As expected, Black Panther took a massive dive on its second Friday in China. The MCU blockbuster opened with a solid $22 million opening day but was thwarted by poor word of mouth even with a sky-high $67m Fri-Sun debut. As such, that the film dropped 88% on its second Friday ($2.7m), a near-record (and certainly a record drop for an opening of this scale), shouldn’t be a shock. The picture has still earned $86.7m in eight days in China.
It also shouldn’t be taken as any judgment against the film or conversely against Chinese audiences. If the flick had bombed or underperformed elsewhere, then there might be an issue. However, Black Panther will cross $600 million domestic and should flirt with $1.2 billion worldwide by Sunday. Moreover, there is no law requiring China to embrace the same stuff we embrace, especially when it arguably deals with explicitly American social mores or American political strains.
In North America, the movie ended its fourth week of domestic release with around $579 million. That positions the Chadwick Boseman superhero drama to cross $600m domestic on Sunday, making it the second-fastest movie to reach said milestone between Star Wars: The Force Awakens (an obscene 12 days) and the likes of Jurassic World (36 days), Star Wars: The Last Jedi (37 days), The Avengers (54 days), Avatar (47 days) and Titanic (252 days).
So, thanks to strong post-debut legs and white-hot word of mouth, Black Panther will regain the title of second-fastest grosser of all time (for the moment) from Star Wars: The Last Jedi. We’ll see how long it stays ahead of Jurassic World or if it can surpass Titanic in the long haul. And if it can snag an opening above $26.3 million, it’ll have the third-biggest fifth weekend behind only Avatar ($42m) and Titanic ($30m), as Frozen’s fifth $28m weekend was its fourth weekend in wide release.
If it can top the weekend box office, it’ll be the first movie to do so for five straight weekends since Avatar did it for seven back in 2009/2010. And in worldwide totals, the Walt Disney flick has earned approximately $1.127 billion worldwide, heading above the $1.119b cume of Return of the King back in 2003/2004 and the $1.124b gross of Transformers: Dark of the Moon in 2011. Next up on the chopping block is Captain America: Civil War ($1.153b in 2016) and Minions ($1.159b in 2015), so it’ll probably end the weekend as the 14th highest-grossing movie of all time.