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Black Panther still the king with an estimated $40+ million fourth weekend

Going into the weekend there was heavy speculation over whether Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME would be able to come in ahead of the mighty BLACK PANTHER at the box office. As the weekend approached the race seemed to be tightening up, but now it seems PANTHER will easily win the weekend for a fourth straight frame.

Current estimates are placing PANTHER on track for a remarkable $40+ million total this weekend, giving it the third best fourth-weekend ever, coming in ahead of AVENGERS ($36 million), but below FORCE AWAKENS ($42 million, which PANTHER could top) and AVATAR ($50 million) for. This weekend was kicked off by a $9 million Friday, but like past weekends, the movie will do much better across Saturday and Sunday. The movie's total should be around $560 million by the end of the weekend, passing THE DARK KNIGHT ($534 million) to become the second-largest comic book movie ever. Globally, the movie will pass the $1 billion mark by the end of the weekend, making the fifth Marvel movie ever to do so.

As for A WRINKLE IN TIME, the movie did win Friday with an estimated $10+ million total and is expected to hit similar totals for Saturday and Sunday for a $30+ million weekend, giving it a similar opening to past Disney live-action epics like JOHN CARTER ($30 million) and TOMORROWLAND ($33 million). The lukewarm reviews (43% on Rotten Tomatoes) are not helping the big-budget movie, and audience reception is not much better with a so-so B Cinemascore. The movie deserves recognition for championing the mostly-female, diverse cast with director Ava DuVernay at the helm, but the movie may have trouble proving its legs with a crowded March ahead.

Among the top five for the weekend is the new THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT with about $10 million, the Jennifer Lawrence-led RED SPARROW with $7.9 million, and GAME NIGHT very close behind with $7.6 million.

Overall, WRINKLE IN TIME will probably make around what pundits had been estimating. Though hopes were as high as about $50 million for the first weekend, $30-40 million was always more likely. However, it's BLACK PANTHER that noticeably overperformed for this fourth frame, with many expecting WRINKLE to pose as heavier competition. But audiences are still craving more WAKANDA (maybe increased INFINITY WAR publicity this week helped?), and the movie could hit $600 million domestic by next weekend, putting the total of AVENGERS in its sights. 

Source: BoxOffice.com

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