Weekend Movies: Good reviews for “Game Night” and “Annihilation,” but will they declaw “Black Panther?”


The short answer to that headline question is, of course, “No way.”

“Black Panther” opened so huge and is doing enough repeat business — patrons coming back to re-immerse themselves in the Wonders of Wakanda — that it should do well over $100 million on its second weekend.

Box Office Mojo predicts $120 million, slightly more than half of what the film took in on its extended opening weekend ($235), as it has been over-performing during the week as well. Staggering numbers, and by comparison, it is expected to hold a much bigger percentage of its opening audience than “The Last Jedi,” which fell off 67% on its second weekend. So we shall see. It would have to drop to close to $100 million or under to be considered a “Well, we’ve seen THAT and what’s the fuss about?” hit.

“Last Jedi” made most of its money that first weekend, “Jumanj” held onto audience for six weeks plus. Which will “Panther” emulate?

“Game Night” is a February comedy (low expectations) and an R-rated comedy (higher expectations) opening to good reviews, pretty much across the board including mine. The team behind it isn’t known for dazzling comedies, but this cast — especially Rachel McAdams –– finds the fun in the dangerous and the bloody. It could do $20 or more, though Mojo is predicting only $18. Lots of advertising, I figure it’ll better that.

Science fiction, like R-rated comedies and horror, tends to do well, though “Annihilation” is opening in an environment where that crowd is still pouring into the comic book sci-fi of “Black Panther.” The Natalie Portman picture is a sci-fi horror movie and has good reviews pushing it, it just isn’t a “brand” like Marvel’s movies or the YA hits of the recent past. It’s not really scary, I thought , and not all that entertaining, either. Mojo figures it’ll be lucky to manage $10 million, so we’ll see.

“Every Day,” a fantasy teen romance, is an Orion picture distributed by MGM and could crack the top ten. It’s on a lot of screens. Zero buzz in my world (I’m not a teen) for that one, but you never know what’s going to get teen girls excited.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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