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‘Black Panther’ Will Soon Be Marvel’s Top-Grossing Movie

The latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has already made $700 million.
By  · Published on February 26th, 2018

The latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has already made $700 million.

In just 10 days, Black Panther has grossed more than $400M in North America and another $300M overseas. Even as the Marvel Cinematic Universe installment fell 44.7% in its second weekend from its record-breaking opening, its domestic gross was still $111M. Not only does that make the movie only the fourth ever to make more than $100M in its second weekend of release, but that specific figure gives it the second-best second weekend of all time, after Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That’s without adjusting for inflation, however; otherwise, it’s still the fifth best.

Also before adjusting, Black Panther is now the fifth highest-grossing film in the MCU franchise. And that will change to third place after today, when the cultural milestone of a superhero movie passes both Captain America: Civil War and Iron Man 3 on the domestic chart. Taking inflation into account, its set to pass the first Iron Man today and could still rise above the other two by next weekend. What about the remaining two Marvel Studios productions? Black Panther has its sights on eventually surpassing Avengers: Age of Ultron and The Avengers, as well.

That’d be with or without the adjustment, by the way. And Black Panther could also top other Marvel movies at the global box office, too. For comparison, Age of Ultron (which dropped 59.6% in its second weekend) had only grossed $313.4M ($334.2M adjusted) domestic by its 10th day. By this point, though, its international take was up to $875.3M, due to its opening overseas earlier and having more of an immediate built-in appeal. The first Avengers had grossed just $373.1M in its first 10 days (dropping 50.3% in its second weekend), though that’s a better $421.8M with inflation. Worldwide, at this point The Avengers had already crossed the $1B mark.

So, Black Panther might just take a little longer, but so far it has better legs than any other Marvel movie — that 44.7% drop is even lower than Thor‘s previous record for the MCU of 47.2%. And its second-weekend theater average was higher than that of The Avengers. With a smaller screen count than many MCU titles, Black Panther is possibly still selling out shows, which is good for its image. There is still a chance that it’s not going to be so massive overseas that it can overtake even Iron Man 3, which did a lot better outside the US. For the time being, Black Panther is making the majority of its money (56.9%) at the domestic box office. Of course, the movie still has some other territories, including China, to enter.


As for the rest of the weekend’s box office, Game Night came in way behind Black Panther in second place with an opening gross of $17M, which is a little better than expected (Box Office Pro’s long range forecast was $15M, their final prediction last week was for $16M). With the inflation adjustment, it’s nearly identical to John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein’s only other movie as directors, Vacation. But obviously it’s way short of Spider-Man: Homecoming, which they co-wrote, but also lower than Horrible Bosses, which they also scripted. As far as recent comedies where regular folks wind up in crazy action plots go, it did receive relatively favorable reviews (and a ‘B+’ from CinemaScore polling) and opened less successfully than Snatched ($19.5M) but much better than Keeping Up With the Joneses ($5.5M).

Coming in fourth place with $11.1M, fellow newcomer Annihilation proved it wasn’t a disaster despite being dumped on Netflix outside of the US (and earning only a ‘C’ grade via CinemaScore). And its screen count was just barely above 2,000, so it also had the best wide-release per-theater average ($5.5K) after Black Panther ($26.9M). Alex Garland’s surreal sci-fi adaptation had seemed to have a greater level of anticipation back in early January, according to Box Office Pro, but last week the site only predicted it doing $9.8M. Its best recent comparisons are, on the higher end, the eventual Oscar darling Arrival ($24.1M) and, on the lower end, the similarly strange but quite affecting Under the Skin, which never even received a wide release and topped out at just $2.6M domestic, and Midnight Special, which opened in only a few more hundred theaters and only made it to $3.7M domestic.

In other box office news, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle finally fell out of the top five after 10 weeks in theaters, The Greatest Showman finally saw a fairly significant drop (32.2% down from last weekend), a movie you probably never heard of called Every Day debuted in ninth place with $3M, and also — I’m sorry I failed to check on the comparison last week — thanks to Black Panther, the year-to-date box office ($1.9B) is finally the highest its been in five years, even with inflation adjustment.

Here are the weekend’s estimated top 10 with new titles in bold and total domestic box office in parentheses:

1. Black Panther – $111.7M ($403.6M)
2. Game Night – $17M ($17M)
3. Peter Rabbit – $12.8M ($71.5M)
4. Annihilation – $11.1M ($11.1M)
5. Fifty Shades Freed – $7.1M ($89.8M)
6. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – $5.7M ($387.3M)
7. The 15:17 to Paris – $3.6M ($32.2M)
8. The Greatest Showman – $3.4M ($160.8M)
9. Every Day – $3M ($3M)
10. Early Man – $1.8M ($6.9M)

All box office figures (besides forecasts) are via Box Office Mojo.

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.