After crossing the $1 billion mark at the box office on Friday, “Black Panther” is on its way to becoming the first film since “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” to take the No. 1 spot for the fourth straight weekend, as it is projected to beat fellow Disney release “A Wrinkle in Time.”
Though its $9.9 million gross on its fourth Friday was narrowly beaten by “A Wrinkle in Time”‘s $10.2 million opening day total, “Black Panther” is expected to win the weekend with $40-41 million, among the best ever totals for a fourth weekend. That also equates to a drop-off of just 38 percent from its $66.3 third weekend. The film has yet to suffer a drop-off of more than 44 percent, a staggering cut above most Marvel movies, which usually see a drop-off of 55-60 percent after their opening.
“A Wrinkle in Time,” meanwhile, is looking at a disappointing opening of $33 million from 3,980 screens against a reported $103 million budget. Though the film was considered the next big release for an industry trying to answer demands for more diverse casts and filmmakers, word of mouth has been tepid, as critics labeled it a “well-intentioned disappointment” and gave it a 42 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.
On the bright side, director Ava DuVernay — who became the first black woman to direct a movie with a $100 million-plus budget with this picture — has succeeded with earning the approval of the demographic she aimed her film’s message towards: the youth. Opening night polls from CinemaScore showed that audiences under the age of 25 gave the film an A-, compared to a B- for audiences over the age of 25. Overall, the film has a CinemaScore grade of B.
In third place this weekend is the Aviron horror film, “The Strangers: Prey at Night,” which is on pace to make $10 million from 2,464 screens after making $4 million on Friday. Both critics and audiences have given the film a thumbs down, with a C on CinemaScore and 37 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Pre-weekend tracking had the film making around $8 million.
Fox/Chernin’s Jennifer Lawrence-led “Red Sparrow” is looking at a 50 percent drop from its $16.8 million opening, with projections for its second weekend sitting at $8 million after making $3.4 million on its second Friday. WB/New Line’s “Game Night” completes the top five with an estimated $7.8 million in its third weekend, which would bring the $37 million film’s domestic gross to $45 million.