Making cat-fever scratch.
Coming into this weekend everyone was looking at theaters with one question: “Just how big is this going to be?!” Even by comic book movie standards there was expected to be impressive, and probably historic, numbers coming in. As a result the major studios got out of the way entirely, knowing there would be little business to be had. Some smaller distributors only offered token resistance in the hope of garnering some spillover business.
There was little to be had. The monstrous hit earned more than three times as much as the rest of the field, and outdrew all films for the weekend with just the Friday totals. Let’s just dig in and see how well it did, and how all other films ended up in the litter box.
1. BLACK PANTHER – $192.02Million
The only question was where this release would land historically. How about the fact only FOUR other movies had better weekend debuts – of all time. That the totals are exceeding “Avengers: Age of Ultron” speaks to an amazing performance. Not only was “Ultron” a massive ensemble film but it was a summertime release. This draw in February is astounding, and the estimates continued to change throughout the weekend as the numbers continued to be scaled upward. On Friday alone this one earned over $76 million, serving as the eighth highest opening day of all time. By the end of the 4-day holiday there is a possibility of earning over $225 million.
2. PETER RABBIT – $17.25m
A very strong hold of -28% over a respectable opening is all the more impressive in this environment of “Panther” creating a vacuum. Being a pure child’s title helped as they may be the only demographic not directly drawn into the comic feature, and as a result it was not hammered directly.
3. FIFTY SHADES FREED – $16.94m
The Mommy-Porn enterprise shows some weakness as it drops below the film it beat in the opening last week. The -56% drop is not too surprising, and Universal is not crying over the figures at all; this has made nearly $200 million overseas already.
4. JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE – $7.94m
Finally getting deflated by the powerhouse release, this smash hit is now the second highest grossing film ever for Sony.
5. THE 15:17 TO PARIS – $7.68m
The Clint Eastwood film about the real-life stopping a terrorist attack has held up well enough, with a respectable drop of -39%, however that is off of a rather disappointing opening.
6. THE GREATEST SHOWMAN – $5.1m
Finally dropping out of the top-5 (barely) after nine weeks. It has now earned more money than last year’s raved-about musical “La La Land”.
7. EARLY MAN – $3.15m
Lionsgate attempted to release this animated lark from the British Aardman studios as counter-programing, and it completely went ignored. The problem is the family side was already heavily covered, and this one did not draw the kids; ¾ of the audience was over-18, which spells disaster.
8. MAZE RUNNER: DEATH CURE – $2.52m
The end of this franchise has hit a dead-end here in the states, but it will eventually find the path to profitability in the foreign market.
9. WINCHESTER – $2.25m
Clearly this had been designed for a quick dollar (which did not really materialize) as this title saw it dropping 1,000 screens in just its third week of release.
10. SAMSON – $1.97m
The faith-based distributor Pure Flix attempts to offer up this Biblical telling as an alternative to the titan of the week.