No one will ever underestimate King T’Challa of Wakanda again.
“Black Panther,” proving its $200-million opening weekend was no fluke, eclipsed $108 million over its second, trailing only “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” as the largest second weekend of all time, according to data from measurement and analytics firm ComScore.
Directed by Ryan Coogler, and starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan and Lupita Nyong’o, Marvel Studios’ latest superhero epic continued to monopolize the domestic box office, easily sweeping aside the week’s newcomers — “Game Night,” “Annihilation” and “Every Day” — its three-day total accounting for more than 50 percent of the weekend’s gross.
“Black Panther’s” $400-million North American total already makes it the highest grossing February film ever. Internationally, the Disney release tallied $83.8 million to bring its worldwide total to $704 million.
A distant second, “Game Night,” Warner Bros. action-comedy starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, debuted with $16.6 million, apace with analysts’ projections but higher than the studio’s reported expectations.
Despite The Times’ Justin Chang’s assessment of “Game Night” as a “tediously overworked suburban-noir farce,” it satisfied most critics, netting 81 percent fresh on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, while scoring a B+ with audiences per the polling firm Cinemascore.
Holdover “Peter Rabbit,” Sony’s hybrid live-action/animation adaptation of the Beatrix Potter children’s classic, held on to third place with $12.5 million in its third weekend. Its modest 28 percent drop, reflecting it being the primary option for families with young children, brings its total to $71.3 million.
In fourth place, British writer-director Alex Garland’s sci-fi thriller “Annihilation,” his first film since the critically acclaimed “Ex Machina” in 2014, earned $11 million. The film stars Natalie Portman as a biologist on a mission with an all-female team in a toxically mutated region of the U.S. that Chang called “a mind-bending foray into the unknown.” The cerebrally challenging movie received only a C Cinemascore, but pleased critics, with an 87 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Rounding out the top five was “Fifty Shades Freed” at $6.9 million, also in its third weekend. The wind-up of the erotic romance trilogy, starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, stands at $89.6 million total. The previous two installments, 2015’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” and 2017’s “Fifty Shades Darker” finished at $166.2 million and $114.6 million, respectively.
Finally, the third of the week’s new releases, “Every Day,” the rebooted Orion Pictures’ teen fantasy romance, finished ninth with $3.1 million on 1,600 screens. Kimber Myers, reviewing for The Times, characterized the movie as “all soul and no brain.” The film rated a B+ on Cinemascore, and left critics split, landing at 50 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Next week, “Black Panther” squares off against Eli Roth’s Bruce Willis-starring “Death Wish” remake and Jennifer Lawrence headlining the spy thriller “Red Sparrow.” “Black Panther’s” Disney cousin, Ava DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” arrives March 9.