March 3, 2018

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Panther” Claws “Sparrow,” “Death Wish” Blown Away


For the third consecutive weekend, BLACK PANTHER (Marvel/Disney) is having its way with the box office.  Preliminary numbers at Deadline have Panther down 43% from last Friday to $16.3M, which should give it a $62M weekend, bringing its US total close to $500M.  That will put its 17-day total well ahead of the $457.7M for The Avengers (which dropped 48% to $15.2M on its 3rd Friday), and although the competition will get more serious in the coming weeks with the arrivals of A Wrinkle In Time, Tomb Raider and Pacific Rim: Uprising, it’s only a small stretch to think Panther might reach $660M in the US, which would make it #3 in history, behind only The Force Awakens and Avatar.  (Marvel’s decision to move the next Avengers installment up to the last Friday in April may well be to position it as a quasi-Black Panther sequel, a remarkable turn for what’s been up to now Marvel’s mega-franchise.)

RED SPARROW (TSG/20th) had a quiet start with $6.3M on Friday (including $1.2M from Thursday night).  Oscar Sunday may cut into its weekend, leaving it at $16M.  Comparisons with other Jennifer Lawrence vehicles are tough, because her franchise movies are obviously in another league, several of her other vehicles like Passengers and Joy opened for Christmas, when the box office dynamics are different, and mother! existed in an alternate universe entirely.  Still, it’s hard to spin this opening as positive against around $175M in production and worldwide marketing costs, and it will need a leggy run here and overseas to break out of red ink.

The horribly timed DEATH WISH (MGM) reboot (although it’s not clear what time would have been appropriate) had a $4.3M Friday (including $650K from Thursday night) and is likely to be front-loaded into an $11M weekend.  With at least $90M in costs, that leaves a long road ahead, although its splatter aesthetic may play well overseas.

GAME NIGHT (New Line/Warners) had a decent hold, down 45% from last Friday, but that still made for a $3M day and likely $10M weekend, which might pull it to a mild $50M US total, with limited international prospects.

PETER RABBIT (Sony Animation/Columbia/Sony) is enjoying the benefit of being the only family movie around, down just 28% on its 4th Friday to $2M, for a $8M weekend as it tries to reach $100M in the US.  It faces an obstacle next weekend, however, when A Wrinkle In Time appears.

Not surprisingly, the divisive ANNIHILATION (Paramount) fell 61% from last Friday to $1.5M, and may have a $5M weekend on its way to $30M in the US.  Even though Paramount off-loaded most non-US rights to Netflix, that still isn’t going to be enough to make the venture profitable.

JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE (Columbia/Sony) and THE GREATEST SHOWMAN (20th) keep plugging along, down just 27% each, respectively to $950K and $650K, on their 11th Fridays.  They should have $4M/$2.5M weekends, as Jumanji heads to $400M in the US, and Greatest Showman to $170M.

FIFTY SHADES FREED (Perfect World/Universal) stayed on the express train down, off from last Friday by 52% to $1.1M, for a $3.5M weekend as it continues to head to $100M in the US.

EVERY DAY (Orion/MGM) doesn’t have a lot of dawns ahead, as it dropped 58% from last Friday to under $500K, on its way to a $1.5M weekend and dim $8M 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."