Weekend box office: Black Panther claws its way to box office records

When Black Panther made his debut in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, it was inevitable he would get his own movie.  But when they started filming BLACK PANTHER (click the link to read our review), I don’t think anyone knew just how big it was going to be.  In fact, I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around a $180+ million weekend box office haul for the film.  To put it in perspective, if we look at the all time openings (not taking inflation into account), the film currently sits just ahead of CIVIL WAR and just behind AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON for sixth all time.  In the coming days, I’m sure a lot of people will be talking about how revolutionary BLACK PANTHER is and how it’s changing the face of blockbusters forever.  While that may be true, can we just accept that the movie is really good and director Ryan Coogler is one of the best young directors working today?

Nothing is going to beat BLACK PANTHER for quite a while, but we do have a couple of new movies opening next weekend.  First up is the comedy GAME NIGHT with Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams.  The film looks cute and is a good play on the recent increase in boardgame popularity.  We also get ANNIHILATION, with Natalie Portman.  One studio exec said the film was too intelligent for American audiences and although that’s a crude way of saying it, they’re probably right.  BLACK PANTHER should have an easy trek to the top spot and I’m not expecting it to lose much of its audience.  Given the positive reaction, I’m betting it will do very well in the weeks to come.  Note: the numbers below are for the four day holiday weekend.

1. Black Panther $213m

2. Peter Rabbit $23m

3. Fifty Shades Freed $20.2m

4. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle $10.5m

5. The 15:17 To Paris $9.9m

6. The Greatest Showman $7m

7. Early Man $4.8m

8. Maze Runner: Death Cure $3.3m

9. The Post $2.5m

10. Samson $2.3m

(Deadline)

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