Marvel's Black Panther had no problems staying number one at the box office this weekend. The movie has now been number one for 5 consecutive weeks, making it the first blockbuster to do so since 2009's Avatar. Additionally, Black Panther is only a few days away from becoming the highest grossing Marvel movie domestically released thus far, currently at $605.4 million while the first Avengers movie is at $623 million.
Tomb Raider was the expected competition this week, after A Wrinkle in Time failed to challenge Black Panther at the box office. However, weak reviews for the video game reboot led to sluggish ticket sales in its opening frame, earning only $23.5 million, which was no match for the $27 million that Black Panther brought in. While Tomb Raider didn't do as well as many thought, the action film is expected to bring in some cash overseas, when it's released in China. The Christian drama, I Can Only Imagine beat out A Wrinkle in Time with a respectable $17.1 million.
Disney head Bob Eiger recently spoke about the company being in competition with itself and that was definitely the case with Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time. Ryan Coogler's movie had the benefit of rave reviews from nearly all critics, which resulted in an opening weekend that nobody predicted. Now, the Marvel movie has gone on to become one of the highest grossing movies of all time with relative ease, but it has its own competition on its way in the form of Infinity War.
Disney will once again be in direct competition with itself with the release of Infinity War at the end of April. While Black Panther stomped pre-sale ticket sales, Infinity War decimated those numbers in a few hours on Friday. Worldwide, Black Panther has earned $1.1 billion and Infinity War is expected to get past that number with relative ease. However, both movies feature Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa, which means that the actor, along with some of the returning cast, will have been in two of the biggest movies of all time, released in the same year.
Black Panther is now in rare company, becoming the 7th movie in box office history to cross the $600 million mark domestically. It's been a remarkable ride for the Marvel movie that has now become a cultural world-wide phenomenon since its release. People that wouldn't normally go see a superhero movie have flocked to theaters to see what all of the fuss is about, and it really doesn't show any signs of slowing down. In a few days, Black Panther will surpass the Avengers to become the highest grossing superhero movie in North America ever. You can read more about the crazy box office ride of Marvel's Black Panther over at Box Office Mojo.