Underlining its global power, Disney-Marvel’s “Black Panther” has opened solidly in China with $66.5 million in its first three days.
The opening weekend made China the largest international territory for “Black Panther,” as it leaped past the U.K. at $55.8 million, South Korea at $42.8 million and Brazil at $29.6 million. “Black Panther” is also the first major Hollywood title to release since Chinese New Year in February and the end of the unofficial blackout period during which local films are given distribution priority.
“Black Panther” took in 53% market share in China and represented the fourth highest opening of a Marvel Cinematic Universe title. It launched 16% ahead of Disney-Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” and is the biggest opening of a Western title in China in 2018 to date.
China is the final foreign market for the superhero tentpole, which has generated $517 million internationally — passing “Captain America: Winter Soldier” ($454 million), “The Dark Knight” ($470 million), “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” ($474 million), “The Amazing Spider-Man” ($496 million), “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” ($506 million) and “X-Men: Days of Future Past” ($514 million).
With $562 million domestically, “Black Panther” has a worldwide box office total of $1.078 billion. It became the 33rd film to cross the $1 billion worldwide mark on Saturday and currently ranks 21st on the all-time list, about $6 million behind “The Dark Knight.” It trails “Transformers: Age of Extinction” by $26 million for 19th place.
Chinese action holdover “Operation Red Sea” scored the second-highest weekend number internationally with $23.8 million from seven markets, lifting the worldwide gross to $530 million, according to comScore. Zhang Yi, Huang Jingyu, Hai Qing, Du Jiang and Prince Mak star in the story of the evacuation of foreign nationals and Chinese citizens from Yemen’s southern port of Aden during the 2015 Yemeni Civil War.
Fox’s “Red Sparrow” took in $15.7 million from 6,774 screens in 69 markets, led by its second weekend in Germany with $2 million and in the U.K. with $1.7 million. The Jennifer Lawrence spy thriller has grossed $51.8 million overseas.
Warner Bros.’ international launch of “Tomb Raider,” starring Alicia Vikander, pulled in $14.1 million at 3,525 locations from nine markets ahead of its March 16 domestic release. South Korea was the top market with $2.9 million.
Fox’s “The Shape of Water,” following its Oscar wins for best picture and director, grossed $11.3 million from 5,686 screens in 52 markets as the majority of markets outperformed the prior weekend. The international total stands at $87.4 million with China opening on March 16.