‘Black Panther’ bags N. America’s 2nd-best sophomore weekend ever

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LOS ANGELES: Marvel’s “Black Panther” sunk its claws into the top spot once again this weekend at the North American box office, taking a staggering $111.7 million, industry data showed Monday.

Following a record-shattering opening weekend — raking in $242.2 million — the frenzy to see the 18th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe continued, bringing total domestic earnings to an astronomical $403.6 million in just 10 days, according to tracker Exhibitor Relations.

Its global take is now more than $700 million, with the film yet to open in China or Japan, the two largest overseas markets.

It is only the fourth movie ever to make more than $100 million in its second weekend, joining the elite club behind “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($149.2 million), and ahead of “Jurassic World” ($106.6 million) and Disney-owned Marvel’s “The Avengers” ($103.1 million).

Directed by Ryan Coogler, “Black Panther” features an almost entirely black cast led by Chadwick Boseman as the first non-white superhero to get his own standalone movie in the franchise.

Starring alongside the likes of Michael B Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o and Daniel Kaluuya, Boseman plays the titular superhero also known as T’Challa, king and protector of Wakanda, a technologically advanced, affluent, never-colonized utopia in Africa.

In at an anything-but-close second was newly-released dark comedy “Game Night,” with $17 million.

Featuring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, the film follows a group of friends whose game night descends into a murder mystery.

Dropping one place into third was “Peter Rabbit,” based on Beatrix Potter’s classic children’s book. Sony’s family-friendly offering brought in $12.8 million in its third week in theaters.

Paramount’s new science fantasy horror “Annihilation” was off to a weak start, debuting in fourth place at only $11.1 million.

Starring Natalie Portman, the film — based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer — tells the story of a team of military scientists who go into a quarantined alien crash zone known as “The Shimmer.”

Finally, in at fifth was “Fifty Shades Freed” — the last film in the trilogy based on the wildly successful novels by EL James — with takings of $7.1 million.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” ($5.7 million)

“The 15:17 to Paris” ($3.6 million)

“The Greatest Showman” ($3.4 million)

“Every Day” ($3 million)

“Early Man” ($1.8 million)

—AFP