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‘Black Panther’ Marks Box-Office Milestone Last Touched by ‘Avatar’

Client: Ryan Coogler - Director Date: 11/08/2018

Another weekend, another box-office milestone for “Black Panther.”

The superhero film from Walt Disney Co.’s DIS, -1.55%   Marvel Studios topped the domestic box office for a fifth straight week, becoming the first movie to do so since “Avatar” in 2009. Winning the box office crown for five weeks in a row is exceedingly rare — before “Avatar,” the last movie to do so was “The Sixth Sense” in 1999.

“Black Panther” took in $27 million in weekend ticket sales, pushing its domestic gross to $605.4 million, and its international haul to about $1.2 billion. It is now the 14th-highest-grossing movie of all time, passing “Captain America: Civil War” and “Minions,” and is on pace to top “The Avengers” as Marvel’s top-grossing movie ever.

That may set up a box-office battle among Marvel films, with “Avengers: Infinity War” being released April 27. Last week, the superhero blockbuster needed just six hours to set a record for most Fandango pre-sales in its first 24 hours, breaking the mark set a couple months before by “Black Panther.” In fact, the success of one may fuel the success of the other: According to a Fandango poll, 60% of “Infinity War” ticket buyers said “Black Panther” made them more excited to see the Avengers flick.

This weekend, the MGM-Warner Bros. Inc. TWX, -1.43%   reboot of “Tomb Raider,” starring Alicia Vikander, took second place, with a disappointing $23.5 million after middling reviews. The faith-themed “I Can Only Imagine” surprised with $17.1 million in its opening week, while Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time” slid to fourth place, with $16.6 million in its second weekend. The Fox FOX, -1.28%   teen romance “Love, Simon” finished fifth, with $11.5 million.