Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Weekend Box Office: Black Panther vs. the Jesus freaks

Illustration for article titled Weekend Box Office: Black Panther vs. the Jesus freaks
Photo: Marvel Studios, Lionsgate/Roadside Attractons

The winner of this week’s struggle for box-office dominance should surprise no one: It was Black Panther, coming in at No. 1 for the fifth week in a row and becoming only the seventh film ever to gross more than $600 million domestically. Currently only $18 million away from toppling The Avengers as the highest-grossing superhero movie of all time, Black Panther continues to be as resilient as T’Challa’s vibranium suit, absorbing competitors and dropping them like so many rounds of machine gun fire safely at No. 2.


That was the fate of this week’s Tomb Raider reboot, which pulled in a pretty solid $23.5 million despite not being able to break the curse of the video-game movie. Nothing too surprising there. Similarly, the week’s other new wide release, the vanilla-pudding progressivism of Love, Simon, landed at No. 5, also in line with predictions given its relatively modest 2,402 screen count. The big shocker of the weekend was the success of the faith-based musical biopic I Can Only Imagine ($17 million), which edged out A Wrinkle In Time ($16.5 million) to land at No. 3, despite opening on less than half the number of theater screens. All this, despite a review from our own Jesse Hassenger calling it “reductive” and “tin-eared”!

The debut of a critically derided but ultimately profitable faith-based film at the end of March has become something of an annual tradition at the U.S. box office—see: 2017's The Shack, 2016's Miracles From Heaven, and 2015's Do You Believe?, which we gave “D”s across the board—as sure of a sign of the arrival of spring as the first violets (or empty Cheetos bags, if you live in Chicago) to emerge from melting snowbanks. As far as we can tell, patient zero for this phenomenon was God’s Not Dead, which debuted at No. 4 back in March 2014 to the surprise of Box Office Mojo and Variety alike. Speaking of: The third film in that franchise, God’s Not Dead: A Light In Darkness, opens at the end of this month.

For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.