Tuesday, February 20, 2018

'Black Panther' rules the Presidents Day weekend box office and Billboard 200

I mentioned "Fifty Shades Darker" being beaten by a superhero movie last year.  That's going to happen this weekend, as SyFy Wire reports Black Panther: The album expected to top charts, film eyeing $170 million opening.  Wow!  Stay tuned to see if both of those predictions come to pass.
That's how I concluded 'Fifty Shades Freed' tops the box office for Valentines Day.  The Hollywood Reporter shows that "Black Panther" exceeded even those lofty expectations in Weekend Box Office: 'Black Panther' Bounds to Record-Shattering $235M-Plus Bow.

Estimates for the history-making movie keep going up and up; overseas, it amasses $169 million for an estimated global launch of $404 million.
Wow, indeed!  What about the album?  Billboard reports 'Black Panther: The Album' Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart.
Black Panther: The Album debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, launching with 154,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Feb. 15, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 52,000 are in traditional album sales.

The set, which features music from and inspired by the blockbuster Marvel Studios film Black Panther, garners the biggest week for a soundtrack — in terms of total units earned — in a year-and-a-half. The last soundtrack to score a larger week was Suicide Squad: The Album, which bowed atop the Aug. 27, 2016-dated list with 182,000 units earned. Black Panther: The Album was released on Feb. 9 through Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope Records.
Black Panther is the second soundtrack to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in 2018, following The Greatest Showman, which spent two weeks atop the list (dated Jan. 13 and 20).
Double wow!  I'm impressed.

What about the soundtrack for "Fifty Shades Freed?"
With Black Panther: The Album, The Greatest Showman and Fifty Shades Freed at Nos. 1, 3 and 5, the chart houses a trio of soundtracks in the top five for only the second time in the last 10 years. The only other time three soundtracks have populated the top five in the last 10 years was on the May 30, 2015-dated list, when Pitch Perfect 2 debuted at No. 1, Fifty Shades of Grey moved 6-3 and Furious 7 rose 7-5.
That's impressive as well as informative.  Now I know three of the likely nominees for Best Soundtrack Compilation at next year's Grammy Awards.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the box office, plus a follow-up to a prediction I made.

Here's the rest of the past weekend's top ten from The Hollywood Reporter.
In North America, the only movies that dared to open nationwide opposite Black Panther were Lionsgate and Aardman Animation's family film Early Man and Pure Flix's faith-based pic Samson. Early Man placed No. 7 with an estimated four-day gross of $4.2 million from 2,492 theaters, while Samson came in No. 11 with an estimated $1.9 million from 1,249 cinemas.

Among holdovers vying for attention over Presidents Day weekend, Sony and Aardman's animated family film Peter Rabbit placed No. 2 with $23.1 million for a domestic total of $54.1 million, followed by Universal's Fifty Shades Freed with $19.4 million in its second outing for a seductive global total of $268.4 million.

Sony's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle came in No. 4 with $10 million as it crossed the $900 million mark globally to become the studio's No. 2 title of all time behind Skyfall after passing up Spider-Man 3, not accounting for inflation. Clint Eastwood's The 15:17 to Paris, from Warner Bros., rounded out the top five with $9.1 million in its second weekend for a global total of $37.6 million.

Fox's The Greatest Showman continued to sing loudly, coming in No. 6 with $6.3 million for a domestic total of $155.6 million. On Saturday, the original musical passed up La La Land ($151.1 million). Songwriting duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who are up for an Oscar for best original song, also wrote the music for La La Land. Greatest Showman now ranks as the No. 4 musical of all time domestically, not adjusted for inflation. Its international tally is $155.6 million for a global total of $341.2 million.
I was hoping "Early Man" would do better, as I've been a fan of Aardman Animation for two decades.  Here's to hoping its box office improves from word of mouth.

Finally, the predictions, which I made in Celebrate National Science Fiction Day with 'The Last Jedi' atop the 2017 box office.  First, I thought "Downsizing" would pass "Life" and "Geostorm" when its run is completed.  That didn't happen, as Box Office Mojo shows it earned only $24,449,754 to the $30,234,022 for "Life" and $33,700,160 for "Geostorm."  Two lousy movies beat a promising one.  That's a disappointing failure of forecasting.

On the other hand, I thought "The Shape of Water" could pass "The Dark Tower."  It did.  Right now, "The Shape of Water" has earned $53,688,714 to $50,701,325 for "The Dark Tower" and it's still earning money.  I expect it will do that through March 9th, when "A Wrinkle in Time" opens.

That's it for the weekend box office.  Stay tuned for winners of the BAFTA Awards, MPSE Golden Reel Awards, and the Costume Designers Guild Awards, followed by the nominees of the Makeup and Hair Stylists Guild Awards.  As I wrote at the end of 'War for the Planet of the Apes,' 'Coco,' and 'Game of Thrones' biggest winners at Visual Effects Society Awards, I have a busy week in front of me.


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