After five weekends in theaters, Marvel’s comic book juggernaut “Black Panther” continues to crush both the box office and the record books.
The Disney blockbuster added $27 million to its domestic earnings this weekend, raising its cumulative ticket sales to $605.4 million, according to figures from measurement firm ComScore.
“Black Panther” is the first film to spend five consecutive weekends at No. 1 since “Avatar” in 2009. It is also only the seventh movie to cross the $600-million mark in the U.S. and is on track to top the $623-million domestic take of “The Avengers,” which would make it the highest-grossing comic book movie in U.S. box office history.
Warner Bros.’ “Tomb Raider” reboot debuted at No. 2, earning $23.5 million.
The film, which stars Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft, earned a B rating on CinemaScore and a 49% “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Roadside Attraction’s faith-based film “I Can Only Imagine” opened at No. 3 with $17 million.
The film exceeded all expectations, posting the best opening for a Christian film since Fox’s “Son of God” and Sony’s “Heaven is for Real” each topped $20 million in 2014.
“It’s amazing,” said Howard Cohen, the studio’s co-president and co-founder. “I know everybody is surprised,” he added, “but on the other hand, it’s sort of ‘If you build it, they will come.’”
Starring Dennis Quaid and J. Michael Finley, the film follows the lead singer of the Christian band MercyMe during his process of writing “I Can Only Imagine”, the most played radio hit in Christian music history. It earned mixed reviews from audiences and critics, with an A+ rating on CinemaScore and a 58% “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
“There’s been an evolution of niche programming,” Cohen added. “I think for Christian films, there’s been a lot of low budget releases that people went to just because they were Christian but not because they were really good movies. And I think that this is a really good movie.”
Faith-based films have underperformed at the box office lately. Recent flops such as “Samson” and “Same Kind of Different as Me” both failed to crack $10 million over their entire runs. However, in advance of Easter, upcoming releases such as “Paul, Apostle of Christ” from Sony and Pureflix’s “God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness” — the latest in a successful Christian franchise — hope to turn the tide when they open in the next two weeks.
In fourth place, Disney’s “A Wrinkle In Time,” now in its second week, added $16.5 million to its earnings, for a cumulative $61 million.
Rounding out the top five, Fox’s “Love, Simon” brought in $11.5 million in its first week. An LGBTQ coming-of-age story, the film was popular among audiences and critics, earning an A+ rating on CinemaScore and a 91% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Sony’s “Peter Rabbit,” finishing seventh, managed to cross the $100-million mark in its sixth weekend in theaters. The film, which brought in an additional $5.2 million this weekend, currently boasts an impressive $102.4 million in ticket sales.
Additionally, Sony’s “Jumanji,” which came in at No. 12 this weekend, managed to cross the $400-million mark after 13 weeks in theaters. This is also the first time the film has fallen out of the top 10 since its opening on Dec. 20.
In limited release, Focus Features opened the thriller “7 Days in Entebbe” in 838 with $1.6 million. Starring Rosamund Pike and Daniel Bruhl, the political thriller in inspired by the true events of the 1976 hijacking of an Air France flight en route from Tel Aviv to Paris. The film was unpopular with critics, earning a 22% “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Orchard opened teen comedy drama “Flower” in three locations with $57,851 for a per-screen average of $19,284. Directed by Max Winkler, the film stars Zoey Deutch as a 17-year-old who uses extortion as one way of dealing with her deep-seated abandonment issues. “Flower” earned a 67% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Next week, Open Roads Films releases the romance “Midnight Sun,” Universal unveils the sci-fi action flick “Pacific Rim Uprising,” Sony opens “Paul, Apostle of Christ,” Paramount premieres the animated movie “Sherlock Gnomes” and Bleecker Street drops the thriller “Unsane.” Fox Searchlight also opens the animated film “Isle of Dogs” in limited release.