‘Black Panther’ China Debut Takes In $66.5 Million in Sales

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  • The Disney superhero movie tops $1 billion in global receipts
  • For the fourth-straight weekend, the film leads at box office

Doraemon Outdoes Black Panther in Japan

“Black Panther,” Walt Disney Co.’s latest hit Marvel superhero film, opened in China with estimated weekend revenue of $66.5 million, the studio said, helping the picture push past the $1 billion mark in sales globally.

“Black Panther” also took in $40.8 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters, ComScore Inc. Monday in an email, marking its fourth weekend as No. 1 in the domestic market. The picture beat the $39.3 million forecast from analysts at Box Office Pro. “A Wrinkle in Time,” a new live-action fantasy release from Disney, opened with North American weekend sales of $33.1 million to place second.

China has become a lucrative outpost for Disney and Marvel as the brand caught on with filmgoers in the second-largest movie market. “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” a 2015 release, pulled in sales of $240 million there, while the 2016 hit “Captain America: Civil War” produced $181 million.

“Black Panther” will probably gross 736 million yuan ($116 million) in China, ticketing data app Maoyan forecast as of Monday, an estimate that’s likely to be adjusted as more results come in. Among Marvel hits in China, the film’s opening also trailed behind “Age of Ultron,” and “Civil War,” while surpassing “Iron Man 3” and “Thor: Ragnarok,” according to boxofficemojo.com.

“Black Panther” has generated a cumulative total of $562 million in domestic sales, making it the seventh-ranked release of all time, Disney said. Global box office receipts reached $1.08 billion, ComScore Inc. said.

“A Wrinkle in Time” stars Storm Reid as a young girl seeking her missing scientist father in a fantasy-space adventure. Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling co-star. Analysts at Box Office Pro were forecasting $33.5 million in weekend revenue for the film.

The movie is based on the award-winning 1962 novel by Madeleine L’Engle and was directed by Ava DuVernay, who also made “Selma.” With a budget exceeding $100 million, according to a tweet from DuVernay, the picture marks the biggest directing assignment for an African-American woman. It received positive reviews from 41 percent of top critics, according to RottenTomatoes.com.

Also opening this weekend was “Strangers: Prey at Night,” from Aviron Pictures, which landed in third place with domestic revenue of $10.4 million. In the film, a family staying in a secluded mobile-home park is set upon by three masked psychopaths. Just 21 percent of top critics like the film, which was expected to produce $8 million in weekend sales.

“The Hurricane Heist,” from Entertainment Studios, opened with weekend sales of $3 million, missing forecasts of $5 million. Toby Kebbell and Maggie Grace star in the film about thieves attempting to loot a U.S. Treasury facility as a big storm bears down.

— With assistance by Jing Yang De Morel

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