black_panther-218-million-debut
Courtesy of Marvel Studios

'Black Panther' To Obliterate Box Office With $235-Plus Million Opening Weekend

That Wakanda reign just won't let up.

In a defining moment for Hollywood, Disney and Marvel Studios' Black Panther exploded at the Presidents' Day box office, bounding to a record-shattering estimate of $201.8 million for the three-day weekend and a projected $235 million-plus for the four-day holiday frame.Those grosses are substantially ahead of Sunday's estimates of $192 million and $218 million, respectively. Overall revenue for the holiday weekend looks to be up a staggering 88 percent over last year, pushing revenue year-to-date by nearly 7 percent.

The Ryan Coogler-directed movie — unprecedented in being a big-budget studio tentpole featuring a virtually all-black cast — secured the fifth-biggest domestic opening of all time after blasting past all expectations. And it nabbed one of the top four-day grosses of all time after stomping past Jurassic World ($234.1 million) to land behind Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($241.6 million) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($288.1 million). Black Panther could climb even higher once weekend numbers are tallied Tuesday morning; rival studios put the four-day gross in the $240 million range.

On Sunday alone, the movie grossed an estimated $60.1 million, the second-biggest Sunday ever behind Force Awakens ($60.6 million) — and not by much.

Other records broken include the biggest opening for an African-American director, the top-scoring superhero film on Rotten Tomatoes (97 percent) and biggest February bow, supplanting previous champ Deadpool, which took in $152.2 million over the four-day Presidents Day weekend in 2016.

Playing in 4,020 theaters, Black Panther was fueled by a diverse audience. According to comScore, 37 percent of ticket buyers were African-American. Caucasians made up the next largest group (35 percent), followed by Hispanics (18 percent). That sort of demo breakdown is unheard of for a marquee superhero tentpole. On average, African-Americans make up about 15 percent of the audience for such fare. Females also turned out in force to see Black Panther, heralded for its portrayal of strong women, making up 45 percent of all ticket buyers (that share is usually 35 percent-40 percent on a superhero movie's opening weekend).

Black Panther, costing $200 million to make before marketing, was a bold move on the part of Disney and Marvel's Kevin Feige. Now, it has become yet another victory for both.

In the film, Chadwick Boseman stars as T'Challa/Black Panther alongside Lupita Nyong'o, Michael B. Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker and Andy Serkis. The story, described as a tale of black power and black pride in addition to its superhero themes, follows T'Challa as he is sworn in as king of Wakanda, a cloaked, technologically advanced nation in Africa that's home to the exotic metal vibranium, the source of the Black Panther's powers.

Audiences bestowed Black Panther with an A+ CinemaScore; the only other Marvel title to earn an A+ was Avengers.

Black Panther hits theaters almost a year after Jordan Peele's maverick horror film, Get Out, transformed into a box-office sensation, although that was a genre pic. And in summer 2017, filmmaker Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman became the highest-grossing live-action film from a female director.

Overseas — where American films with a black cast can face challenges — Black Panther opened in virtually every major market save for Russia (Feb. 22), Japan (March 1) and China (March 9). The movie earned a mighty $169 million for an estimated global bow of $404 million through Monday, including a hefty $35 million from Imax locations around the world, the top showing ever for Marvel title.

The only movies daring to open nationwide opposite Black Panther were Lionsgate and Aardman Animation's family film Early Man and PureFlix's faith-based pic Samson, which looks to take in only $2 million.

Early Man placed No. 7 with an estimated four-day gross of $4.2 million from 2,492 theaters. Samson came in No. 11 with an estimated $2.4 million from 1,249 cinemas.

Among holdovers vying for attention over Presidents Day weekend, Sony and Aardman's animated family film Peter Rabbit placed No. 2 with $23.1 million for a domestic total of $54.1 million, followed by Universal's Fifty Shades Freed with $19.4 million in its second outing for a seductive global total of $268.4 million.

#WakandaForever

The article was originally published on The Hollywood Reporter.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Michael B. Jordan To Star In 'gen:LOCK' Anime Series

Michael B. Jordan will be lending his lady-loved voice to a new anime series,"gen:LOCK," for Rooster Teeth.

In the new series, Jordan will be playing Julian Chase. The show is described as "50 years in the future, where an oppressive authoritarian force threatens to conquer the world. So a daring team is recruited to pilot a new form of weaponized neuroscience that powers devastating mecha. However, this team must be willing to sacrifice everything to save the world," according to Shadow and Act.

“He is willing to lay his life on the line for the greater good. He had a lot of heroic qualities to him that made it easy for me to be like ‘cool, I want to voice this guy,’” Jordan told SyfyWire about his reason for picking the role.

Way too excited to show you guys the final trailer for #genLock all my real followers/fans know how much I’m an Anime fan and this show fulfilled one of my life-long dreams of voicing a character on an animated show. Jan 26th it’s going to get crazy on @roosterteeth

A post shared by Michael B. Jordan (@michaelbjordan) on Jan 17, 2019 at 9:38am PST

The first two episodes of gen:LOCK will premiere on Jan. 26 on Rooster Teeth, which is available on iOS, Andriod, Xbox One, and Apple TV. (RoosterTeeth.com's memberships start at $4.99 a month.) Watch the trailer for the series up top.

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Kerry Washington To Star In And Produce 'American Son' Netflix Adaptation

Kerry Washington's Broadway banger, American Son, will be making its on-screen debut with Netflix.

Steven Pasquale (The Good Wife), Jeremy Jordan (Supergirl), Eugene Lee (A Soldier’s Play) and Washington will be reprising their groundbreaking roles from the thought-provoking Broadway production. Kenny Leon, who served as the play's original director, will be directing the picture and producing the film alongside the former Scandal actress.

The 41-year-old made the announcement on Monday night (Jan. 21) while appearing on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, where she gushed over her role as Kendra and the play's exploration into an interracial families search for their missing son in a Florida police station.

I love you @jimmyfallon 😍 thanks for letting me come on @FallonTonight and share this thrilling news about #AmericanSonPlay 😍😍😍😍 https://t.co/5sk97I4Co6

— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) January 22, 2019

Netflix’s Vice President of Original Content Cindy Holland said in a statement, “We are honored to work with Kerry Washington, [director] Kenny Leon, [writer] Christopher Demos-Brown and the entire cast to bring this story from the Broadway stage to our members around the world.”

The American Son production will come to a close this Sunday (Jan. 27) after a two month running at the Booth Theatre beginning in Nov. 2018. Watch Kerry Washington gush over American Son below.

 

Continue Reading

Gina Rodriguez Tearfully Addresses Anti-Black Allegations

Gina Rodriguez sparked controversy on social media in Nov. 2018, after she made questionable claims about the racial pay gap in the workplace. During a panel discussion on Neta Porter's "The Television Debate" with Gabrielle Union, Ellen Pompeo, and more, the actress falsely claimed that black women were paid more than Latina and Asian women. Nearly two months after the backlash, Rodriguez sat down with Sway in the Morning on Jan. 22, to explain her previous statements and debunk the notion that she is anti-black.

"I wasn’t speaking about my industry," she said of her previous comments about the racial pay gap. "I always find it difficult to  talk about equal pay as a woman who makes a substantial amount of money. As somebody who came from poverty to now the amount of money I get paid, it doesn’t feel right that I’m the one talking about it because i’m just so damn grateful…"

The Jane the Virgin actress stated that she was devastated by the tweets from the black community that claimed she was anti-black because she felt deeply connected to the racial group growing up. "What I was saying is that when we talk about equal pay we have to talk about intersectionality because we all must rise. And so, the backlash was devastating to say the least because the black community was the only community I looked towards," she continued. "Growing up, we didn’t have many Latino shows and the black community made me feel like I was seen. So to get ‘anti-black’ is saying that I’m anti-family. My father is dark-skinned. He’s Afro-latino. And my cousins are. And Puerto Ricans are African, Taino, and Spaniard blood…"

She also suggested that the backlash was fueled by click-bait. "I know my heart. I know what I meant. And I really wish we lived in a culture that wasn’t click-bait because I’ve never said anything controversial about anybody and far would I ever," she added. "The black community is my community. As Latinos, we have black Latinos. That is what we are. I think when I talk about Latino advocacy they think I mean people only my skin color. And little do they know that I’m very aware of what my culture is… It was a really really dark time for me."

Check out Rodriguez's full comments on the subject at the 12:34-mark in the video above.

Continue Reading

Top Stories