Weekend Box Office: ‘Black Panther’ Roars to Record Number One
UPDATE: Black Panther beat expectations yet again. The film had a better than expected Sunday, and instead of $192 million originally projected over the three-day weekend, it made $201.7 million over the three-day weekend. It’s still the fifth-biggest opening ever, but it brings it well ahead of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and brings it within $6 million of the first Avengers for fourth best ever.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: You know all that talk about how audiences won’t turn out for blockbusters headlined by people of color? I think we’ve killed that theory dead. Black Panther didn’t just open to big box office; it debuted with to some of the biggest box office in history. Its estimated $201 million over the weekend is the second biggest opening of a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie ever. Full box office chart:
|2||Peter Rabbit||$17,600,000 (-29%)||$4,725||$48,572,542|
|3||Fifty Shades Freed||$17,320,000 (-55%)||$4,597||$76,513,455|
|4||Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle||$7,925,000 (-20%)||$2,830||$377,603,565|
|5||The 15:17 to Paris||$7,620,000 (-39%)||$2,505||$25,367,717|
|6||The Greatest Showman||$5,070,000 (-21%)||$2,619||$154,338,356|
|8||Maze Runner: The Death Cure||$2,605,000 (-58%)||$1,377||$54,085,126|
|10||The Post||$2,000,000 (-44%)||$1,905||$76,609,372|
Even with high expectations, Black Panther is stunning hit. It grossed an astounding $47,000 per screen along the way to the fifth-biggest debut in history. It is already the number one grossing movie of 2018. To put this all in perspective, in three days Black Panther made more money than the first Thor made in its entire theatrical run. (Ant-Man too.) Audiences loved it, too; CinemaScore voters gave it a rare A+. This is as big as a movie gets. We use the term “blockbuster” as a descriptor for any big movie these days, but this is a true blockbuster in the original sense of the term.
Animals are big with audiences right now; after Black Panther on the box office chart was Peter Rabbit, the adaptation of the classic children’s book. It dropped just 29 percent from its first weekend in theaters and grossed an additional $17.6 million, bringing its 10-day total to $48.5 million. In third place for the weekend was Fifty Shades Freed, which dropped nearly 56 percent from its debut but still grossed an additional $17.3 million. With $76.5 million in tickets sold so far, its got a long way to go before it comes close to matching Fifty Shades Darker’s $114 million. (Fifty Shades of Grey grossed $166 million in 2015.) If this wasn’t the last film in the series, these grosses probably would have ended it anyway.
Fourth place for the weekend went to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Its extremely slow slide down the chart continued; it dropped just 20 percent from last weekend and grossed approximately $8 million. Its $377.6 million makes it Sony Pictures’ second-biggest domestic hit in history behind Skyfall. Fifth place last weekend went to Clint Eastwood’s The 15:17 to Paris, which grossed $7.6 million.
Nothing else in theaters came close to matching Black Panther’s $50,000 per-screen average. The best limited release of the weekend on a per-screen basis was The Party, with a $12,111 average on three nationwide screen. The Oscar-nominee for Best Foreign Language Film Loveless did well too; it had a PSA of $10,074 on three screens. But, yeah, it’s all about Black Panther. With these numbers, we really may be visiting Wakanda forever.