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Black Panther
Chadwick Boseman in his role as T'Challa (AKA: the Black Panther) from the Marvel superhero movie "Black Panther." (Disney / Marvel via MGN)

Weekend box office: 'Black Panther' fends off newcomers for 5th week atop the charts

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By RYAN PAINTER, KUTV

Weekend box office: March 16–18, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) - It’s the film Hollywood was convinced we didn’t want to see. The numbers speak otherwise as “Black Panther” finished its fifth weekend with another decisive victory over the competition. With an estimated total just over $27 million, the latest film set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe dropped only 34 percent for a domestic total of $605 million. Worldwide, the film has earned $1.18 billion.

“Black Panther” is the first film since 2009’s “Avatar” to spend five weeks atop the domestic box office. It will surpass the domestic totals of 2017’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” ($610 million) and 2012’s “The Avengers” ($623 million) next week.

Tomb Raider,” the reboot of the video game franchise with Alicia Vikander taking over the role of Lara Croft, brought in $23 million. That’s slightly less than most were predicting, but a strong showing overseas elevates the worldwide total to $102 million, $41 million of that coming from China. If the film can hold -- a daunting task considering “Pacific Rim Uprising” and “Ready Player One” are on the horizon -- we could see the franchise getting a sequel in 2020 or thereabouts.

Despite only opening in 1,629 theaters (“Tomb Raider” is in 3,854), Roadside Attractions’ faith-based film “I Can Only Imagine” brought home $17 million over its first weekend. That’s an impressive opening for a film that cost only $7 million to make. It will be interesting to see how the film holds over the next few weeks. Audiences awarded the film an “A+” CinemaScore, so word of mouth is going to help bolster the movie’s run.

A Wrinkle in Time” finds itself in fourth place with $16.5 million. Disney’s adaptation of the popular novel has now earned $61 million domestically. The film has yet to open wide internationally, but if you had told anyone at Disney six months ago that the movie would have a worldwide total of $71 million, then it probably would have asked you to check your math. The film can still turn a profit with a solid international run, but this clearly wasn’t the event film we thought it was.

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Fifth place goes to 20th Century Fox’s “Love, Simon” with $11.5 million. The coming-of-age comedy follows a gay teenager who is on the cusp of coming out to his friends and family thanks to the support of an anonymous gay classmate who is also struggling with going public. Audiences gave the film an “A+” CinemaScore, so word of mouth will also be in play on this release.

With $5.2 million, “Peter Rabbit” became only the second film of 2018 to reach $100 million domestically. “Fifty Shades Freed” currently sits at $99 million and will reach the mark sometime this week, but the quiet success of “Peter Rabbit” is amazing.

7 Days in Entebbe” failed to make the top 10 as it brought in just $1.62 million for Focus Features. The drama, which is based on a real airline hijacking that took place in 1976, is better than many of the reviews suggest, but clearly, audiences weren’t all that interested.

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