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'Black Panther' tears through 'Titanic' box office record

Hollywood
AFP


"Black Panther" broke more records over the weekend in North America, exceeding revenues from the 1997 blockbuster "Titanic".

Black Panther made headlines this weekend when it sailed past the unadjusted domestic gross of Titanic ($659 million, including reissues) to become the third-biggest grosser in unadjusted earnings. But since ticket prices go up every year and the various upcharges (IMAX, 3D, D-Box, etc.) can factor into higher raw earnings, the pure domestic list can be slightly deceiving. Adjusted for inflation, Titanic’s $659m gross would be around $1.244 billion, good for fifth place in the inflation-adjusted list behind only E.T. ($435m, counting reissues/$1.302b adjusted), The Sound of Music ($159m in 1965/$1.307b adjusted), Star Wars ($460m, counting reissues/$1635b adjusted) and Gone with the Wind ($199m, counting reissues/$1.854b adjusted).

Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($937 million in 2015/$992m adjusted) is in 11th place on the adjusted-for-inflation list while Avatar ($760m in 2009/$893m adjusted) is 15th. Black Panther is 34th. The hope is that it gets past $687m. At that point, it’ll be the 30th-biggest flick ever even when adjusted for inflation and so it can claim to have sold more tickets than The Dark Knight and Thunderball, and passing Batman and Bond deserves a trophy. Inflation matters in raw comparisons, but there were a lot fewer entertainment options even eight years ago than there are today. Any movie selling around 72.4 million tickets in this Netflix-and-chill era is darn impressive.

Meanwhile while horror thriller "A Quiet Place," with barely three minutes of dialogue, made a resounding $50.2 million debut.

"A Quiet Place" is built around a simple but chilling premise: flesh-eating creatures have invaded Earth, but they are blind and can track their prey only by sound.

So actor/director John Krasinski, his wife (in the film and in real life) Emily Blunt and their children must adapt -- through sign language and ingenious adaptations -- or die.

The film has drawn rave reviews, with a 97 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating.

Steven Spielberg's "Ready Player One" -- a futuristic tribute to 1980s films -- came in second at $24.6 million from Friday to Sunday, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

The Warner Bros. film tells the story of a teenage gamer (Wade Watts) who finds himself inside an addictive virtual reality world. It's earned $96.5 million in two weeks.

In third was another new release, Universal's "Blockers," at $20.6 million. A raunchy comedy starring John Cena and Leslie Mann, the movie drew considerable buzz at the South by Southwest film festival.

Still flourishing in its eighth week out, "Black Panther" netted $8.7 million for fourth spot.

Already the highest-grossing superhero film in US history, its cumulative total in the US and Canada now exceeds $665.6 million. The film stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan and Lupita Nyong'o.

That number takes the film past "Titanic," which had collected $659 million in North America. "Black Panther" is now third in movie ticket sales of all time on the continent.

"Avatar" (2009) and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (2015) are still ahead, with $760 million and $936.7 million in ticket sales respectively.

In terms of global sales, "Avatar" leads with $2.8 billion, followed by "Titanic" ($2.2 billion), both directed by James Cameron. "Black Panther" is only 10th worldwide.

In North America, the weekend's fifth spot went to psychological thriller "Tyler Perry's Acrimony" with $8.4 million.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

"I Can Only Imagine" ($7.8 million)

"Chappaquiddick" ($5.8 million)

"Sherlock Gnomes" ($5.4 million)

"Pacific Rim: Uprising" ($4.8 million)

"Isle of Dogs" ($4.6 million)

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