February 24, 2018

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Black Panther” Stays Superpowered, “Game Night” OK, “Annihilation” Perishes


BLACK PANTHER (Marvel/Disney) is now in competition only with the loftiest movie hits.  According to preliminary numbers at Deadline, its 2nd Friday was $28.4M (down 63% from last week), behind just The Avengers‘ $29.2M in the Marvel universe (down 64% from its own opening day), as well as The Force Awakens ($49.3M, down 58%) and Jurassic World ($29.1M, down 65%) outside it.  It should have a $100M 2nd weekend, also behind only those 3 blockbusters, and within reach of Avengers ($103.1M) and Jurassic ($106.6M).  It seems to be headed for at least $575M in the US, and if it can stay on pace with Avengers and Jurassic, the total would be more like $625M+.  Barring an overseas collapse and failure in China when it opens there 2 weeks from now, it should be on its way to a $1B worldwide total, with plenty of potential upside beyond that.

None of the weekend’s openings had any idea of the behemoth they’d be facing when they scheduled their releases for this weekend, and even though two of them count as counterprogramming, none made a dent.  GAME NIGHT (New Line/Warners) had a very ordinary $5.9M opening day (including $1M from Thursday night), for a likely $15M weekend.  That’s a bit better than Fist Fight‘s $12.2M opening and suggests a blah $40M US total.

ANNIHILATION (Paramount), like the studio’s mother!, Suburbicon, and Downsizing, is an ambitious attempt at auteurist genre entertainment, and like all of those, it’s finding a very limited audience.  Its $3.7M opening day (including $900K from Thursday night) is slightly better than mother!‘s $3.1M, and could mean a $9M weekend, but as with that film, its misleading marketing is likely to catch up to it, and it may not get past $25M in the US.  The economics of Annihilation are hard to gauge, because Paramount sold off all international rights (except in China) to Netflix, but that result won’t even pay for its US marketing costs.

EVERY DAY (Orion/MGM) marks an inauspicious reboot for the once-mighty studio brand.  Production and marketing costs were very low for this metaphysical YA romance, but an opening night under $1M and a weekend unlikely to hit $3M won’t pay even that level of bills.

PETER RABBIT (Columbia/Sony) continued to hold well, down 33% from last Friday to $2.7M, although an $11M weekend still puts it on the road to a middling $90M in the US.

FIFTY SHADES FREED (Perfect World/Universal) did what its franchise has always done after a front-loaded opening, collapsing 60% from last Friday to $2.2M, on its way to a $7M weekend and $100M in the US, which would be down 15% from Fifty Shades Darker.

After 10 weeks, JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE (Columbia/Sony) and THE GREATEST SHOWMAN (20th) are still box office factors, each down 28% from last Friday (respectively to $1.3M and $900K) for $5M/$4M weekends.  Jumanji should hit $400M in the US, and Showman should reach $170M.

For a film aimed at an older audience, THE 15:17 TO PARIS (Village Roadshow/Warners) isn’t showing much traction, down 54% from last Friday to $950K, with a $3.2M weekend ahead and a US total that may not get to $40M.

Last weekend’s failed openings didn’t look any better a week later.  EARLY MAN (StudioCanal/Lionsgate) fell 56% from last Friday to $375K, and probably won’t reach $1.5M for the weekend or $10M as a US total.  SAMSON (Pure Flix) dropped 55% to under $300K on Friday, for a $1M weekend and likely $6M US total.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."