Disney and diversity are dominating the box office this weekend.
The studio’s superhero hit Black Panther is on track to top the charts for the fourth consecutive frame with an estimated $41.1 million at 3,942 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, while its sci-fi/fantasy adventure A Wrinkle in Time is poised to debut in second place with about $33.3 million at 3,980 locations.
This marks the first time in recent memory, and possibly ever, that films by black directors have claimed the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the same weekend: Ryan Coogler for Black Panther, and Ava DuVernay for Wrinkle in Time. Both high-profile films are also notable for their inclusive casting, with Black Panther featuring a predominantly black cast and Wrinkle boasting a multiracial ensemble.
However, despite a reported production and marketing budget of at least $150 million, A Wrinkle in Time’s opening comes in at the lower end of analysts’ projections, and reviews have been decidedly mixed. Moviegoers gave it a B CinemaScore, suggesting lackluster word-of-mouth prospects. The film will also take in an estimated $6.3 million in overseas markets this weekend.
Based on the Newbery-winning novel by Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time stars newcomer Storm Reid as Meg Murry, a bright young teen who travels through space and time with her brother and a classmate in search of her missing scientist father (Chris Pine). The cast also includes Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Deric McCabe, and Levi Miller.
Black Panther, meanwhile, remains a juggernaut, and crossed the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office this weekend. Domestically, the film has grossed about $562 million in just 24 days of release.
The 18th installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe stars Chadwick Boseman as the titular superhero, a.k.a. T’Challa, who rules and protects the secretive, technologically advanced nation of Wakanda. The cast also features Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Andy Serkis, and Letitia Wright. Black Panther has garnered glowing reviews and an A-plus CinemaScore.
In addition to Wrinkle, this weekend brought the new releases The Strangers: Prey at Night, The Hurricane Heist, and Gringo.
The Strangers: Prey at Night, a horror movie from Aviron Pictures, will take in about $10.5 million, good for third place. Entertainment Studios’ disaster caper The Hurricane Heist will gross about $3.2 million, putting it in eighth place, while STX’s R-rated action movie Gringo will earn about $2.6 million, making it No. 11.
According to ComScore, overall box office is up 7.6 percent year-to-date. Check out the March 9-11 figures below.
1. Black Panther — $41.1 million
2. A Wrinkle in Time — $33.3 million
3. The Strangers: Prey at Night — $10.5 million
4. Red Sparrow — $8.2 million
5. Game Night — $7.9 million
6. Peter Rabbit — $6.8 million
7. Death Wish — $6.6 million
8. The Hurricane Heist — $3.2 million
9. Annihilation — $3.2 million
10. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle — $2.8 million