March 10, 2018

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Wrinkle In Time” Narrowly Takes Day, But “Black Panther” Heads for Weekend Win (Again)


A WRINKLE IN TIME (Disney) has likely taken the only box office title it will ever have.  According to preliminary numbers at Deadline, Wrinkle had a narrow victory on Friday with $11.3M ($1.2M of that from Thursday night).  But the general front-loadedness of new openings, combined with the likely dim word of mouth here based on exit polls and reviews, may bring Wrinkle to a $35M weekend at best.  That suggests a $125M US total, which wouldn’t be a terrific result for a film with $200M+ in production/marketing costs and uncertain international prospects, but also wouldn’t result in a financial wipe-out.  The good news for Wrinkle is that its only upcoming competition for the family market is the not-very-terrifying Sherlock Gnomes.

As Wrinkle In Time fades over the course of the weekend, its stablemate BLACK PANTHER (Marvel/Disney) will likely rise to the top once again.  It declined a mere 37% on its 4th Friday to $10.2M, which should give it a weekend of $40M or more.  It appears to be headed for around $640M in the US, which would push it past The Avengers as the highest-grossing Marvel title ever, and behind only The Force Awakens, Avatar, Titanic and Jurassic World–with the chance of passing the latter two of those as well.  In addition, early reports of its opening in China indicate that Panther will get past $1B worldwide by Sunday, and it should end up at least matching Iron Man 3‘s $1.2B.

Nothing else this weekend will even be close to the Disney duo.  The micro-budget horror flick STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT (Aviron) had a $3.8M Friday and should end the weekend at about $9M.  Even with its limited costs, that’s not a road to profit.

It’s better, though, than the weekend’s other openings.  GRINGO (Amazon/STX) is headed for a $2.5M weekend after $1M on Friday, and THE HURRICANE HEIST (Entertainment Studios) may barely clear $2M after $900K on Friday.

Word of mouth is not being kind to RED SPARROW (TSG/20th), which fell 61% from last Friday to $2.3M, on its way to a $8M weekend and perhaps $45M in the US, a big problem for a film with $175M in costs.

The arrival of A Wrinkle In Time didn’t hurt PETER RABBIT (Sony Animation/Columbia/Sony) at all, with a tiny 26% drop on its 5th Friday to $1.5M.  That should mean a $7M weekend, and what now looks like a $110M US total, tidy if not remarkable on a budget much smaller than Disney’s.

GAME NIGHT (New Line/Warners) is another title that’s found its audience, dipping just 33% on its 3rd Friday to $2M, for a $7M weekend and an OK $55M eventual US total.

DEATH WISH (MGM), not surprisingly, didn’t hold well on its 2nd Friday with a 59% drop to $1.8M, as it heads to a $6M weekend and $35M in the US.

ANNIHILATION (Paramount) is fading fast, down 46% on its 3rd Friday to $800K, on its way to a $30M US total after a $2M weekend.

JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE (Columbia/Sony) is still moving toward the $400M US milestone, down 37% on its 12th Friday to $650K, for what should be a $2.5M weekend.

Best Picture winner THE SHAPE OF WATER (Fox Searchlight) is taking its victory lap with an expansion to 1552 theatres before it hits homevideo on Tuesday.  It earned $550K on Friday and should have a $2M weekend, but will likely exit theatres before it reaches $65M in the US.



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."