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Second weekend for 'Black Panther' is one of the best ever

'The question isn't so much if it gets to $1 billion, but how far beyond that number does it go'
Image: Stars of Marvel Studios' Black Panther Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and W'Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya) with some of his border tribesman.
Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and W'Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya) with border tribesman in 'Black Panther.'Film Frame / Marvel Studios file
/ Source: Associated Press

NEW YORK — "Black Panther" scored one of the best second weekends ever, with an estimated $108 million in ticket sales, putting it on track to rank among the highest-grossing blockbusters ever.

Ryan Coogler's Marvel sensation is on a box office course that few films have managed, according to studio estimates Sunday. It is only the fourth film to earn $100 million in its second weekend, along with "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" ($149.2 million), "Jurassic World" ($106.6 million) and "The Avengers" ($103.1 million).

Only "The Force Awakens" had a better second weekend than "Black Panther," which dropped by 47 percent after its opening weekend of $201.8 million.

"Black Panther" has grossed $400 million domestically and $704 million worldwide in two weeks. The film, starring Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan, has held even better overseas, where it dropped by only 42 percent over the weekend. Its release in China, the world's second-largest film market, is set for March 9.

"Whatever your projections for 'Black Panther' might be, just increase them by 20 percent and you might be on point," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore. "Now the question isn't so much if it gets to $1 billion, but how far beyond that number does it go."

The results put it in the company of "Jurassic World," which ended up grossing $1.67 billion worldwide, and "The Avengers," which hauled in $1.52 billion. Both rank among the top five of all time, not accounting for inflation.

And the movie is doing it with an especially diverse audience. The weekend's audience was 33 percent African-American, 37 percent Caucasian, 18 percent Hispanic and 7 percent Asian, according to comScore.

The film's success didn't appear to hurt the handful of new releases. The overall box office is up by 12.5 percent from last year, according to comScore.

Faring the best was "Game Night," starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, from Warner Bros.' New Line. The comedy, which cost about $37 million to make and was directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, made its debut with $16.6 million, coming in slightly above forecasts.

Although comedies have struggled at the box office in recent years, "Game Night" got a modest boost from good reviews and perhaps from the waves of moviegoers brought in by "Black Panther."

"It's that whole 'a rising tide floats all boats,'" said Jeff Goldstein, distribution head for Warner Bros.

Alex Garland's sci-fi thriller "Annihilation," starring Natalie Portman, also made its debut with some momentum thanks to strong reviews. It opened with $11 million on about 2,000 screens (about half the number of "Black Panther").

Paramount earlier sold the film's international rights (except in China) to Netflix after disappointing reactions in test screenings. Opening weekend audiences largely responded similarly, giving the film a poor C CinemaScore.

"Annihilation," an unusually challenging and psychedelic sci-fi release for a major studio, cost about $40 million to produce. It's among the last releases green-lit by previous Paramount head Brad Grey. Jim Gianopulos took over as chief executive and chairman last year, and he is pushing a more franchise-focused agenda.

Also opening was the micro-budget young adult romance "Every Day," the first release from Metro Goldwyn Mayer's rebooted Orion Pictures. The film, which cost less than $5 million to make, made its debut with $3.1 million in ticket sales.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers also are included. Final three-day domestic figures will be released Monday.

  1. "Black Panther," $108 million ($83.8 million international)
  2. "Game Night," $16.6 million ($5.2 million international)
  3. "Peter Rabbit," $12.5 million
  4. "Annihilation," $11 million
  5. "Fifty Shades Freed," $6.9 million ($22.3 million international)
  6. "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," $5.7 million ($3 million international)
  7. "The 15:17 to Paris," $3.6 million ($1.3 million international)
  8. "The Greatest Showman," $3.4 million ($7.7 million international)
  9. "Every Day," $3.1 million
  10. "MET Opera: La Boheme," $1.9 million