For the first time in history two movies helmed by black directors took the top two spots at the box office. While Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther continued pouncing up the all-time box office lists with another $41.1 million domestically, Ava DuVernay and A Wrinkle In Time joined the party with a $33.3 million opening weekend.
The Black Panther train has refused to slow down. This is the fourth straight weekend T’Challa has reigned over American theaters. The movie’s steady domestic numbers were bolstered by a $100 million international weekend. Much of that haul came from China where Marvel’s latest pulled in $66 million. It is currently the 7th biggest domestic movie ever and it seems poised to leap up a few more spots.
A Wrinkle In Time, based off of the science fantasy novel by Madeleine L’Engle, fell short of its $40 million projections. Whether that is due to being caught in the wake of the Wakandan revolution or because of some mixed reviews, the folks at Disney have no reason to be concerned. The book the movie is adapted from contains a number of features that were thought to be unfilmable; like an evil disembodied brain as a villain. It was always going to be a bit of a tough sell to audiences. Its opening performance is in line with Disney’s own projections which were slightly lower than the consensus.
Besides having black directors and being neighbors on the box office charts, the two films share common attributes. They both feature strong, fully realized female characters of color, diverse casts, and diverse production teams. This past weekend by no means signals that all of Hollywood’s issues with representation have been fixed, but it is definitely a moment to celebrate.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore.
“Black Panther,” $41.1 million ($100 million international)
“A Wrinkle in Time,” $33.3 million ($6.3 million international)
“The Strangers: Prey At Night,” $10.5 million ($140,000 international)
“Red Sparrow,” $8.2 million ($15.7 million international)
“Game Night,” $7.9 million ($5.4 million international)
“Peter Rabbit,” $6.8 million ($4.8 million international)
“Death Wish,” $6.6 million ($3 million international)
“The Hurricane Heist,” $3.2 million ($1.9 million international)
“Annihilation,” $3.2 million.
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