Black Panther Tops Box Office for 5th Straight Weekend

The Black Panther Cast
Source: 
AP Jake Coyle

NEW YORK (AP) — Not since “Avatar” has a box-office hit had the kind of staying power of “Black Panther.” Ryan Coogler’s comic-book sensation on Sunday became the first film since James Cameron’s 2009 smash to top the weekend box office five straight weekends.

The Disney release grossed $27 million in ticket sales over the weekend, according to studio estimates, pushing its domestic haul to $605.4 million. Worldwide, “Black Panther” has grossed more than $1.1 billion.  

Though “Black Panther” has had little competition to contend with throughout February and March, such consistency is especially rare in today’s movie-going world. Before “Avatar,” the last film to do it was 1999′s “The Sixth Sense.”

That left second place to the MGM-Warner Bros.′ rebooted “Tomb Raider,” starring Alicia Vikander as the archaeologist adventurer Lara Croft. The $90 million film opened with $23.5 million, largely failing to stir much excitement among moviegoers. Critics gave it mediocre reviews (49 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and ticket-buyers responded with a “meh,” giving it a B CinemaScore.

With Vikander stepping in for Angelina Jolie, Roar Uthaug’s “Tomb Raider” is an attempt to rekindle a video game-adapted franchise that faded quickly the first time around. 2001 original opened $47.7 million and grossed $274.7 million worldwide, but the big-budget 2003 sequel flopped, opening with $21.8 million domestically and grossing $156.5 million worldwide.

Jeff Goldstein, distribution chief for Warner Bros., said “Tomb Raider” came close to studio expectations in North America but that international ticket sales were a primary focus. “Tomb Raider” was no. 1 overseas, grossing $84.5 million, including a $41.1 million in China. “International was always a key part of the strategy,” Goldstein said.  Of course, the continuing success of “Black Panther” also didn’t help “Tomb Raider.” When release dates were being set a year ago, few could have foreseen “Black Panther” no. 1 five weeks in. “How could you?” Goldstein said.

“Black Panther” has shown considerably fewer legs in China, however. Though it has grossed $96 million in two weeks of release in China, “Black Panther” slid steeply in its second weekend.

Yet last week, “Black Panther” even bested Disney’s own “A Wrinkle in Time,” Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 novel of the same name. In its second week, “A Wrinkle in Time” dropped 50 percent with $16.6 million in ticket sales.

 

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