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‘Tomb Raider’ to Wrestle ‘Black Panther’ at Weekend Box Office

Could “Tomb Raider” be the film to take down “Black Panther’s” four-week dominance at the domestic box office? It might be too close to call.

Warner Bros. and MGM’s video game adaptation is aiming to strike with $25 million in 3,700 locations. However, if “Black Panther” continues on its stratospheric trajectory, its fifth weekend could also see approximately $25 million.

Alicia Vikander stars in “Tomb Raider” as Lara Croft, who embarks on a journey to her father’s last-known destination, hoping to solve the mystery of his disappearance. Based on the 2013 game, the film was directed by Roar Uthaug and written by Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Alastair Siddons, from a story by Evan Daugherty and Robertson-Dworet. The cast also includes Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu and Kristin Scott Thomas.

The “Tomb Raider” video game franchise has sold over 45 million copies worldwide. In 2001 and 2003, Paramount’s original “Tomb Raider” films starring Angelina Jolie as British archaeologist Lara Croft grossed a combined $432 million worldwide.

Still, even in its fifth weekend, Marvel’s “Black Panther” could give “Tomb Raider” a run for its money. If “Black Panther” takes in $25 million this weekend, it would be the fifth-biggest fifth weekend of all time. That would make it the first film to hold the No. 1 spot for at least five weekends since “Avatar,” which led for seven weeks in 2009 and 2010. Prior to that, 1999’s “The Sixth Sense” was the last film to hold the top spot for five straight weeks.

“‘Black Panther,’ amazingly in its fifth weekend, will prove to be a much more formidable opponent than anyone could have imagined, a testament to the incredible ongoing enthusiasm that audiences have for the film that is giving every newcomer an unexpected run for their money many weeks into its run,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore, said.

With $1.09 billion worldwide in less than a month of release, Ryan Coogler’s superhero tentpole recently passed “Transformers: Age of Extinction” to become the 19th-highest grossing movie of all time. “Black Panther” was the 33rd film to cross the $1 billion mark at the global box office on March 10.

Fellow Disney title “A Wrinkle in Time” should produce between $16 million to $19 million in its second weekend. The fantasy adventure generated $33.5 million in its opening weekend. With schools starting spring break in the coming weeks, the $100 million-plus budgeted film has time leading up to Easter to attract younger audiences.

Based on Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 classic fantasy novel, “A Wrinkle in Time” was directed by Ava DuVernay and stars Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Zach Galifianakis, Chris Pine, Mindy Kaling and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. The film follows a young girl (Reid), her step-brother (Deric McCabe), and a friend (Levi Miller) as they embark on a journey that spans time and space in search of her missing father.

20th Century Fox’s “Love, Simon” will be debuting at 2,401 locations this weekend. Estimates project the film, budgeted at $17 million, to make approximately $10 million-$12 million in its opening weekend, a little lower than earlier projections of $14 million.

The coming-of-age drama, adapted from the novel “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli, sees Nick Robinson as Simon Spier, a closeted gay teenager in high school who begins communicating online with an anonymous fellow closeted classmate. When the email exchange is uncovered by a blackmailer who threatens to out Simon to the entire school, Simon must balance his friends, family, and the blackmailer, while also attempting to discover the identity of the anonymous classmate he’s fallen in love with online. The film — also starring Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Garner, Katherine Langford, and Alexandra Shipp — has been praised for being the first major studio film to center around a gay teen romance.

“From last year’s ‘Get Out’ and ‘Wonder Woman’ to Oscar’s most recent crop of best picture nominees (with films like ‘Three Billboards,’ ‘The Shape of Water,’ and ‘Lady Bird’), plus ‘Black Panther,’ ‘A Wrinkle in Time,’ Red Sparrow” and the upcoming ‘Tomb Raider’ all making an impression at the box office, it appears that there is something in the air that is inspiring filmmakers to create works that reflect a broader, more diverse and also a more female-centric world view that is profoundly resonating with audiences in North America and around the globe,” Dergarabedian said.

Two smaller releases, “I Can Only Imagine” and “7 Days in Entebbe,” round out this weekend’s premieres.

Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions’s “I Can Only Imagine” is eyeing a release ranging from $2 million to $4 million in 1,620 theaters. The drama is based on the story behind the band MercyMe’s song “I Can Only Imagine,” which became the most-played contemporary Christian song of all time. J. Michael Finley stars as lead singer Bart Millard, who wrote the song about his relationship with his father whom he lost when he was 18. Dennis Quaid, Cloris Leachman, and Trace Adkins round out the cast.

Focus Features’ “7 Days in Entebbe” will be in approximately 600 theaters this weekend. It recounts Operation Entebbe, a 1976 mission led by Israeli soldiers to rescue more than 240 hostages from an airport in Entebbe, Uganda. Rosamund Pike and Daniel Bruhl star in the docudrama, helmed by Jose Padilha and written by Gregory Burke.


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