Proving once again that there is plenty of room at the multiplex to appeal to Americans of all stripes, both a gay romantic comedy and a Christian film are earning big time at the box office, while A Wrinkle in Time, which had its Christian themes removed by Disney (of all places), completed its box office collapse. In its third weekend, Red Sparrow is already doornail dead.
Marvel’s pro-Trump Black Panther, of course, remained at number one. In its fifth weekend at the top of the charts, this box office smash took in another $28 million, for a total domestic haul of $607 million.
How big is this? Black Panther is now pacing ahead of a freakin’ Star Wars movie — The Last Jedi.
Black Panther has left every other Marvel title in the dust.
We are now in the tenth year of the Marvel Universe (it all began in 2008 with Iron Man), and the fire this franchise is on is only getting hotter. Until the Good Dinosaur stumbled in 2015, Pixar’s perfect box office run lasted 20 years, from Toy Story in 1995 straight through to Inside Out in 2015. Creatively, Pixar lasted 15 years, until Cars 2 (2011) and Brave (2012) showed signs of age. Marvel seems well on its way to compete in this regard, even though the studio is releasing more than twice as many movies — not to mention the TV shows.
Still to come this year are Avengers: Infinity War (April 27) and Ant-Man and the Wasp (July 6).
Underperforming at number two is the latest incarnation of Tomb Raider, starring Alicia Vikander. In 2001, Angelina Jolie was able to open her version to $48 million. This $90 million remake (add another $75 million for promotion) might make $24 million, which is a big fail.
The reasons for this should have been obvious from the word “Go.” Although she is all kinds of lovely and even an Oscar-winner, unlike Jolie or, say, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Vikander does not have the oomph factor that drives us to see women in action. Vikander is not larger than life.
The bad news for A Wrinkle in Time continues to pile up. Down 50 percent after a disappointing opening, Ava DuVernay’s poorly reviewed clunker took in just $17 million, which means its total take after two weekends is an anemic $61.5 million. Kids’ movies tend to hold much better than this — well, the successful ones do.
The big news is the Christian film I Can Only Imagine, which was expected to bring in just $6 million from 1,628 theaters. By the time Monday rolls around, this little $7 million movie starring Dennis Quaid will have earned a whopping $14-plus million.
The $10 million gay rom-com Love, Simon sits in 2,402 and opened well in fifth place with $12 million.
Jennifer Lawrence’s Red Sparrow is doing so poorly it is not even mentioned in these early projections but was projected to crash into ninth place with just $4 million. After three weekends, and a total take of just $40 million, this will only enforce J-Law’s reputation as a box office pariah.