Black Panther is well on its way to the 1 Billion club.
Having had a week to absorb its record-setting arrival, Hollywood is now sizing up the staying power of Marvel’s latest superhero movie. In its second weekend, “Black Panther” demonstrated an astounding hold on audiences in the United States and Canada, collecting about $108 million and pushing its global total after only 12 days of release to roughly $704 million, according to comScore.
As a point of context, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” collected $773 million in 2014 over its entire five-month run.
Imax, which is playing “Black Panther” in more than 60 countries, said people are paying to see the film more than once, a quality that the biggest of the big movies share. “This movie has very strong word of mouth and a deeply loyal core fan base, which are both necessary criteria for repeat business,” said Greg Foster, Imax’s entertainment chief.
And the euphorically reviewed film has yet to arrive in China and Japan, two of Hollywood’s biggest markets. Strong results in other Asian countries, including South Korea, bode well.
For the weekend in North America, three new movies arrived in wide release, and each struggled to get noticed as “Black Panther” dominated. “Game Night” (Warner Bros.) did the best, taking second place with an estimated $16.6 million. New Line, a division of Warner, spent about $35 million to make the R-rated comedy, which received very strong reviews and stars Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman.
The holdover “Peter Rabbit” (Sony) chugged away in third place, selling about $12.5 million in tickets, for a three-week total of $71.3 million.
That left the expensive “Annihilation” in fourth place, with $11 million in estimated ticket sales. An R-rated science-fiction drama directed by Alex Garland (“Ex Machina”) and starring Natalie Portman as a biologist, “Annihilation” cost Paramount Pictures and David Ellison’s Skydance at least $40 million to make.
Most critics loved“Annihilation,” but multiplex ticket buyers gave it a C grade in CinemaScore exit polls. Had it cost less to produce, Mr. Garland’s movie possibly could have succeeded as an art-house film.
But Paramount, which has struggled badly of late, wants to compete in the wide-release business. “Annihilation” was a holdover from a previous management team at the studio, where a large number of senior executives have quit or been fired over the last year as the studio attempts a turnaround. New managers sold off overseas rights for “Annihilation” to Netflix.
The weekend’s remaining new wide-release film was “Every Day,” a microbudgeted teenage fantasy-romance that took in about $3.1 million and was marketed mostly online. The movie was the first from a rebooted Orion Pictures, which is owned by Metro Goldwyn Mayer.