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

Quibi Documentary Explores LeBron James' I Promise School

Quibi's launch of original content has revealed an in-depth look into LeBron James' I Promise school based in the athlete's hometown of Akron, Ohio.

The docuseries explores young scholars attending the school and the traumas they've faced in their very short lives. I Promised officially opened in 2018, taking in low-income students who reportedly were among the worst performers in Akron’s public schools.

Speaking to People, James explained how the school's mission isn't just to improve grades but to provide emotional support the children will take into adulthood.

“Hope is a very powerful thing. No matter the situation, if a kid knows someone truly believes in them, that changes their outlook on everything,” James said. “With our school, everything is built on giving kids the confidence that they can do anything. They know I believe in them, they know their teachers, the whole staff, and everyone we’ve put around them believes in them. It’s incredible what they can do when they feel that support.”

Each student was handpicked with some improvement at record speed. According to The New York Times, 216 of 240 I Promise students met or exceeded their expected growth at the mid-year mark. “At the I PROMISE School, our goal is to let every single kid know they are special,” James added. “That they can be whatever they want to be. And that starts with addressing everything they’re going through before they even step foot in a classroom.”

Before its opening, James ensured that the parents of the students would also have a chance to expand their education and job hunt. Students also receive breakfast, lunch and snacks with access to an in-house food bank.

In the Quibi doc, James' mother Gloria Marie James, also shared how her son struggled in school as a child and how the player used his own life experience to help improve the school's mission statement.

“You’ll hear from my mom in the documentary, who shares how much we both can relate to what these kids and their families are going through,” he said. “A lot of what we do at I Promise School is based on our experience and that’s what makes the connection so real. We have a mutual understanding of each other and what we’re going through, and I think that gives us all the drive we need to succeed for one another.”

Like many schools around the country, I Promise teachers are engaging with students on platforms like Zoom.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Our family looks a little bit different on the computer screen than they do at school…🤔🤣 but there is truly nothing like family! #WeAreFamily

A post shared by I PROMISE School (@ipromiseschool) on Mar 26, 2020 at 1:04pm PDT

Quibi, a new streaming service from Jeffery Katzenberg, founder and CEO of Dreamworks, officially launched Monday with original content from the likes of Ariana Grande, Keke Palmer, Lena Waithe and more.

Luckily for T-Mobile customers, Quibi is on the house for a full year. T-Mobile customers with two or more voice lines at standard rates on Magenta and ONE plans with taxes and fees included — along with discounted First Responder, Military and Magenta Plus 55 plans — or small business customers with up to 12 lines, can get Quibi (regularly $4.99) added to their plan for free.

Customers can sign up between now and July 7 to get Quibi on Us by going to mytmobile.com or the T-Mobile app for iOS or Android.

See the full list of shows on the platform here.

Continue Reading
Michael Che attend the 70th Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Michael Che Loses His Grandmother To Coronavirus: "I'm Obviously Hurt And Angry"

Saturday Night Live Star Michael Che has opened up on social media after losing his grandmother to coronavirus.

The New York native shared the news on Monday (April 6) while laying out his confusion over the education about COVID-19. As the death toll reportedly rises in the United States, a breakdown of the virus' origins remain unclear. It's unknown how old Che's grandmother was, but the comedian and writer did press on the importance of eating clean and green.

“Hi. I’m Michael Che, from TV. Last night my grandmother passed away from the coronavirus,” Che wrote. “I’m doing OK, considering. I’m obviously very hurt and angry that she had to go through all that pain alone.”He went on, “But I’m also happy that she’s not in pain anymore. And I also feel guilty for feeling happy. Basically the whole gamut of complex feelings everybody else has losing someone very close and special. I’m not unique. But it’s still scary. I don’t know if I’ll lose someone else to this virus. I don’t know if I’ll be lost to this virus. Who f**king knows?”

But the jokes weren't off the table. He also pointed at the infamous conspiracy theories about 5G technology and bats being the source of the virus.

“I just refuse to believe I lost my sweet, beautiful grandma because some n***a ate a bat one time," he wrote. “Maybe tell people what they should be eating and what foods to avoid … instead of just posting death tolls as your lead story every godd**n day!”

During this time of self-isolation, phenomenons like the Netflix docuseries Tiger King have become insanely popular, making it the butt of Che's jokes. “If we can spend 6 hours watching some tweaker raise tigers, then we can spend a few minutes finding out how to not poison ourselves.”

According to Deadline, production on Saturday Night Live was expected to pick back up March 28 but as cases in New York increase, the hiatus has been extended.

You can read Che's entire post below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

i swear, im fine.

A post shared by Michael Che (@chethinks) on Apr 6, 2020 at 11:20am PDT

Continue Reading
Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson attends a ceremony honoring him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 30, 2020 in Hollywood, California.
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

50 Cent's Big Meech-Inspired 'Black Mafia Family' Series Heading To Starz

Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson is heading back to Starz with another television series.

After the success of Power, the hip-hop icon-turned-entrepreneur-turned television executive producer is set to have a hand in Black Mafia Family. The crime series is inspired by the true-life story of Detroit drug lord Demetrius "Big Meech" Flenory and his brother Terry "Southwest T," who rose from the decaying streets of southwest Detroit in the late '80s and gave birth to one of the most influential crime families in the country." According to Starz, the series will touch on the subjects of “love, family, and capitalism in the pursuit of the American dream.”

"I told you Black Mafia Family was coming and it’s going to be the biggest show on television," said Jackson in the announcement. "Meech and Terry are legends and I am excited to bring their story to Starz."

Starz president and CEO Jeffrey Hirsch added: “This is a project Curtis has always been incredibly passionate about and we are excited to have him as our partner in bringing it to life.

“Black Mafia Family has all the hallmarks of a great drama, from the larger-than-life Flenory brothers to the deadly, high-stakes world they inhabited. This series is going to be an incredible ride for audiences around the world.”

No word on who will star in the series or when it will premiere. 50 Cent's current ABC drama, For Life—about former-inmate-turned-lawyer Isaac Wright Jr.—reportedly tallied the "biggest playback increase for any new broadcast midseason debut — scripted or unscripted."

Jackson's multi-million dollar deal with Starz includes another series titled, Vanguard, as well as other upcoming Power sequels: Powerbook II: Ghost, Power Book III: Raising Kanan, Power Book IV: Influence, and Power Book V: Force.

Continue Reading

Top Stories