Black Panther Stalks Its Way to $65 Million Third Week, Slaying the Competition Yet Again. This Weekend at the Boxoffice.

By and Jim Amos | March 4, 2018 5:36 pm PST

WEEKEND RECAP

Can Disney/Marvel’s “Black Panther” be stopped? The answer so far is a resounding “Hell No!” as the film amassed another USD $65 million, propelling its overall cume past the USD $500 million mark. For this type of superhero movie to only fall 41% is unheard of and boxoffice records are falling like Lebanese political leaders. According to comScore, the movie had the third highest third week ever and is now the second highest grossing Marvel movie of all time (“Avengers”‘ USD $623 million is well within sight)

Oh and this all happened while a good portion of the eastern half of this country was snowed, rained, colded, hailed and brimstoned in and while Southern California was deluged by rain which normally causes “hearty” LA-ites to batten down the hatches as if Martians had just landed in Pacoima.

This week’s “A Wrinkle in Time” is the first real challenge to BP’s boxoffice superiority so it will be interesting to see how much it falls this coming weekend but the film seems to have taken on a life of its own so don’t be surprised if it’s less than 50%.

So what happened to Fox’s “Red Sparrow”? And please spare me the logic that because Moviepass refused to sell tickets to the film in certain markets (see article below) the movie lost millions of dollars of revenue. A quick check of comScore grosses shows the film lagged well behind expectations in areas where MP did make tickets available as well so there goes that argument. Perhaps the reason for the lower than expected USD $17 million weekend take was that “Black Panther” is such a monster that it’s vacuuming up any moviegoers who might have interest in this type of film. Or perhaps, as was suggested to me by a US exhibitor, that the film was too international and, specifically, too Russian.

I know many of you who read this column are from overseas and are aware of how much the pending Russia collusion investigation is occupying our collective attention here in the States but you probably don’t realize just how much unless you actually live here. In that case, hopefully international boxoffice is stronger than domestic on this USD $80 million budget actioner. Just as a point of reference, last year’s similar themed “Atomic Blonde” opened to USD $18 million and ended up at $51 million. That included a 55% second week drop. Figure on at least that with “Sparrow”, especially with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 51 and a Cinemascore grade of B.

Meanwhile, MGM’s “Death Wish” fell right around our projection with USD $13 million. B+ Cinemascore isn’t terrible but the Rotten Tomatoes number of 15 is certainly one of the lowest of 2018. Bruce may be back but not for long. Figure on a steep decline on week two.

We projected last weekend that “Game Night” should have one of the best holds in the Top 10 and indeed it fell a mere 37%, adding another USD $10.7 million in gross. A 3.5-3.8 multiplier gets it to the USD $60 million range and that would certainly be a victory for this Jason Bateman, Rachel MacAdams comedy.

comScore box office March 4th 2018

(chart: comScore)

AT THE ART HOUSES

Crickets.

OTHER ITEMS OF NOTE

  • It was a week of crazy release schedule movement again this week but the main switch was Disney/Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War” moving up to April 27th. Tough luck to anyone who had staked out that particular week because there were no other wide avail films. This also gives Fox’s “Deadpool 2” another week of buffering between these two big titles;
  • If you want to see the James Bond classic, “Goldfinger”, back on the big screen then head to the BFI in London where the film will be shown a handful of times throughout March. Send us your ticket stub and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win an official Celluloid Junkie Laurel and Hearty Handshake. Seriously though, go see it;
  • MGM’s “Valley Girl” reboot got sent to TBDLand. The film co-stars controversial YouTube “star” Logan Paul. Not sure if there’s a correlation between the two as young Mr. Paul has had a rough few months on the PR front, to say the least. Tweeting a picture of himself with a suicide victim in Japan probably won’t win him this year’s Social Media Humanitarian of the Year award;
  • In this week’s Moviepass Article Du Jour, moviegoers looking to purchase tickets on opening day to Red Sparrow in some locations in the US were met with a nifty thanks-but-no-thanks. SlashFilm has the details;
  • The Oscars are this evening. Gary Oldman, Frances McDormand, Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell and Guillermo del Toro should take home the major awards but there’s a fairly competitive race for Best Picture between “Three Billboards” and “The Shape of Water”;
  • After the last few Thanskgivings being a bit underwhelming compared to what the holiday was like a decade or so ago, it looks we have quite a logjam this coming Turkey Day with five wide avail titles opening that week, not even mentioning November holdovers like “X:Men: Dark Phoenix”, “Nutcracker”, “The Grinch”, “Girl in the Spider’s Web”, “Fantastic Beasts” and “Widows”.

THIS COMING WEEKEND-WIDE RELEASES

A WRINKLE IN TIME (BV)—From one of the industry’s most visionary filmmakers, Ava Duvernay, comes this adaptation of the 1963 Madelein L’Engle novel about a girl who discovers her missing father was working on a secret government project. Is it star power you want? Got you covered. How does Oprah Winfrey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris Pine, Michael Pena, Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon and Zach Galifianakis sound?

The Verdict: Oh yes and did we mention that it’s a Disney film as well? Although this is Duvernay’s first big studio tentpole she is more than capable of handling a film this size and is one of the few true “names” that average moviegoers recognize in the directorial world. The cast alone should ensure a big opening but add in a solid BV marketing effort and social media campaign and that all adds up to this being yet another Disney hit, which could produce another line of titles for the Mouse House to exploit, I mean adapt, as writer L’Engel wrote several of these kinds of books. The only thing that might hold AWIT back is how this will appeal to males. The current thinking is they won’t be anywhere close to as excited about the film as their female counterparts but last time I checked females are half of the population so by my business school math that comes out to—a ton of moviegoers. No RT score yet which is a bit interesting. Still and all, figure on USD $45 million and yet another contribution to the bottomless Disney till.

THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT (Aviron)10 years later he are presented with the sequel to the surprise 2008 hit, “Strangers”, which topped off at a respectable $52 million Stateside. This time out a couple is menaced in their vacation home. The film stars “Mad Men’s” Christina Hendricks and “Grey’s Anatomy’s” Martin Henderson.

The Verdict: Because they have a crew of really experienced, knowledgeable people in their distribution department I’m always pulling for Aviron to succeed and they have a shot at finding a niche horror audience here. The film’s outdoor campaign is eye-catching. Let’s say double digits and go with USD $10 million which on this low of a budget is a win for the young studio.

HURRICANE HEIST (Ent Stu)—When the producers were coming up with a title for this film where a group of hackers infiltrate the US Mint in the middle of a hurricane, I’m hoping “Hurricane Heist” was decided upon fairly quickly. Maggie Grace stars in this thriller directed by Rob Cohen. Cohen had a nice run in the late 90s/early 2000s with films such as the original “Fast and the Furious”, “XXX” and “Daylight” (for effect I will leave “Stealth” out of this).

The Verdict: Despite the aforementioned Days of Wine and Roses period, Cohen’s last few films have hovered in the $10-15 million range and awareness is fairly low on this film. Although having said this, Entertainment Studios should lay claim to the coveted Best Meteorologist-Saves-The-World film of 2018. USD $9 million

GRINGO (STX)- David Oyelowo plays an American businessman whose life is turned upside down when vacationing in Mexico. No, not in that way. Think more El Chapo than Montezuma’s Revenge.

The Verdict: The movie’s cast almost rivals “A Wrinkle in Time’s” for being a who’s-who of IMDB. Joel Edgerton, Amanda Seyfried, Charlize Theron, Thandie Newton and the always wonderfully creepy Sharlto Copley lead the supporting cast. Still and all, awareness is low and though Oyelowo is a fine actor he’s not a “name” yet. USD $4 million.

THIS COMING WEEKEND-LIMITED AVAIL TITLES

“Thoroughbreds” is a psychological thriller starring Olivia Cooke and “The Leisure Seeker” is a rom/com starring two up-and-coming GenZ’ers Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland.

EVENT CINEMA

A very entertaining week on the Event Cinema front. Tuesday brings us both the Royal Opera House’s production of “Carmen” and the National Theatre Company’s brilliant “Hamlet” with Benedict Cumberbatch. Fast forward to Saturday and we head to the West Side of Manhattan for “Semiramide” at The Met Opera and a rare showing of “The Concert For George” (Harrison, not Bush). Last but not least, Sunday we have a showing of the Broadway musical “Falsettos”.

CJ QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“There’s an east wind coming. Such a wind as never blew on England. It will be cold and bitter, Watson. And a good many of us may wither before its blast.”

–Sherlock Holmes and The Voice of Terror (1942) 

Jim Amos
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Jim Amos

Founder at Scout53
Founder of Scout 53 Entertainment Consulting. Former President of Distribution at Sony Pictures and Head of Theatrical Sales at Fathom Events and STX Entertainment. Husband, vegan, Anglophile and one-eyed rescue cat owner.
Jim Amos
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