As of this morning, Black Panther is at the top of the box office with $75.8 million, taking into account Thursday preview screenings. That’s the third highest opening day tally in the history of the MCU behind The Avengers and The Avengers: Age of Ultron; Iron Man 3 ended its opening day with $75.5 million and that had two other movies to build up anticipation. By the end of the weekend, Ryan Coogler‘s magnificent third film may in fact have the biggest opening weekend of any MCU movie with The Avengers‘ $207 million opening being the number to beat at this point. Moreover, it hit an A+ CinemaScore from opening night audiences, only the second Marvel movie to earn that distinction after The Avengers.
Still, even if it just hits the top three for biggest MCU opening weekend, Black Panther is inarguably the most socially and politically substantial movie that has yet to come out of the MCU. It’s also the most visually dazzling of the MCU catalog, it’s use of color even bolder than Thor: Ragnarok and its effects as astonishing as those in Doctor Strange or Ant-Man. The comparisons of Coogler to a young Steven Spielberg are justified but that’s just in terms of craftsmanship. If one were to compare Coogler’s first three movies with Spielberg’s first three movies in terms of overall artistic merit and relevancy, the former has the more emotionally resonant and thrilling filmography without question.
In other words, this is the rare MCU title that also deserves to be at number one at the box office. It’s certainly several country miles ahead of Fifty Shades Freed, which is holding strong with $5.6 million in its second frame, and Peter Rabbit, taking third place with $4.1 million. At fourth is The 15:17 to Paris, the only other movie in the top ten worth serious discussion other than Coogler’s film, with a little over $2 million, just barely leading ahead of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle at fifth with $1.9 million. Jumanji and The 15:17 to Paris are separated by less than $200,000 at this point, which means they could easily switch by the end of the weekend, but no one is watching the fourth or fifth placings this weekend. The next two days are all about Black Panther and that’s how it should be.
Here’s your top five at the box office for Friday:
|Title||Friday Domestic BO||Total Domestic BO|
|1. ‘Black Panther’||$75,808,000||$75,808,000|
|2. ’Fifty Shades Freed’||$5,657,000||$64,848,455|
|3. ‘Peter Rabbit’||$4,125,000||$35,097,542|
|4. ‘The 15:17 to Paris’||$2,075,000||$19,822,717|
|5. ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’’||$1,900,000||$371,578,565|