The North American box office hosted what was supposed to be a titanic, Disney-on-Disney battle this weekend, between Marvel’s rolling juggernaut Black Panther and the promising PG upstart, A Wrinkle in Time.
But the battle turned into a rout. Black Panther won for the fourth straight week, and I ain’t lion.
The Disney superhero flick didn’t need to cheetah to do it, either, winning the weekend fair and square. It collected an estimated $41.1 million in the United States and Canada, padding its already tiger-like total tally to $562 million. That’s an ocelot of money. And when, you ask, was the last time a movie won the North American box office for four straight weeks? Well, I’m glad you asked, my friend. According to my records (well, Box Office Mojo’s records, actually), that’d be Jan. 10, 2016, when Star Wars: The Force Awakens topped the charts for its fourth week.
That little ol’ movie went on to become the highest-grossing domestic film of all time (not adjusting for inflation). And while Black Panther probably won’t top those lofty heights, it’s still nice company to be lynxed with. (Throw in its overseas take, by the way, and Black Panther’s nearing the $1.1 billion mark.)
A Wrinkle in Time could’ve used a little of Black Panther’s vibranium to deflect the middling reviews thrown at it. As it was, even a 30-foot-tall Oprah Winfrey couldn’t pull Disney’s visually enchanting (but morally light) fantasy any higher than second place. It earned $33.3 million.
Another, um, less family-friendly film freshman, The Strangers: Prey at Night, snuck into third place with $10.5 million. It bested holdover Red Sparrow, which fluttered into fourth with $8.2 million. Game Night rolled its way past go and collected $7.9 million, closing out the weekend’s top five.
It was a pretty busy weekend at the box office for big-screen newbies. But while Wrinkle and The Strangers sequel fared at least OK, other new films had a tough time finding an audience. The Hurricane Heist swirled its way to $3.2 million to land in eighth place. The drug comedy Gringo couldn’t get any higher than 11th, with $2.6 million. And way, waaaaaay far down the list you’ll find Thoroughbreds. Its $1.2 million only merited a 15th place finish, which seems to merit a retroactive title change to Shetland Ponies.
Is it possible that Black Panther could score a fifth-straight box-office win? Will I have to think of yet another category of puns? Time will tell, but a certain Lara Croft may have something to say about the matter.