“Black Panther” is now the first film since “Avatar” in 2010 to take the No. 1 spot at the box office for five consecutive weeks, earning $27 million this weekend to pass the $600 million mark domestically.
With a total of $605 million, the film will pass the $623 million made by “The Avengers” sometime this week, making it the top superhero movie on the domestic charts. At 31 days, it’s the second-fastest film to gross $600 million domestically, sitting only behind “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Overseas, the film is approaching the $100 million mark in China with a $96 million total after ten days, giving the film a $577 million international haul and a $1.18 billion global total. That puts it past the $1.15 billion made by “Captain America: Civil War” two years ago and places it in the top 15 on the all-time global charts. Next on the list is “Iron Man 3” with $1.21 billion.
In second place is Warner Bros./MGM’s “Tomb Raider,” opening to $23.5 million from 3,854 screens. With a $90 million budget and mediocre critical reception — 50 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a B on CinemaScore — “Tomb Raider” will need help from overseas markets to turn enough of a profit to keep the franchise going.
In third place, with the big surprise of the weekend, is Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate’s faith-based film “I Can Only Imagine,” taking in a very impressive $17 million from 1,620 screens. The $7 million film had been projected by trackers to make $5-6 million, but has earned huge word of mouth among Christian audiences with an A+ on CinemaScore.
A likely factor in the film’s success is its built-in audience with the fanbase of MercyMe, the Christian rock band whose titular song and the inspiration behind it inspired the movie. The strong opening puts it ahead of Disney’s “A Wrinkle In Time,” which saw a 50 percent drop-off of its $33 million opening for a second weekend total of $16.6 million and a ten-day total of $61 million.
Completing the top five is Fox’s “Love, Simon,” which hit tracker expectations with $11.5 million. Like “I Can Only Imagine,” the teen gay romcom was a huge hit with its core audience and scored an A+ on CinemaScore; but it has also earned critical acclaim with a 90 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.