Will Avengers: Infinity War out gross Black Panther? I predicted that it would a few weeks ago, and now I'm (pretty) sure of it. But first a word of advice: for all of you out there anxious to see the film because you have the impression that it's going to be a sort of unofficial Black Panther sequel, hold up; not so fast.
Production began on Infinity War after shooting on Black Panther ended, so Marvel really had no idea what a commercial and cultural phenomenon the film would become. If they had, you better believe that they would have put Black Panther more front and center in Infinity War.
However, with the exception of a brief short scene early in the film, T'Challa doesn't really get involved in the story until around the 90-minute mark of a two and half-hour film, and even then he's used rather perfunctory. In fact, Zoe Saldana's Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy gets more screen time than Black Panther in the film. Danai Gurira and Winston Duke get a few close-ups, and those reports that there were reshoots to boost Letitia Wright's role as Shuri proves that you should never trust rumors. She's woefully underused in the film. Yes, there's a great climactic battle sequence set in Wakanda, but it seems like a last-minute addition added during script rewrites.
Keep in mind that this is the first part of a two-part movie, which means, as a result, the film ends in a cliffhanger with a final scene (and an end credits sequence) a lot of people are not going to like. In fact, at the screening I attended, loaded with comic book geeks either that didn't know that or expected something else, hissed loudly and shouted their disapproval of the film at the end.
But getting back to my original point to what I said a few weeks ago when I predicted that Infinity War was going to be the biggest grossing film of the year, what I didn't expect is for the film having the biggest domestic opening ever for any film, pulling in $250 million beating the previous record holder The Force Awakens, which opened with $247 million and pushing Black Panther's $202 million opening down from fifth place to sixth. On top of that, Infinity War opened overseas with an additional $380 million this weekend.
Though Black Panther is approaching $700 million domestically and worldwide at over $1.33 billion, with such a massive opening, Infinity War looks like it could beat Black Panther's numbers. Whether it will or won't depends on the drop-off percentages the film will have in the following weeks. Black Panther has held on very strongly for weeks with some of the lowest drop-off percentages for any recent film. In fact, it's now currently in its 13th straight week in the top 10 list, and it went up this weekend. The last film to stay that long in the top 10 was Disney's Zootopia. And the studio was smart to push up the release of the film one week earlier to give it some breathing room until Deadpool 2 and Solo open later in May. Both will surely cut into Infinity War's take.
Then there's China, which could be a major reason Infinity War could actually beat Black Panther worldwide. Right now Black Panther's Chinese box office take is around $105 million which is not bad at all, but less than what the previous Avengers film, Age of Ultron, did, making $240 million in China. As I've have said before, China is key.
As for second place, the surprise horror film sleeper hit A Quiet Place held up relatively well against the Avengers juggernaut with over $10.6 million for $148 million here in the U.S. and another $87 million so far overseas. Meanwhile the Amy Schumer comedy I Feel Pretty limped to third place with Dwayne Johnson's Rampage weakly holding on to fourth place with a $77 million domestic total so far. However, the film has grossed another $256.7 million internationally and $106 million of that figure comes from China, once again proving my point that China is key.
And, as mentioned earlier, Black Panther actually jumped up the ten top from last week's eighth place last week to fifth, grossing just under $4.4M, meaning folks had to get another fix of Black Panther or maybe they were disappointed that there wasn't enough Black Panther in Infinity War and they wanted a full dose of their favorite superhero.
1) Avengers: Infinity War $250,000,000
2) A Quiet Place $10,650,000 Total: $148,173,301
3) I Feel Pretty $8,130,000 Total: $29,573,561
4) Rampage $7,105,000 Total: $77,930,557
5) Black Panther $4,381,000 Total: $688,009,489
6) Super Troopers 2 $3,600,000 Total: $22,084,929
7) Truth or Dare $3,210,000 Total: $35,316,995
8) Blockers $2,945,000 Total: $53,215,490
9) Ready Player One $2,435,000 Total: $130,683,218
10) Traffik $1,620,000 Total: $6,752,274
11) Isle of Dogs $1,400,000 Total: $27,020,723
12) I Can Only Imagine $755,000 Total: $81,060,585