9:30am PT by Pamela McClintock
Weekend Box Office: 'Black Panther' Heads for Huge $100M-Plus Sophomore Outing
Disney and Marvel Studios' Black Panther continues to set records at the U.S. box office where it is headed for a sophomore outing of $100 million-plus; one of the top second-weekend grosses in history.
That's after scoring the best first week for any title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with $292 million through Thursday, besting The Avengers (2012) in its first week.
Black Panther earned $28.9 million on Friday from 4,020 theaters to jump the $300 million mark domestically. Estimates for this weekend range from $100 million-$105 million. If it comes in on the high end, it will score the third-best weekend of all time behind champ Star Wars: Force Awakens ($149.2 million) and Jurassic World ($106.6 million). The Avengers earned $103.1 million in its second outing.
By Sunday, Black Panther's domestic cume will be nearly $400 million and well north of $600 million globally.
Directed by Ryan Coogler, the superhero blockbuster is annihilating the competition.
Among a trio of new films, New Line's R-rated comedy Game Night, starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, is faring the best, grossing $5.6 million on Friday from 3,488 locations for a projected $15 million-$16 million opening.
Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the story follows a couple whose regular game night with friends suddenly turns into a real-life murder mystery. The cast also includes Kyle Chandler, Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan, Lamorne Morris and Kylie Bunbury.
Game Night, hoping to avoid the comedy curse that has plagued the box office over the past two years, is McAdams' first comedy since About Time in 2013. The movie, earning a B+ CinemaScore and placing No. 2, is playing notably older, with 30 percent of the audience under the age of 35, including just 6 percent under age the age of 18.
Alex Garland's sci-fi pic Annihilation, starring Natalie Portman opposite Oscar Isaac, grossed $3.9 million on Friday from 2,012 theaters for a projected $10 million domestic launch. The movie, earning a poor C CinemaScore, made headlines late last year when Paramount and Skydance, partners on the movie, sold off international rights to Netflix.
Annihilation — directed by Alex Garland of the acclaimed Ex Machina — tells the tale of a biologist and former soldier, who joins a mission to find out what happened to her husband inside "Area X" along America's coastline, where a sinister phenomenon has turned the landscape into an environmental wasteland where mysterious dangers abound. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez and Tuva Novotny co-star.
The movie will place No. 4 behind Sony's holdover Peter Rabbit, which looks to earn $11 million-$12 million in its third weekend for a domestic total of roughly $70 million through Sunday.
Both Game Night and Annihilation boast strong reviews.
YA film adaptation Every Day, directed by Michael Sucsy, is looking at a ninth-place finish in its debut. Marking the first release from MGM's relaunched Orion Pictures, Every Day grossed $1.3 million on Friday from 1,625 cinemas for a projected $3 million bow. Orion insiders say $3 million would be a win, considering the film cost under $5 million to produce.
Every Day, targeting teenage girls and younger adult females, is based on the best-selling book by David Levithan about a 16-year-old girl who falls in love with a disembodied spirit who inhabits a different body every day. Angourie Rice, Justice Smith, Debby Ryan and Maria Bello star.
Elsewhere, Universal's Fifty Shades Freed crossed the $300 million mark at the worldwide box office on Friday, bringing the combined grosses for the female-fueled franchise to $1.25 billion. Fifty Shades Freed, the final installment in the series, has grossed $89.3 million to date domestically and $217.4 million internationally for a total $306.7 million.
Feb. 23, 12:30 p.m. Updated with revised weekend estimates.
Feb. 24, 8 a.m.. Updated with Friday grosses and revised weekend estimates.