Nobody was questioning whether or not Black Panther would be at the top of the box office this week. That was a given. What was questioned, however, is exactly how much money the Marvel film would make. Some wondered if there would be a big drop-off, while other believed that it would hold strong. As you can see in the chart below, it turns out that it was the folks in the latter camp who wound up being correct. Check out the Top 10, and keep reading for the analysis!
A 50 percent drop from first week to second week is fairly typical, so there were expectations that Black Panther would make somewhere in the vicinity of $100 million following its shocking, record-breaking $202 million debut. The Ryan Coogler film once again pushed as much as it could up against those numbers, however, and wound up dropping only 46.5 percent in week two. With the additional $108 million made over the last three days, the film has already made over $400 million at the domestic box office, and over $700 million worldwide. That already establishes it as the tenth most successful Marvel Cinematic Universe title worldwide (out of 18), and at the current rate it could reach as high as number five (currently Spider-Man: Homecoming, which brought in $880.2 million before it was done showing on the big screen.
In the last 10 years, Marvel Studios has obviously established a very strong box office reputation, but the truth is that comic book world has never seen anything like Black Panther before. As perfect proof, one only needs to look at how the second week numbers stack up against the top four domestic earners in the franchise: The Avengers, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man 3, and Captain America: Civil War. In their respective weeks, those movies dropped 50.3 percent, 59.4 percent, 58.4 percent, and 59.5 percent - which should show you just how amazing a 46.5 percent drop really is (plus, Black Panther made more money in its opening than three out of four of them). The Ryan Coogler blockbuster is only the fifth film to make more than $400 million domestically, and at this rate it will probably wind up behind only The Avengers in the rankings.
Notably, Black Panther had some solid competition in its second week, and those new openers did... fine. Of the new releases, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein's Game Night won out with a $16.6 million take. This isn't too shabby when you consider multiple factors. For one, the movie was reportedly only made for $37 million, so a nice percentage has already been earned back. Secondly, good studio comedies have been in short supply in recent years, which could result in this one having some legs drafting behind the Marvel film. Critics gave it some really good marks in their write-ups, and audiences are digging it - as indicated by the solid "B+" on CinemaScore. It may not wind up making north of $100 million, but by the time it is done in theaters Warner Bros. will probably be looking at a profit.
Alex Garland's Annihilation was the other big new entry, carrying a budget slightly north of Game Night's. The sci-fi feature - which has been lauded by critics including myself - couldn't best Peter Rabbit, but still made $11 million. Mass audiences admittedly aren't loving it, with CinemaScore reporting a "C," but it still find some curious movie-goers in upcoming weeks who want to start getting involved in debates about its mind-bending finale.
It's very likely that Black Panther will once again be the main topic of conversation in next week's box office report - expected to make somewhere between $40-50 million, but there are some star-studded new titles ready to arrive this Friday. Jennifer Lawrence stars as a Russian spy in Francis Lawrence's Red Sparrow, while Bruce Willis will be channeling Charles Bronson in Eli Roth's Death Wish remake. Come back next Sunday to see how it all plays out!