BY KEVIN CRUST
LOS ANGELES TIMES/TNS
No one will ever underestimate King T’Challa of Wakanda again.
“Black Panther,” proving its $200-million opening weekend was no fluke, eclipsed $108 million over its second, trailing only “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” as the largest second weekend of all time, according to data from measurement and analytics firm ComScore.
Directed by Ryan Coogler, and starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan and Lupita Nyong’o, Marvel Studios’ latest superhero epic continued to monopolize the domestic box office, easily sweeping aside the week’s newcomers — “Game Night,” “Annihilation” and “Every Day” — its three-day total accounting for more than 50 percent of the weekend’s gross.
Best February film
“Black Panther’s” $400-million North American total already makes it the highest grossing February film ever.
Internationally, the Disney release tallied $83.8 million to bring its worldwide total to $704 million.
A distant second, “Game Night,” Warner Bros. action-comedy starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, debuted with $16.6 million, apace with analysts’ projections but higher than the studio’s reported expectations.
Holdover “Peter Rabbit,” Sony’s hybrid live-action/animation adaptation of the Beatrix Potter children’s classic, held on to third place with $12.5 million in its third weekend.
In fourth place, British writer-director Alex Garland’s sci-fi thriller “Annihilation,” his first film since the critically acclaimed “Ex Machina” in 2014, earned $11 million.
Rounding out the top five was “Fifty Shades Freed” at $6.9 million, also in its third weekend.
DuVernay film coming
For its third weekend, “Black Panther” squares off against Eli Roth’s Bruce Willis-starring “Death Wish” remake and Jennifer Lawrence headlining the spy thriller “Red Sparrow.”
“Black Panther’s” Disney cousin, Ava DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” arrives March 9.