Can You Imagine? Black Panther Takes Fifth Straight

Black Panther fifth

Five wins.

Most basketball teams that play during March Madness “only” need to rack up five straight wins to be crowned national champs. If the box-office tourney followed suit … well, hail to the king.

Disney’s Black Panther has proven all but unstoppable this year, collecting an estimated $27 million en route to its fifth straight victory. Granted, North American multiplexes aren’t exactly stocked with heavyweight contenders this time of year: It’s not that they’re yellow or anything, but most would-be tentpole blockbusters wait for late spring and summer to show their true colors. Still, we’ve not seen a film take home five straight victories since 2009’s Avatar, when I was still a movie-reviewing greenhorn. Black Panther’s success surely has the rest of the field feeling a bit blue.

Black Panther’s victory pushed its total domestic haul to $605.4 million, making it the seventh highest-grossing film of all time. It’s earned nearly that much overseas, giving the Marvel sensation a $1.2 billion total tally. Wakanda’s monarch has proven to be a purple movie majesty.

Oh, and according to Box Office Mojo, it’s within striking distance ($18 million) of The Avengers, which would make it the highest-grossing superhero flick of all time.

Black Panther’s robust performance kept Tomb Raider from plundering the top spot. That actioner only managed to pocket $23.5 million in box-office booty, settling for second.

Black Panther’s near-record-setting performance aside, perhaps the weekend’s biggest story came courtesy the Christian film industry. I Can Only Imagine, a movie based on MercyMe’s multi-platinum song, sparkled. It earned $17.1 million or thereabouts—the best opening for a Christian film since Heaven is for Real. But even those figures don’t tell the whole story. Playing at just 1,629 theaters—about 2,200 fewer than either Black Panther or Tomb RaiderI Can Only Imagine boasted the weekend’s highest per-theater gross at $10,476 per locale. Even Black Panther, for all its well-documented fiscal prowess, only managed a $7,049 per-theater take this weekend.

Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time slid to fourth place with $16.6 million, forcing yet another newcomer, Love, Simon, into the fifth slot. The same-sex teen romcom banked $11.5 million.

The weekend’s fourth new release, 7 Days in Entebbe, finished well outside the top five, pocketing just $1.6 million for 13th place.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Finally got around to seeing Black Panther the other day, and honestly, I can see why audiences and critics love it so much and why it's making so much money.

I definitely think that it's Marvel's best film in a few years. Great action, a villain with a personal story (not some 'I want to end the world' nonsense), and some sweet family moments made for an extremely well made film. I might also add that it's been a very long time where I watch a superhero movie and I'm on the edge of my seat concerned for the stakes of the characters. 

All in all, one of Marvel's best films that they've made, if not their best film of all time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I agree and can't wait to see what they've done with Infinity War!
PolishBear More than 1 year ago
Right now "I Can Only Imagine" is clocking in at 67% "fresh" at Rotten Tomatoes:

The reviews are mixed. Some are more positive than others. Obviously this is a fairly well-made faith-based film, but the fact remains that such films have a tendency to be rather inept. Who can't forget Kirk Cameron's "Saving Christmas"?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Speaking of Kirk Cameron, you ever notice that you never see him in the same room as Will Wheaton? Really makes you think, doesn't it... ;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yeah Marvel!!
[removed] More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Christian movies make money, but not big money. $17.1 million dollars isn't a Hollywood opening in the slightest