $17m in its opening weekend. For a film that only cost $69m to make - nice - that’s a good track to be on. Worldwide, it’s already made $43.5m, so it’s safe to say Lawrence still has the ability to get the punters in. Well, unless it’s mother! but we can’t hold that against her.
Sadly, the Eli Roth remake of Death Wish did pretty decently too, with just over $13m, putting it at number 3. Gun toting jingoism has its fans, unfortunately. Salve yourselves with Dustin’s exceptionally cathartic review.
Alas, Annihilation slumped to number 6, taking in a measly $5.6m despite adding an extra 100 theatres to its run. It really does seem like either Paramount do not care about this film - which received great reviews in general - or they don’t have the provisions to give it better treatment. Given the talk we’ve heard of their financial troubles, the latter would not surprise me. Want to know how badly it did? It made half of what Peter Rabbit did, and that’s been out for two weeks more than Annihilation. Want to be REALLY depressed? Paddington 2 has only made $39m in America, compared to the $84m grossed by Peter Rabbit. See those nice things? This is why you don’t get them.
Leading up to tonight’s Oscars, we saw some of the big favourites get a nice boost. The Shape of Water, the most nominated film of the night, received $1.4m this week, after adding an extra 111 theatres to its run. Fox Searchlight know how to play this game. Sadly, it’s taken this long for Sony Classics to buck up and treat Call Me By Your Name properly. Finally, it’s getting a wider release, with 239 extra cinemas, and finally its bringing in some good grosses, with $919k to its name this weekend. The film’s in no financial danger or anything, but I maintain the distributors flubbed the release of this one just enough to hurt it.
What is interesting is how many of the Best Picture nominees added theatres to their run but saw a drop in attendance - it happened for Phantom Thread, Darkest Hour and Lady Bird. None of these films have runs exceeding 1000 theatres though. There’s a large potential audience still missing out on the most acclaimed movies of the year.
This week sees the release of the comedy Gringo, the inexplicable Hurricane Heist, and Disney’s much-anticipated fantasy adaptation, A Wrinkle in Time.
You can check out the rest of the weekend box office here.
What films did you watch this weekend? Who are you rooting for tonight at the Oscars? Let us know in the comments.