‘Black Panther’ dominates North American box office in opening weekend

LOS ANGELES — Disney and Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” dominated North American box office in its opening weekend with an estimated USD192 million setting a new record for a February opening in North America.

The superhero film scored the fifth highest opening of all time in North America. It also brought in USD169 million overseas for a massive USD361 million global debut this weekend.

“A new record President’s weekend led by the expectation busting performance of Disney’s ‘Black Panther’ shows the sheer power of the theatrical movie-going experience,” wrote movie analyst Paul Dergarabedian at comScore in an email to Xinhua.

“‘Black Panther’ takes the month of February to the next level with an expectation,” he added.

“Black Panther” is the 18th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Directed by Ryan Coogler, the film stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa / Black Panther who returns home as king of Wakanda but finds his sovereignty challenged by a long-time adversary in a conflict with global consequences.

The film stands among few films to achieve a perfect 5 out of 5 stars on comScore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak audience survey with a 88 percent “definite recommend” from audiences that were 37 percent African-American, 35 percent Caucasian, 18 percent Hispanic, 5 percent Asian and 5 percent making up the rest of the moviegoers, according to Dergarabedian.

In second place, Sony’s animated adventure comedy film “Peter Rabbit” took in an estimated USD17.25 million in its second weekend. Directed by Will Gluck, “Peter Rabbit” is based on the stories of the character of the same name created by Beatrix Potter. The film features voice roles played by James Corden, Daisy Ridley, Margot Robbie, and Elizabeth Debicki, and live action roles played by Domhnall Gleeson, Rose Byrne, and Sam Neill.

Universal’s “Fifty Shades Freed” moved to third place with an estimated USD16.94 million in its second weekend, pushing it North American cume (cumulative audience) to USD76.13 million through Sunday. Based on the novel of the same name, “Fifty Shades Freed” is an erotic romantic film directed by James Foley and stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey respectively.

Sony’s action adventure comedy film “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” landed in fourth place with an estimated USD7.95 million in its ninth weekend, taking in an impressive USD377.62 million in North America to date.

Warner Bros.’ biographical drama film “The 15:17 To Paris” finished fifth with an estimated USD7.68 million in its second weekend. Xinhua-northboundasia.com