Ryan Coogler’s groundbreaking superhero pic Black Panther continued to defy all expectations in its sophomore outing, grossing an estimated $108 million from 4,020 theaters to score the top second weekend of all time behind 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The Disney and Marvel title reached the $400 million mark domestically in only 10 days after dropping a narrow 47 percent in its second weekend. That’s one of the smallest declines ever for a superhero title, as well as one of the smallest for a film launching north of $200 million (the bigger the opening, the bigger the drop in many instances). Thanks to Black Panther, domestic revenue year-to-date is now up a dazzling 12.5 percent over the same period in 2017 after running behind by more than 1 percent two weeks ago, according to comScore.
Overseas, the pic earned another $83.8 million from 55 material markets to place No. 2 internationally behind Chinese mega-hit Operation Red Sea ($107 million). Black Panther‘s international tally now stands at $304 million for a global haul of $704 million, including $50 million from Imax theaters. It opens in Russia on Monday, followed by Japan next weekend and China on March 9. While it isn’t breaking records offshore the same way it is in the U.S., Black Panther is exceeding expectations and has a strong shot at out-grossing a number of Marvel titles, as well as some DC superhero offerings. And Disney notes that the film scored the biggest three-day weekend ever in West Africa over the weekend, as well as doing near-record business in South Africa.
In North America, Black Panther — which became the fourth movie to cross $100 million in its second weekend — earned more in its second outing than a number of 2017 tentpoles did in their first weekend, including Wonder Woman ($103.3 million), Justice League ($93 million) and The Fate of the Furious ($98.8 million). And it tied with 2015’s Jurassic World in reaching $400 million faster than any film in history behind The Force Awakens.
“The movie continues to play ahead of our modeling,” says Disney’s film distribution head Dave Hollis. “It has become a cultural phenomenon. This is a movie audiences were hoping for, and that delivered beyond expectations.”
Another accomplishment: Black Panther is already the top-grossing February of all time domestically — Deadpool was the previous best with $363.1 million — and is on the verge of becoming the No. 3 MCU title of all time in the U.S. as it prepares to pass up Captain America: Civil War ($408 million) and Iron Man 3 ($409 million) in the next few days. And it will soon growl past Avengers: Age of Ultron ($459 million) on its way to potentially eclipsing The Avengers ($623.4 million) to become the No. 1 superhero title of all time, unadjusted for inflation.
The Force Awakens is the champ in terms of biggest second weekend domestically with $149.2 million, not accounting for inflation. Other films high up on the list include Jurassic World ($106.6 million) and fellow MCU title The Avengers ($103.1 million).
Black Panther continues to play to an ethnically diverse audience. Caucasians made up a bigger share of ticket buyers this time out, with 37 percent, compared to 35 percent on the film’s opening weekend, while the African-American share went from 37 percent to 33 percent, according to comScore/Screen Engine. Hispanics remain unchanged at 18 percent, followed by Asians (7 percent) and Native Americans/Other (5 percent). No other marquee superhero tentpole has played to such a disparate audience.
In the film, Chadwick Boseman stars as T’Challa/Black Panther alongside Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker and Andy Serkis. The story, described as a tale of black power and black pride in addition to its superhero themes, follows T’Challa as he is sworn in as king of Wakanda, a cloaked, technologically advanced nation in Africa that is home to the exotic metal vibranium, the source of Black Panther’s powers.
Among a trio of new films, New Line’s R-rated comedy Game Night, starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, fared the best. The movie, facing a strained marketplace for comedies, opened to a solid $16.6 million from 3,488 locations, earning the No. 2 spot for the weekend. Overseas, Game Night launched to $5.2 million from 22 markets for a global bow of $21.8 million.
Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the story follows a couple whose regular game night with friends suddenly turns into a real-life murder mystery. The cast also includes Kyle Chandler, Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan, Lamorne Morris and Kylie Bunbury. The comedy, which received a B+ CinemaScore, skewed notably older, with only 14 percent of ticketbuyers age 25 and younger.
Alex Garland’s sci-fi pic Annihilation, starring Natalie Portman opposite Oscar Isaac, opened to a muted $11 million from 2,012 theaters. The movie, which earned strong reviews but a poor C CinemaScore from audiences, made headlines late last year when Paramount and Skydance, partners on the film, sold off international rights to Netflix.
Annihilation came in fourth behind Sony holdover Peter Rabbit, which took in $12.5 million in its third weekend for a domestic total of $71.2 million.
Directed by Alex Garland of the acclaimed 2015 sci-fi thriller Ex Machina, Annihilation tells the tale of a biologist and former soldier who joins a mission to find out what happened to her husband inside “Area X” along America’s coastline, where a sinister phenomenon has turned the landscape into an environmental wasteland where mysterious dangers abound. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez and Tuva Novotny co-star.
Annihilation skewed male (56 percent), while Game Night played to females (56 percent).
YA film adaptation Every Day, directed by Michael Sucsy, placed No. 9 with $3.1 million from 1,625 cinemas. Orion insiders say that’s a win, considering the film cost under $5 million to produce.
Every Day, targeting teenage girls and younger adult females, is based on the best-selling book by David Levithan about a 16-year-old girl who falls in love with a disembodied spirit who inhabits a different body every day. Angourie Rice, Justice Smith, Debby Ryan and Maria Bello star. The pic received a B+ CinemaScore.
Among holdovers, Universal’s Fifty Shades Freed rounded out the top five domestically with $6.9 million as it whipped past the $300 million mark globally, including $89.6 million in North America and $230.8 million internationally for a $320.4 million cume.
Feb. 25, 12:30 p.m. Updated with foreign numbers.