“A Wrinkle in Time” Reaches Major Milestone, Falls Short of No. 1


March 9-11, 2018

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Black Panther $41.1 million
A Wrinkle in Time  $33.3 million
The Strangers: Prey at Night  $10.4 million
Red Sparrow  $8.1 million
Game Night $7.9 million

While Ava DuVernay's adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time fell below expectations, it still reached an important milestone. With an estimated $33.3 million debut, that's by far the biggest opening for any movie directed by an African-American woman. And it will almost certainly out-gross the director's last feature film (the MLK biopic Selma) to become the biggest movie ever directed by an African-American woman. But it still fell short of No. 1. Instead, Black Panther continued its astonishing run. It's the first movie to stay on top for four consecutive weeks since Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It also passed $1 billion worldwide, the first movie of 2018 to do that, and will be the only one until Avengers: Infinity War hits in six weeks. The next closest movie is Operation Red Sea, one of three Chinese movies that has barely made an impact in the U.S. It's made less than half a billion so far.

The belated Strangers sequel Prey at Night opened at No. 3. Arriving nearly 10 years after the original was a surprise hit and opened with nearly $21 million, its $10.4 million isn't on the level of some other horror successes, but it's already more than doubled its tiny $5 million budget. It's another modest win for new genre studio Aviron, which turned a good profit last year with the Halle Berry vehicle Kidnap.

Red Sparrow dropped to No. 4. It's barely crossed the $30 million threshold, which means it may struggle to get to $100 million even worldwide. Game Night held on at No. 5 and has made more than $45 million. It's likely going to be the sleeper hit of the winter and spring.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: The Death of Stalin, the dark political comedy from the creator of Veep. The film has gotten great reviews, as well as tons of accolades from European press, where the movie opened last year. Opening on four screens, it averaged $45,327 on each one.
  • The Hurricane Heist and Gringo couldn't find any money to score. The former made just $3.1 million, while the latter made a piss-poor $2.6 million.
  • After winning Best Picture and Best Director, The Shape of Water got a modest bump over the weekend. It's now made $61 million, which makes it one of the 10 biggest non-IMAX movies to never hit the top 5.

Next week:

The romantic comedy vs. the big action movie. Love, Simon takes on the Alicia Vikander-led reboot of Tomb Raider. While the conventional wisdom would bet on the action flick (or even Black Panther repeating yet again), anecdotal evidence suggests that Love, Simon is going to be a Fault in Our Stars-level phenomenon. So I'm going to say it opens at No. 1 with $35 million, just barely beating out Black Panther at No. 2 with $32 million.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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