'Black Panther' tops the North American box office for 5th weekend

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Black Panther will face competition next weekend from Universal-Legendary's launch of Pacific Rim: Uprising and Paramount's animated comedy Sherlock Gnomes. And, Black Panther has become the seventh film ever to cross the $600 million mark in North America. Down 34%, the domestic total for Panther is now at $605.4 million.

It's been slightly more than a month since Marvel's hotly anticipated Black Panther hit theaters, and it's already left a big mark on the history of comic book-inspired cinema. It's poised to pass Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($619.8 million) for sixth place and The Avengers ($623.4 million) for fifth place on the all-time domestic list by the end of next weekend.

It easily fended off a challenge from Warner Bros' newly released Tomb Raider, an adventure reboot starring Swedish actress Alicia Vikander as the fearless and ferocious Lara Croft. Tomb Raider was no. 1 overseas, grossing $84.5 million, including a $41.1 million in China. However, when an old enemy reappears on the radar, T'Challa's mettle as King and Black Panther is tested when he is drawn into a conflict that puts the entire fate of Wakanda and the world at risk. Ticket buyers were mixed on the flick as well, giving the movie a "B" on CinemaScore.

Overseas, the film is approaching the $100 million mark in China with a $96 million total after ten days, giving the film a $577 million worldwide haul and a $1.18 billion global total.

The surprise of the weekend wasn't the low performance of Tomb Raider.

More successful (especially in terms of budget vs. return) was faith-based drama I Can Only Imagine, which started its chart run in third $17 million, off the back of a $7 million budget. The film's $10,476 per screen average was easily the best in the top ten. In its second week, "A Wrinkle in Time" dropped 50% with $16.6 million in ticket sales.

Black Panther has totaled a stunning $605.4 million in 31 days. A domestic final haul near $95 million is possible.

Playing to a virtually opposite audience was 20th Century Fox's Love, Simon, the first film from a major Hollywood studio featuring a gay teen protagonist. The film took fifth place with $11.5 million from 2,402 theaters.

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