Weekend Box Office: ‘Black Panther’ Outpaces ‘Tomb Raider’ & ‘I Can Only Imagine’

     March 18, 2018

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Another weekend is set to pass with Ryan Coogler‘s dazzling Black Panther in the number one spot, if estimates hold. Despite Tomb Raider winning out on Friday with some $1.5 million more than Marvel’s latest, the video game adaptation is now set to come in second with $23.5 million against Black Panther‘s $27 million take, which just pushed it passed the $600 million mark domestically. It now falls to Pacific Rim: Uprising, a film no one asked for and that is a tremendous fiscal gamble, to knock the Marvel juggernaut from its well-deserved throne and it’s still not clear that the sequel has an easy path to victory, despite Black Panther coming up on its sixth frame.

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Image via Warner Bros.

Things changed from Friday below the top two as well. While I Can Only Imagine, a remarkably ignorant film made for no one but Christians, held steady in third with an estimated total of $17 million, A Wrinkle in Time was able to pull ahead of Love, Simon to bring in $16.5 million to land in fourth against Love, Simon‘s meager $11.5 million. The two movies are a surprisingly apt pairing, seeing as both films are greater than the sum of their parts in the realm of representation. Ava DuVernay‘s virtuosity as a filmmaker and devotion to female empowerment makes it slightly easier to forgive the fact that the story is less coherent than Lady in the Water, while Love, Simon is unimaginative in its imagery and structure but revitalizing in its thoughtful and empathetic perspective on young homosexual desire and the importance of support systems.

Black Panther, for all its nods to the Marvel canon, doesn’t require such balances. One cannot discount the factor of representation and the Marvel brand in Black Panther‘s success but it’s similarly important to state that the reason that the movie works so well is that it is similarly assured, confident, and unmistakably distinct as Coogler’s other films. It’s his voice that rings out most clearly throughout Black Panther, rather than the studio’s needlessly intricate narrative design for the MCU. I doubt that this will be the message that Marvel, Disney, or most of its fans will take away from Black Panther but it’s irrefutably the reason that Pacific Rim: Uprising has good reason to worry about securing the number-one spot next weekend.

Here’s your estimated top five at the box office for the weekend:

Title Weekend Domestic BO Total Domestic BO
1. ‘Black Panther’ $27,024,000 $605,400,528
2. ’Tomb Raider’ $23,525,000 $23,525,000
3. ‘I Can Only Imagine’ $17,064,640 $17,064,640
4. ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ $16,565,000 $61,059,654
5. ‘Love, Simon’ $11,500,000 $11,500,000

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