Movies & TV / News

411’s Box Office Report: Black Panther Tops Tomb Raider For Fifth Week at #1

March 18, 2018 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Black Panther 1

T’Challa proved a stronger foe than Lara Croft could handle, as Black Panther beat Tomb Raider at the box office this weekend. The Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster led the way for the fifth straight week, bringing in $27 million for the three-day weekend. The film continued its strong performance by slipping just 34%, and became the first film since Avatar in 2009 and 2010 to spend five straight weekends at #1.

More significantly, Black Panther is pacing well ahead of most of the top-grossing films of all-time. It is behind only Star Wars: The Force Awakens at this point, though it should be said that Avatar had holds that even this film won’t be able to eventually top. As it stands, it is over $50 million above Avengers at the same point in its run and is a sure thing to easily pass that movie’s $623.4 million take to become the best-grossing MCU film domestically. It is also looking like it may pass Jurassic World’s $652.3 million and Titanic’s $660 million, which if it does will put it at the #3 all-time domestic grossing film (it currently stands at #7). Worldwide it is sitting at $1.182 billion, #4 among MCU films, and will easily pass Iron Man 3’s $1.214 billion. Its final domestic gross seems likely to hit around $665 million or more by the end of its run. At a $200 million budget, it is a mega-hit.

Meanwhile, Tomb Raider claimed #2 with an okay $23.5 million. That’s right around industry projections for the video game adaptation, if slightly on the low end. The Alicia Vikander-starring reboot of the film franchise didn’t resonate as strongly with American audiences as Warner Bros. hoped. There are a lot of reasons for this; for one, Tomb Raider didn’t expect to be competing with Panther quite so strongly at this point in the latter’s run. It’s also important to note than the previous Tomb Raider franchise, though profitable for WB, didn’t leave a great taste in filmgoers’ mouths. The first film scored pretty well with audiences, but Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life was much less highly-received and sunk at the box office compared to the first. That the Angelina Jolie-led films are fifteen years old didn’t help either.

Critical and audience consensus likely neither helped nor hurt Tomb Raider. Rotten Tomatoes has the film at a middling 50% — not strong enough to build hype, but also not weak enough to turn people away. Filmgoers weren’t ecstatic with a decent-but-bland B CinemaScore. Still, Tomb Raider should beat Cradle of Life’s $65.7 million domestic take by the end of its run, with a likely $70 million final take. The good news for Warner Bros. is that the film scored big overseas at $102.5 million so far, though $41.1 million is from China where the studio reaps a lower profit percentage. Worldwide the film stands at $126.1 million with Japan still to open. If the film can hold on well enough in the face of some big action openings, it should be able to earn a profit on its $94 million budget plus marketing. The franchise’s future, however, may be a bit murky.

The big surprise this weekend came from I Can Only Imagine. The faith-based film nailed down $17.1 million for its opening weekend, soaring well above the $8 million to $10 million predictions most had. The movie, which stars Dennis Quaid and Chloris Leachman as its most well-known stars, is based on a song by Christian band MercyMe which is the most played Christian radio single of all-time. Lionsgate scored big with this one, nailing the best opening for a Christian drama since Heaven is for Real’s $22.5 million start in April of 2014.

I Can Only Imagine came out of nowhere to score its big opening. No one was expecting this considering the low grosses on many faith-based entries, which usually rely on low budgets to bring in a profit. Imagine has a 58% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is actually pretty solid for the genre, and as expected audiences loved it with an A+ CinemaScore. It’s always difficult to guess where these films will end up, as multiples vary wildly. But if it follows the likes of Heaven is For Real and The Shack it should be able to finish with $60 million domestically. On a $7 million budget, that’s a huge number.

A Wrinkle in Time fell an expected 50% to bring in $16.6 million in its second weekend. The number is fine for the Disney-produced family fantasy-adventure, but not inspiring by any measure. The Ava DuVernay-directed adaptation of the Madeline L’Engle novel is now sitting at $61.1 million domestically and $71.7 million worldwide, with its overseas rollout not yet expanding wide. The film will need those international grosses to make back its $100 million budget, as it should finish off here at about $90 million.

Love, Simon scored a solid $11.5 million to hit the #5 spot at the box office in its first weekend. The gay coming-out romantic comedy was about where most predicted it to do. Based on the novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, the Greg Berlanti-directed movie hit well with younger audiences and is off to a good start.

It’s conceivable to argue that Fox may have wanted more out of this film, as it saw a surge in hype following very strong reviews (91% on RT). But it won’t complain with what it has, considering that it should maintain solid holds throughout its run and cam very possibly top $40 million. On a $17 million budget, it should be aiming for small amounts of profit for the studio.

Game Night continued to show legs at the box office, off a mere 29% in its fourth weekend for $5.6 million. The R-rated ensemble comedy now stands at $54.2 million domestically and $84.7 million worldwide, both healthy figures. It should finish out at around $70 million to $75 million domestically and will be a solid hit on a $37 million budget.

Peter Rabbit also continues to look good, with a 23% drop in its sixth weekend to $6.8 million. The live-action/animated hybrid comedy now has $102.4 million domestically and $145.1 million worldwide. It looks likely to finish off at around $120 million domestically and will make money for Sony on a $50 million budget.

Strangers: Prey at Night followed the typical horror trend, down 54% to $4.8 million in its second frame. The sequel to the 2008 film is in semi-decent shape with $18.6 million and heading toward a profit on a $5 million budget plus a light marketing campaign. It should make it to $25 million or so, which is a solid final result, and overseas numbers will add icing to the cake.

Jennifer Lawrence’s Red Sparrow is fading away quicker than Fox hoped, down 48% in its third weekend to $4.5 million. The spy thriller currently stands at $39.6 million domestically and $106.2 million worldwide, with foreign grosses picking up nicely. It will still need some decent strength overseas, as it will hit around $48 million domestically and the budget was $69 million plus marketing.

The Bruce Willis-starring Death Wish closed out the top ten with $3.4 million, down 49% for its third weekend. The Eli Roth-directed remake is probably not making a profit unless foreign grosses save it, which is unlikely. It sits at $29.9 million domestically and early starts overseas have it at just $3.7 million for $33.6 million worldwide. Even the modest $30 million budget won’t be made it, as the film targets a $35 million domestic final.

Black Panther’s reign will likely come to an end next weekend, as it runs headlong into Pacific Rim Uprising. The sequel to the Guillermo del Toro film is aiming for a $25 million start and should claim #1. Also opening are animated family sequel Sherlock Gnomes and a new Christian drama to give I Can Only Imagine some competition, Paul, Apostle of Christ. The former should hit the mid-high teens, while the latter will be in the low teens.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Black Panther – $27 million ($605.4 million total)
2. Tomb Raider – $23.5 million ($23.5 million total)
3. I Can Only Imagine – $17 million ($17 million total)
4. A Wrinkle in Time – $16.6 million ($61.1 million total)
5. Love, Simon – $11.5 million ($11.5 million total)
6. Game Night – $5.6 million ($54.2 million total)
7. Peter Rabbit – $5.2 million ($102.4 million total)
8. Strangers: Prey at Night – $4.8 million ($18.6 million total)
9. Red Sparrow – $4.5 million ($39.6 million total)
10. Death Wish – $3.4 million ($29.9 million total)