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Weekend Wrap-Up: Black Panther Re-Writes the Record Book

February 20th, 2018

Black Panther

Black Panther destroyed expectations over the Presidents Day long weekend earning $202.00 million / $242.16 million over the 3-day / 4-day weekend. The list of records this film broke seems endless, but we will get to that in a bit. Unfortunately, the two other new releases, Early Man and Samson, both bombed. On a more positive note, the total box office rose 103% from last weekend reaching $285 million. This is the third-biggest weekend of all-time, and the biggest non-December weekend. This is also 92% higher than the same weekend last year. Even if we use Presidents Day of last year, 2018 was still 51% higher. More importantly, 2018 completely erased the small deficit it had and is now ahead of 2017 by $120 million or 8% at $1.62 billion to $1.50 billion. More impressively, 2018 is even ahead of 2017 in terms of ticket sales at 178 million to 172 million.

Black Panther was widely expected to dominate the box office chart over the weekend, breaking many of Deadpool’s records along the way. Some even thought the film might come close to $200 million during the four-day weekend. It topped $200 million over three days with a $202.00 million / $242.16 million opening. It is the fifth biggest weekend of all time, the second biggest non-sequel weekend, the biggest weekend for an introductory film in the MCU, biggest February weekend, biggest Presidents Day long weekend, three biggest single days in February, biggest Monday of all time, tied for the fastest to $200 million, and we could keep going, but I think the point has been made. Additionally, the film’s reviews are 96% positive and it earned an A plus from CinemaScore, so it should have great legs. Even if it has bad legs, it will still hit $500 million domestically making it only the second film in the MCU to get to that milestone. ... It likely won’t be the last. In fact, it likely won’t be the only MCU film to come out this year to get to that milestone.

Peter Rabbit held on better than expected with $17.51 million / $23.39 million for a two-week total of $54.36 million. This lifts its end goal from $90 million to close to $100 million or more. If the film can have a solid hold next weekend, let’s say a sub-40% decline, then it will be on pace to hit the century mark, without the studio needing to give it a push over the top.

Fifty Shades Freed matched expectations nearly perfectly with $17.31 million / $19.44 million for a total of $78.63 million. It would take a complete box office collapse next weekend for the film to miss $100 million. We’re talking about a 70% to 80% drop-off. Granted, it could lose a couple of hundred theaters next weekend, but even a 60% decline would be puzzling.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle remained in fourth place with $7.94 / $10.01 million over the weekend. The film now has a running tally of $379.69 million after two months of release. This will be the film’s last weekend in the top five, unless two of next week’s new releases bomb, but we will still track its weekend numbers as it marches to $400 million and perhaps overtakes Spider-Man for the Sony record.

Fifth place went to The 15:17 to Paris with $7.59 million / $8.92 million for a two-week total of $26.67 million. It is on pace for over $40 million domestically, but its theater average is low enough that it will likely lose theaters too fast to get to $50 million.

Early Man continued the trend of stop-motion animated films failing at the box office. It only managed $3.19 million / $4.26 million, which means it missed the Mendoza Line, even over the four-day weekend. Worse still, the audience disagreed with the critics and it only managed a B from CinemaScore. That’s terrible for a family film. Perhaps it was just too British to find an audience here. Hopefully it will find an audience internationally, but I want to see more Aardman films.

Samson bombed even harder with $1.94 million / $2.26 million, missing the top ten in the process. The film’s reviews are terrible and theater owners won’t want to keep it any longer than they are contractually obligated to, so it legs will likely be very short. It was reportedly Pure Flix Entertainment’s most expensive movie to date, but it still likely cost less than $10 million to make, so the company won’t lose a ton of money.

- Weekend Box Office Chart

- Black Panther Comparisons
- Early Man Comparisons
- Samson Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Wrap-up, Black Panther, Fifty Shades Freed, Early Man, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Peter Rabbit, Samson, The 15:17 to Paris, Marvel Cinematic Universe