Blockbuster ‘Black Panther’ is set to beat both new films in its third outing as it leaps past the $800 million mark globally.
In an R-rated action showdown, Jennifer Lawrence’ Red Sparrow is flying past Bruce Willis’ Death Wish remake at the North American box office, according to early returns.
Blockbuster Black Panther, however, will beat both new films in its third outing with a projected haul of $60 million or more. On Friday, the Disney and Marvel superhero pic will leap past the $800 million mark at the global box office after finishing Thursday with $780.3 million in worldwide ticket sales, including $435.4 million in the U.S. It’s expected to score one of the best third weekends of all time domestically.
From Fox and Chernin Entertainment, Red Sparrow is pacing to open in the $17 million-$20 million range from 3,056 locations after earning $1.2 million in Thursday night previews. The action-thriller reunites Lawrence with her Hunger Games director, Francis Lawrence.
Based on the novel by Jason Matthews, Red Sparrow tells the tale of a Russian ballerina who, after suffering a career-ending injury, becomes a seductive and cunning intelligence operative. Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeremy Irons, Mary-Louise Parker and Charlotte Rampling co-star in the film, which reportedly cost a net $69 million to produce.
Red Sparrow will easily beat Death Wish, a remake of the 1974 revenge thriller that starred Charles Bronson. This time out, Bruce Willis plays the leading man, with horror maestro Eli Roth directing. Based on early Friday returns, Death Wish is projected to open in the $12 million-$13 million range from 2,847 theaters after earning $650,000 in previews.
The movie, costing a reported $30 million to produce after tax rebates and incentives, marks the first release from MGM since the indie studio re-entered the domestic distribution business. In the film, Willis stars as a doctor who takes the law into his own hands after an attack on his wife and daughter. The cast also includes Elisabeth Shue, Vincent D’Onofrio, Camila Morrone, Dean Norris and Mike Epps.
Red Sparrow has a 50 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while Death Wish is getting crushed by critics with a 12 percent aggregated score (MGM didn’t lift the review embargo until Thursday).
At the specialty box office, movies competing in the Oscar race hope to benefit from an 11th-hour surge before Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony, including such best-picture nominees as The Shape of Water; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Darkest Hour; Phantom Thread; and Call Me by Your Name. Also, Sony Classics opens the Israeli film Foxtrot, which is up for best foreign-language feature, in select cinemas timed to the Oscars.