This is “Black Panther,” hear it roar. Even by Marvel standards, “Black Panther,” is behaving like an animal. Already shattering box office records, ‘Panther’ boasted a phenomenal third week, falling only 41% this weekend and adding another $65.7 million to its skyrocketing U.S. tally; the third highest third weekend total ever. After just 17 days in theaters, “Black Panther” has grossed an astounding $5011 million just domestically. To put that in sharp perspective, last year’s superhero phenomenon, “Wonder Woman,” took in $412M after twenty-three weeks in theaters.
Now the 10th highest grossing movie of all time at home, at this unbelievable pace, “Black Panther” should be able to surpass “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” at the domestic box office ($619M) and easily crack into the all-time top five releases if not higher. More broken records: domestically, “Black Panther” is the second highest grossing Marvel film of all time and the third highest grossing superhero of all time following “The Avengers,” and “The Dark Knight,” the latter of which it should surpass soon. Becoming #1 is not impossible.
Worldwide, ‘Panther’ can’t be stopped, and it’s the fifth highest grossing Marvel film so far. But there is a tiny caveat. Look, it’s grossed nearly $900 million globally ($897.7M as of today), and passing $1 billion is un fait accompli. Make no mistake, these are extraordinary numbers, but there’s one factor in play that’s going to undercut the film’s global total.
“Black Panther” is skewing heavily domestic: 55.8% Of its worldwide gross is coming from the United States. But Marvel’s grosses, like most blockbusters, are highly dependent on international numbers goosing the totals. All Marvel films usually skew in and around, say, 63% international vs. 37% domestic. In fact, the last time a Marvel film’s worldwide total favored domestic percentages was “Iron Man 2” in 2010, and even then it was only a 51/49% split.
What does this gobbledygook mean? If “Black Panther”’s split was traditionally overseas-heavy, the movie would have already crossed $1 billion and hit maybe around $815M just solely from its international numbers. In short, if “Black Panther” skewed internationally, it would likely rival “The Avengers” for the title of highest grossing Marvel film of all time worldwide. Given the domestic-favorable split, that’s simply just not going to happen.
That all said, ‘Panther’ will do just fine without overseas audiences dominating its financial totals and presumably, it will land around the 3rd or 4th highest grossing Marvel film of all time after “Captain Marvel: Civil War” ($1,153.3 billion feels like a similar ballpark). Regardless, one can not understate the insane success of Black Panther” and what this means for black film, African-American filmmakers, diversity, and representation at the box office both at home and across the planet.
What about those other piddly films at the box office? Despite Jennifer Lawrence as the lead, one of the highest paid actors on the planet, the spy-thriller “Red Sparrow” underwhelmed, taking in just $17 million. Costing in the neighborhood of $70 million, for some contrast, “Atomic Blonde” was made for $30 million and grossed $18.2 million in its opening weekend.
Despite a wide release (2,847 theaters), Bruce Willis‘ “Death Wish” remake was a non-starter; it’s vigilante-style shoot-’em-upper probably is not the best movie to come out in this terrifying climate of school shootings.
In holdover releases, “Game Night” has a terrific hold only falling 37% for a total of $33.3 million so far. Not too bad for a modest little comedy. Also, who the hell would think “Peter Rabbit” would have made $84 million so far at home? But the story of the box office in 2018 aside from “Black Panther,” even more so than “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” is “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” The Dwayne Johnson-led movie has spent 11 weeks in the top 10 and now has hit an incredible $928.9 million worldwide. Closing in on $400 million domestically, the movie will probably fall short of $1 billion, but its unexpected success is still extraordinary. In its second week of release, Alex Garland‘s “Annihilation” fell 49% and now has totaled $20.6 million domestically. One supposes this is a decent figure for a movie that the studio thought was “too smart” for audiences but with a $40 million price tag, the movie has clearly fallen short financially.
1. BlackPanther—$65.7M ($501.1M)
2. Red Sparrow —$17M
3. Death Wish —$13M
4. Game Night —$10.7M/$33.5M
5. Peter Rabbit —$10M/$84M
6. Annihilation —$5.7M/$20.6M
7. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle —$4.5M/$393.2M
8. Fifty Shades Freed —$3.3M/$95.6M
9. The Greatest Showman —$2.7M/$164.6M
10. Every Day — $1.6M/$5.3M