Mediaweek editor James Manning looks at the weekend box office for February 15-18, 2018.
For the past few weeks anticipation has been building about how strong the launch of Black Panther would be. The film had a huge opening globally, in the US and in Australia too.
It drove the weekend box office here to $18.73m which is the best since the last two weekends of January, which were also both just under $19m.
This is the first weekend of 2018 we have had a $10m in a weekend release after the highs of January saw the love shared across a range of releases.
#1 Black Panther $10.52m
A staggering amount of money changed hands over the weekend for this new release. Black Panther broke a handful of records in the US with a $200m+ plus opening and when you add all the international markets you are looking at $400m+. In Australia it has set the bar as the biggest release so far in 2018 and the first movie to take over $10m in a single weekend. The movie has also had the biggest screen average this year for any movie in general release – $16,977 from its 620 screens – which makes it the biggest opening number of screens since Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the end of 2017.
#2 Fifty Shades Freed $2.34m
A strong second weekend despite a drop of 50% from the opening. Number of screens showing the movie dropped 126 from 551 to 425 with a screen average of $5,509. The movie has made it to $10m already.
#3 Lady Bird $953,000
The second of two new releases in the top 10 was also in the top five as it opened on 261 screens with a screen average of $3,653. The coming-of-age comedy/drama has been nominated for five Academy Awards.
#4 The Greatest Showman $940,000
Still holding in the top five after an impressive eight weeks, the movie was just short of $1m with its total just short of $30m. The number of screens actually lifted over the weekend from 310 to 336.
#5 I, Tonya $532,000
Just over half a million in the fourth weekend as the total sits at $7.13m.