Jennifer Lawrence hit her third not so hot opening film with “Red Sparrow” that flew much lower than Marvel‘s blockbuster (and soon to hit $1 billion) “Black Panther, which took the top spot for the third week at the box office.
“Red Sparrow,” starring Ms. Lawrence as a Russian intelligence operative who specializes in sexual manipulation, ran into stronger-than-expected competition from “Black Panther,” which remained a huge No. 1 at North American theaters in its third weekend. “Black Panther” (Disney) collected about $65.7 million, for a new domestic total of $501.1 million; worldwide ticket sales now stand at roughly $900 million.
But the R-rated “Red Sparrow,” which cost Fox at least $100 million to make and market, divided critics and received a lukewarm B grade from ticket buyers in CinemaScore exit polls. “Red Sparrow” had the hardest time attracting young adults; 79 percent of its audience was over the age of 25, according to Fox.
Ms. Lawrence, one of Hollywood’s most popular and highest-paid actresses, was last seen in Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!” Released in the fall by Paramount, “Mother!” failed in wide release. Before that, Ms. Lawrence co-starred with Chris Pratt in Sony’s expensive “Passengers,” which arrived at a wobbly $14.9 million in 2016. Sony ultimately pushed “Passengers” to about $100 million in domestic ticket sales.
Wakanda’s reign shows no signs of waning. “Black Panther” is king of the box office for the third straight weekend.
The release from Marvel and Disney brought in $65.7 million domestically this weekend, easily outpacing new releases “Red Sparrow” and “Death Wish,” according to studio estimates Sunday.
“Black Panther” has now grossed $500 million domestically after three weeks of release. It’s the third fastest film to reach the $500 million plateau.
“Disney is clearly on a roll with ‘Black Panther’ showing incredible strength as it posts the third biggest third-weekend gross of all time,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore, “and most notably becomes the 10th highest grossing movie of all time in North America after just 17 days in theaters.”
Fox’s “Red Sparrow,” featuring Jennifer Lawrence as a Russian ballerina-turned-super-spy, earned $17 million in its first weekend.
Another new release, “Death Wish,” MGM’s reboot of the Charles Bronson action franchise starring Bruce Willis, was third with $13 million.
“Both newcomers performed to expectations but had to compete in a marketplace totally dominated by ‘Black Panther,’” Dergarabedian said.
The totals come on a weekend when all industry eyes are on the Academy Awards, which will be handed out in Hollywood later Sunday.
None of the major nominees remain in the box office top 10, though some continue to bring in receipts. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” reached $52 million domestically through Sunday, and “The Shape of Water” passed $57 million.
“Black Panther,” directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan, has become a groundbreaking cinematic phenomenon, giving unprecedented representation for a film of its kind to Africans and African-Americans while winning over every corner of the culture. It should soon shoot past the billion-dollar mark worldwide.
Wakanda’s king may finally be knocked from his box-office throne next weekend with the release of director Ava DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” another Disney film that gives groundbreaking representation to African-Americans on both sides of the camera.
“Disney wins no matter how you slice it with that film expected to have a strong debut as ‘Black Panther’ continues to draw big crowds,” Dergarabedian said.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers also are included. Final three-day domestic figures will be released Monday.
In other box office news, Hollywood’s awards season came to a close on Sunday with mixed results. Of the nine movies nominated for best picture at the 90th Academy Awards, which ABC will broadcast on Sunday night, seven were released during the last four months, Hollywood’s traditional awards corridor. Steven Spielberg’s newspaper drama “The Post” (20th Century Fox) did the best, collecting about $80 million.
Then came “The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight) with $57.4 million in domestic ticket sales; “Darkest Hour” (Focus Features) with $55.4 million; and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” with $52 million. “Lady Bird” (A24) followed with $48.3 million.
The least-seen were “Phantom Thread” (Focus), which collected about $20 million, and “Call Me by Your Name” (Sony Pictures Classics), which put together roughly $17 million.
By art house standards, all were quite successful. But none of these prestige-minded movies was widely embraced by mainstream ticket buyers — as when the 2011 best picture nominee “Black Swan” collected about $120 million, after adjusting for inflation; or Mr. Spielberg’s “Lincoln” reached nearly $200 million in 2013.
The other two films nominated for best picture at Sunday’s Academy Awards arrived outside of the awards corridor and were both domestic blockbusters. “Get Out,” which was released a year ago, generated $176 million in ticket sales. “Dunkirk,” a summer release, had $188.4 million.
- “Black Panther,” $65.7 million.
- “Red Sparrow,” $17 million.
- “Death Wish,” $13 million.
- “Game Night,” $10.7 million.
- “Peter Rabbit,” $10 million.
- “Annihilation,” $5.6 million.
- “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” $4.5 million.
- “Fifty Shades Freed,” $3.3 million.
- “The Greatest Showman,” $2.6 million.
- “Every Day,” $1.5 million.