Marvel's Black Panther matches a box office feat Hollywood hasn't seen since Avatar: winning five consecutive weekends. Ryan Coogler's latest has been in very exclusive company since it opened a month ago, rewriting the record books throughout its run. Very quickly, Black Panther became one of the highest-grossing films of all-time, recently passing major blockbusters like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and The Dark Knight on the U.S. charts. At its current trajectory, Panther should be able to top The Avengers as the MCU's top earner ever.
One of the reasons why Black Panther has performed this strongly (besides word-of-mouth) is lack of competition. None of the movies that have released over the past few weeks have put up much of a challenge for its title, even with other genre pictures opening in March. After A Wrinkle In Time debuted in second place last week, attention turned to the Tomb Raider reboot, but apparently Lara Croft isn't much of a match for King T'Challa, either.
Per Box Office Mojo, Black Panther's stranglehold on the #1 position continued with a $27 million gross. That pushed its domestic total to $605.4 million, and it's now hot on the heels of Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($619.7 million) and The Avengers ($623.3 million). As indicated above, Panther is now the first film since Avatar to win five straight weekends. James Cameron's sci-fi epic maintained its title for seven consecutive weekends, a mark that might be out of Panther's reach due to the movies on the horizon.
Premiering in the shadow of a phenomenon, Tomb Raider had to settle for a second-place finish with $23.5 million (only slightly above Cradle of Life's opening weekend of $21.7 million). The film received generally positive reactions, though most were in agreement that it didn't fully break the infamous video game curse. With lukewarm reviews holding it back, there wasn't much interest in seeing it on the big screen. Fortunately for Warner Bros., Tomb Raider is doing a little better internationally. Its worldwide total currently stands at $126 million. Since the adventure film cost "only" $94 million to make, its break even point is around $188 million - a figure it should be able to pass before its time in theaters is up. Granted, Tomb Raider is set to face some high-profile competition before March is over, but it's good it doesn't need to be a record-breaker itself to be successful.
The next film to step into the ring against Black Panther is Pacific Rim Uprising, the sequel to Guillermo del Toro's 2013 creature feature. Despite the presence of Star Wars star John Boyega as the headliner, the followup isn't expected to be much of a commercial draw, with early projections suggesting a $20 million opening weekend. Of course, that was a couple months ago and things could change, though there isn't much excitement surrounding Uprising. Not only did the original film perform modestly ($101 million domestically), the sequel's marketing campaign has been uninspired, which hurts its appeal. We could be looking at another weekend where Black Panther reigns supreme.
Source: Box Office Mojo
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