No one will ever underestimate King T'Challa of Wakanda again.
Black Panther, proving its $200-million opening weekend was no fluke, eclipsed $112 million over its second, trailing only Star Wars: Episode VII -- 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 $403-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 $17 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, Columbia's hybrid live-action/animation adaptation of the Beatrix Potter children's classic, held on to third place with about $13 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 $71.5 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 United States that Chang called a mind-bending foray into the unknown. The cerebrally challenging movie received only a C on Cinemascore, but pleased critics, with an 87 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Rounding out the top five was Fifty Shades Freed at $7.1 million, also in its third weekend. The wind-up of the erotic romance trilogy, starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, has about $90 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.
Also opening this weekend was the Orion/MGM teen fantasy Every Day, which debuted with sales of $3 million. It's the first picture MGM has distributed in wide release in years, using its revived Orion brand for small budget features. The producer of the James Bond movies has been rebuilding its distribution capability since emerging from bankruptcy in 2010.
Every Day is based on a New York Times best-seller about a teenage girl who falls in love with a person who inhabits a different body every day. The film cost $5 million to make, according to the studio.
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.
This 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.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Sunday by comScore:
Black Panther, Disney, $111,658,835, 4,020 locations, $27,776 average, $403,613,257, 2 weeks.
Game Night, Warner Bros., $17,005,332, 3,488 locations, $4,875 average, $17,005,332, 1 week.
Peter Rabbit, Columbia, $12,760,382, 3,707 locations, $3,442 average, $71,506,084, 3 weeks.
Annihilation, Paramount, $11,071,584, 2,012 locations, $5,503 average, $11,071,584, 1 week.
Fifty Shades Freed, Universal, $7,147,285, 3,265 locations, $2,189 average, $89,793,065, 3 weeks.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Columbia, $5,650,497, 2,519 locations, $2,243 average, $387,284,712, 10 weeks.
The 15:17 to Paris, Warner Bros., $3,573,259, 2,752 locations, $1,298 average, $32,231,011, 3 weeks.
The Greatest Showman, 20th Century Fox, $3,411,649, 1,601 locations, $2,131 average, $160,778,519, 10 weeks.
Every Day, Orion, $3,016,149, 1,669 locations, $1,807 average, $3,016,149, 1 week.
MET Opera: La Boheme (2018), Fathom Events, $1,875,000, 900 locations, $2,083 average, $1,875,000, 1 week.
Early Man, Lionsgate, $1,773,963, 2,494 locations, $711 average, $6,853,385, 2 weeks.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Fox Searchlight, $1,247,624, 691 locations, $1,806 average, $50,152,203, 16 weeks.
The Post, 20th Century Fox, $1,240,961, 795 locations, $1,561 average, $78,888,962, 10 weeks.
The Shape of Water, Fox Searchlight, $1,180,255, 721 locations, $1,637 average, $55,366,099, 13 weeks.
Samson, Pure Flix, $970,708, 1,140 locations, $851 average, $3,743,204, 2 weeks.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure, 20th Century Fox, $962,619, 952 locations, $1,011 average, $56,329,223, 5 weeks.
Winchester, Lionsgate, $929,450, 852 locations, $1,091 average, $23,735,224, 4 weeks.
Phantom Thread, Focus Features, $864,510, 651 locations, $1,328 average, $19,016,604, 9 weeks.
Darkest Hour, Focus Features, $745,625, 795 locations, $938 average, $54,465,467, 14 weeks.
Lady Bird, A24, $669,640, 601 locations, $1,114 average, $47,301,770, 17 weeks.
MovieStyle on 03/02/2018
Print Headline: Black Panther not backing down