Black Panther: Cultural Phenom Beyond Global Blockbuster

Disney and Marvel Studios’ Black Panther will again dominate the domestic box office this weekend — the only question is by how much after debuting to a record-shattering $242.2 million over the four-day Presidents Day frame, including a three-day haul of $202 million.

The movie, directed by Ryan Coogler, is projected to earn around $90 million to $100 million in its second outing.

All along, Black Panther has defied expectations.

On Tuesday, it took in $20.9 million domestically, the biggest Tuesday for any superhero movie and the biggest Tuesday for any movie outside of summer and the year-end holidays. On Wednesday, the pic grossed another $14.5 million, the biggest Wednesday for any title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — The Avengers was the previous best with $13.6 million — and putting Black Panther’s domestic total at $277.5 million as it races toward the $300 million mark in North America.

Globally, Black Panther will cross $500 million sometime today after just nine days in release (the movie’s worldwide cume was $491.1 million through Wednesday). Also today, Disney will pass the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office just 52 days into the new year.

In North America, a trio of films goes up against the juggernaut this weekend: the year’s first studio comedy, Game Night; the sci-fi epic Annihilation; and the YA film adaptation Every Day.

New Line’s Game Night, starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, is tracking to come in at No. 2 with $12 million-$14 million. Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the story follows a couple whose regular game night with friends suddenly turns into a real-life murder mystery. The cast also includes Kyle Chandler, Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan, Lamorne Morris and Kylie Bunbury.

Game Night, hoping to avoid the comedy curse that has plagued the box office over the past two years, is McAdams’ first comedy since About Time in 2013.

Starring Natalie Portman opposite Oscar Isaac, Annihilation is tracking to open in the $10 million-$12 million range. The film made headlines late last year when Paramount and Skydance, partners on the movie, sold off international rights to Netflix.

Alex Garland — director of the acclaimed Ex Machina — helmed Annihilation, which tells the tale of a biologist and former soldier who joins a mission to find out what happened to her husband inside “Area X” along America’s coastline, where a sinister phenomenon has turned the landscape into an environmental wasteland where mysterious dangers abound. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez and Tuva Novotny co-star.


Every Day, directed by Michael Sucsy, is the first release from the relaunched Orion Pictures. MGM intends to use the revived label to release low-budget, targeted fare. The pic, which is going after teenage girls and younger adult females, cost under $5 million to produce and is based on the best-selling book by David Levithan about a 16-year-old girl who falls in love with a disembodied spirit who inhabits a different body every day. Angourie Rice, Justice Smith, Debby Ryan and Maria Bello star in the movie, which hopes to clear $3 million in its debut.