Alex Garland’s Annihilation arrived in theaters this past weekend with much anticipation from sci fi fans and with a good reception from critics. But that was not enough to overcome the unfortunate timing of following one the biggest box office hits of all time into the theaters, and the film had only a marginal debut as movie-goers continued to flock to Black Panther. Annihilation opened at the Number 4 slot with a domestic tally of just under $12 million. That’s not bad for a modestly budgeted film (I’ve heard numbers ranging from $30 to 55 million for its production costs), though it may not be able to hit the break-even point during its theatrical run with more high profile films hitting the theaters over the next few weeks. Annihilation did not receive a global release as Netflix picked up the rights to stream the film in foreign markets. So perhaps the money they put in, plus video sales will eventually turn this into a profitable venture.
Meanwhile, Black Panther had a lock on the Number 1 slot as it become the second highest grossing second-week film of all-time in the domestic market, pulling in $112 million over the thee-day period, while breaking several other records as well. It now has topped $404 million in the U.S. and $709 million worldwide and could be at $1 billion across the globe within a few weeks. Among the other genre entries in the Top 20 this week, Jumanji slipped a bit to Number 6 and may fall just short of the one billion dollar mark during its theatrical release. Shape of Water slipped just one notch to Number 13 as the Oscar favorite continues to draw people into the theaters after thirteen weeks. The third Maze Runner film took a notable drop to Number 15 (down from Number 8) as it continues to get pushed out of domestic theaters. That one is still performing well overseas, though, and has definitely turned a profit. And the horror western Winchester dropped seven slots to Number 16 as it likely heads to VOD after another week or so in the theaters.
Here are the sci fi and fantasy movies in the Box Office Top 20 for the weekend of February 23-25:
Rank (Prior Week Rank), Title, Week, Domestic Gross (Worldwide Gross)
1 (1) Black Panther, Week 2, $404M ($709M)
4 (n/a) Annihilation, Week 1, $12M ($12M)
6 (4) Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Week 10, $387M ($921M)
13 (12) The Shape of Water, Week 13, $55M ($111M)
15 (8) Maze Runner: The Death Cure, Week 5, $56M ($272M)
16 (9) Winchester, Week 4, $24M ($24M)
A Wrinkle in Time
(March 9th Wide Release)
Meg Murry (Storm Reid) is a typical middle school student struggling with issues of self-worth who is desperate to fit in. As the daughter of two world-renowned physicists, she is intelligent and uniquely gifted, as is Meg’s younger brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), but she has yet to realize it for herself. Making matters even worse is the baffling disappearance of Mr. Murry (Chris Pine), which torments Meg and has left her mother (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) heartbroken. Charles Wallace introduces Meg and her fellow classmate Calvin (Levi Miller) to three celestial guides-Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling)-who have journeyed to Earth to help search for their father, and together they set off on their formidable quest. Traveling via a wrinkling of time and space known as tessering, they are soon transported to worlds beyond their imagination where they must confront a powerful evil. To make it back home to Earth, Meg must look deep within herself and embrace her flaws to harness the strength necessary to defeat the darkness closing in on them.
Credit: Ava DuVernay (Director), Jennifer Lee (Writer)
Starring: Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Zach Galifianakis
(March 16th Wide Release)
Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent, and takes college courses, rarely making it to class. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone. Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death. Going explicitly against his final wishes, she leaves everything she knows behind in search of her dad’s last-known destination: a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan.
Credits: Roar Uthaug (Director), Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Writer)
Starring: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu
Pacific Rim Uprising
(March 23rd Wide Release)
John Boyega stars as the rebellious Jake Pentecost, a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity’s victory against the monstrous “Kaiju.” Jake has since abandoned his training only to become caught up in a criminal underworld. But when an even more unstoppable threat is unleashed to tear through our cities and bring the world to its knees, he is given one last chance to live up to his father’s legacy by his estranged sister, Mako Mori-who is leading a brave new generation of pilots that have grown up in the shadow of war. As they seek justice for the fallen, their only hope is to unite together in a global uprising against the forces of extinction. Jake is joined by gifted rival pilot Lambert and 15-year-old Jaeger hacker Amara, as the heroes of the PPDC become the only family he has left. Rising up to become the most powerful defense force to ever walk the earth, they will set course for a spectacular all-new adventure on a towering scale.
Credits: Steven S. DeKnight (Director / Writer), Emily Carmichael (Writer)
Starring: John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman
I Kill Giants
(March 23rd Limited Release)
An oddball girl named Barbara Thorson regularly brings a Norse warhammer to her middle school, and has a detailed imaginary life in which she is a skilled giant killer. However, her flights of fantasy might be an attempt to cope with troubles at home.
Credits: Anders Walter (Director), Joe Kelly (Writer)
Starring: Madison Wolfe, Imogen Poots, Sydney Wade, Rory Jackson, Zoe Saldana
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