‘Black Panther’ Earns Highest Ever Live-Action Superhero Rotten Tomatoes Score

The movie has leapt past ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Iron Man.’

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Francia Raisa Reveals How Hard Life Was After Donating Kidney To Selena Gomez

The Secret Life of The American Teenager star discussed donating a kidney to the pop musician on Harry.


Weekend Box Office: ‘Black Panther’ Bounds to Record-Shattering $235M-Plus Bow

Estimates for the history-making movie keep going up and up; overseas, it amasses $169 million for an estimated global launch of $404 million.

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Weekend Box Office: ‘Black Panther’ Bounds to Record-Shattering $218M-Plus Bow

The movie scores one of the top openings of all time in North America; overseas, it amasses $169 million for a $387 million global debut.

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‘Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle’ Crossing $900M WW Box Office This Weekend

EXCLUSIVE: When Saturday and Sunday grosses are factored in, Sony’s Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle will have topped $900M worldwide. The current cume through Friday is $895.37M with $371.57 domestic and $523.8M at the international box office. And the movie still has yet to debut in Japan.

There was a moment there where projecting $900M was an iffy proposition, but this surprise holiday season hit and holdover has had some crazy legs. The Jake Kasdan-helmed follow-up to the 1995 classic is now Sony’s 2nd biggest movie ever globally and domestically. It is also the biggest film worldwide for Sony proper (Skyfall is No. 1, but it’s an MGM/Eon title that the Culver City crew distributes). Domestically, the top film is the first Spider-Man.

The international estimate for the three-day weekend will bring the int’l cume to $526.9M with domestic at $377.4M. That puts the jungle juggernaut at an estimated $904.3M through Sunday.

The Dwayne Johnson-starrer was great counterprogramming during the holidays and offered a lighter option to global moviegoers throughout and beyond. By a week after New Year’s Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle had already doubled, and in some cases, tripled early international projections and has seen repeat business over its runaway successful run. The film has clicked in all the majors and done great numbers in the increasingly important Asian markets like Malaysia and Indonesia.

The Top 10 markets through Friday are China ($76.1M), the UK ($49.9M), Australia ($37.2M), France ($28.1M), Russia ($25)M, Brazil ($23.6M), Germany ($22M), Mexico ($19.3M), Malaysia ($14M) and Spain ($13.7M).

How much higher does Jumanji go? The over/under in Japan has been pegged at about $10M, but so much about this movie has been surprising.


Three Billboards From Florida To England: Movie’s Protest Tactic Spreads

Whatever trophies the Oscar-nominated Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri comes away with next month, Martin McDonagh’s film about a grieving mother calling out police inaction by erecting three blood-orange, blame-giving billboards can take credit for at least some real-world impact: A form of protest.

From Miami to London and beyond, activists have adopted the Three Billboards approach to, in one case, call out Florida Senator Marco Rubio for his money-taking from the NRA and, in London, demand action in the horrific Grenfell Tower public housing fire.

See the billboards – and Rubio’s latest response to criticism over his gun stance – below.

In the black, all-caps type familiar from the movie, the trio of Rubio-shaming billboards mounted on trucks were driven around the senator’s offices in Doral, Florida yesterday, two days after the Valentines Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead and many more injured.

The billboards read:




The billboards were the work of Avaaz, an online activist group. In a statement released to press, the group’s deputy director Emma Ruby-Sachs said, “Florida has notoriously lax gun laws, and Rubio, who is supported by the NRA, has never attempted to reform them. The senator ranks as one of the highest recipients of NRA contributions and has received an A+ rating from the NRA.”

Added Ruby-Sachs: “Today citizens are asking: How come Rubio refuses to protect our children? The senator has taken fire across the country for his toothless response to the shooting, calling it ‘inexplicable’. We called (that) ‘inexcusable.’”

Though Rubio did not specifically address the protest, he unleashed a series of tweets today castigating the media for ignoring the work he’s done that doesn’t conform to a “narrative” that “evil Republicans in pocket of NRA are blocking gun laws.” (See tweets below).

Whether Rubio’s tweet-storm was spurred at least in part by publicity surrounding the protest in unclear, but activists here and abroad are certainly taken with the billboard approach.

Earlier this week in London, three mobile billboards took to the streets demanding answers in the public housing fire that took 71 lives last September. Those were the work of Justice4Grenfell, described on its Twitter page as an unofficial group demanding an independent investigation and criminal charges in the Grenfell fire.




The group unequivocally denied a Twitter follower’s question about whether the protest was a movie tie-in. “No,” the group responded. “It’s for our campaign – nothing to do with the movie, except where we’ve drawn inspiration.”

The billboard tactic has been used at least once before even the Grenfell group’s February 14 display. Earlier this month, a photo of three billboards in Bristol, England hit social media, seeking more funding for the National Health Services.

Oscars or not, we likely haven’t seen the last of Three Billboards.

Here are two of Rubio’s tweets from today:

Media never mentions these things b/c would contradict narrative they want,that evil Republicans in pocket of NRA are blocking gun laws 6/6

— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 17, 2018

And here is the inspiration for all those billboards:

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Fox Searchlight Pictures


Monster Hunt 2

Thumb monster hunt 2 2018

“In another country, with another name, maybe things are different, maybe they’re the same.” -Brian Eno, “Mother Eye Whale-less”

As of this writing, the affable Chinese blockbuster fantasy “Monster Hunt 2″ has demolished opening day records in its native country: $97 million today alone. (1) This comes two weeks after the film’s pre-sales reportedly hit $11 million. (2) It’s also roughly two years after the release of the first “Monster Hunt,” another family-friendly action-comedy that follows cuddly computer-generated monsters as they frolic about their forest home, and chase live-action Chinese and Hong Kong comedians and marquee stars. 

“Monster Hunt 2″ is a lot more where that busy, good-natured mess came from. It just happens to be raking in enough money to give “Black Panther” some decent international competition this weekend. The target audience for “Monster Hunt 2″ knows very well what the film is, and probably whether or not they’re going to enjoy the film. Everyone else probably hasn’t even heard the film’s title mentioned in passing. 

Which is strange because, in this country, most discussions about popular foreign films begin with a tacit conflation of the film’s inherent merits, and its cultural footprint. If it’s bad, but big, it has a far greater chance of being treated as an event than if it’s good, but small. 

Then again, “Monster Hunt 2″ isn’t being actively promoted to Western audiences, not to anyone beyond its established Chinese-American audience anyway. Why should they? The Chinese box office is still poised to overtake the waning American market some time very soon. And “Monster Hunt 2″ probably won’t change your mind about Chinese, or Asian pop culture. It’s not a cultural ambassador, but rather the kind of crowd-pleaser that a snotty American distributor probably would have deemed to be “too regional” for a mass audience ten or twenty years ago. The kind of movie that might not have even been released in a few theaters nation-wide, as it is today. The kind that sells out a 3:30pm show on opening day at Manhattan’s AMC Empire 25, the bed-bug-plagued multiplex that has become many Asian film buffs last year-round bastion for popular Chinese, Korean, Indian, and sometimes Japanese films.

Still: all this fuss for a cutesy kid’s film? Pretty much, yeah.

“Monster Hunt 2″ is charming enough on a scene-to-scene basis that its success is worth noting. Director Raman Hui (co-director of “Shrek the Third“) and screenwriter Alan Yuen peddle kid-friendly conservative values: The nuclear family is sacred! Not all authority figures are bad! Money can’t replace good relationships! And they do so with a smile, and a lot of goofy, but pleasant jokes. Many scenes revolve around happily-married, monster-hunting couple Huo Xiaolan (Bai Baihe) and Song Tianyin (Jing Boran) as they attempt to re-unite with Wuba, their lovable adopted squid-monster baby. Xiaolan and Tianyin are just one of a handful of interested parties who are looking for Wuba, including cocky gambler Tu (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai) and his chubby monster companion Ben-Ben. Tu inevitably learns from Xiaolan and Tianyin’s example, and realizes that the money he needs to dig himself out of his massive personal debt can’t make him happy in the same way that a good relationship can.

As you may have guessed by now, “Monster Hunt 2″ is an entry in the burgeoning sub-genre of fluffy, innocuous kiddie blockbusters. A small, but noteworthy amount of charm sets this disposable bauble apart from other films that have came before it. For starters: Wuba is genuinely cute. He coos and giggles with enough abandon that you want to half-struggle, and half-embrace him every time he’s on screen (and that is often). Baihe and Boran also have low-key on-screen chemistry, and they earn belly laughs just by bickering like a much older, married couple. Like when she jokingly dismisses him by saying he should stick to giving birth to monsters (as he did in “Monster Hunt”). Or when he teases her for shamelessly flirting with a weapon-smith (“I can see you haven’t washed your hair in two months. You must be the kind of man who focuses on the big picture!”). 

Even Leung, perhaps best known to American audiences for his smoldering dramatic role in “In the Mood for Love,” also does a fine job with the goofy material at his disposal. His mugging is never distractingly excessive, nor too light to be notable: the man is clearly committed to his silly part, as we see every time he sweats, and cajoles his way out of trouble. Wuba and his friends are also notably more charismatic than they were in the first “Monster Hunt,” possibly because more money was invested in their design, and development.

All of which to say: “Monster Hunt 2″ isn’t a game-changer, and it doesn’t have to be. The independence of the mainland Chinese audience is quickly becoming self-evident. Soon, China’s box office will play a larger deciding role in American blockbusters successes. And there won’t be a reciprocal component to that. A film that many of you won’t have the chance to see in theaters is about to bust open a major market like an over-stuffed piggy bank. And its success will be largely covered in trend-pieces that consider its worthiness in abstracted terms of timing, marketing strategy, and general audience appeal. 

Still: “Monster Hunt 2″ is equally charming, sweet, slight, and unmemorable. It will also make truck-loads of money, and inspire at least one more sequel. But by now, you either already knew that, or simply don’t care. There’s no such thing as critic-proof movies, just films that we don’t care enough about to consider.


‘Black Panther’ Rises To $82M Through Friday; $150M+ Weekend In Sight – International Box Office

UPDATE, SATURDAY: Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther is on a powerhouse run at the international box office as it climbs to $81.5M through Friday. It is now outperforming not only Ant-Man, Guardians Of The Galaxy and Doctor Strange, but Thor: Ragnarok and is on its way to besting all pre-weekend projections. It should cross $150M in 48 markets through Sunday.

It is No. 1 in most plays, with the exception of those where Fifty Shades Freed has the upper hand. Crossing $150M in its opening frame would put the Wakanda group above Deadpool, Suicide Squad and Spider-Man: Homecoming in the superheroverse, and at non-adjusted exchange rates.

The Ryan Coogler-helmed superhero movie is overperforming in the UK and Korea, and doing bang-up business in the emerging South East Asia markets as we’ve seen throughout the past few days.

The UK gross through Friday is $14.4M while Korea is hot on its heels at $14.3M. With figures added from local reporting outlet Kobiz, Korea through Saturday has grossed over $20M.

The current frame also marks the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year period and while Black Panther couldn’t pounce into the Middle Kingdom (and who would want to be trying to compete with the action there as Monster Hunt 2 got off with $145M in just two days?), the holiday is helping spin turnstiles in other Asian hubs.

Overall, Black Panther is playing to the Marvel faithful, and to non-core audiences as well as it tops what the industry saw as a $90-$120M start. We will have a full update on Sunday.

PREVIOUS, FRIDAY, writethru: Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther keeps on charging as it continues offshore rollout. After three days at the international box office, the Wakanda crew has grossed $47M in 40 markets and is now looking at a weekend in excess of $120M which was the high-end of the pre-opening estimates. In the same hubs and at today’s exchange rates, BP is pacing ahead of comparable first-installment deeper MCU films like Doctor Strange, Ant-Man and Guardians Of The Galaxy. It will end the frame above each.

Overall, the Ryan Coogler-helmed superhero pic is opening No. 1 in most markets and is the top February debut in many. The UK and Korea starts have been particularly impressive with $10.1M and $9.5M through Thursday, respectively.

The South East Asian markets are coming in with great holds and reacting strongly to the Marvel title. In Latin America, the starts are all No. 1 and similar to Thor: Ragnarok.

The score in the UK through Thursday is 90% above Doctor Strange and 41% above Thor: Ragnarok. On last year’s Thor 3, the UK was the 2nd biggest market outside China, and on DS it was the 3rd behind China and Korea.

In Korea, where Black Panther was partially filmed and where it kicked off its global press junket, the movie scored the 2nd biggest opening day Wednesday for an MCU/Marvel film behind only Avengers: Age Of Ultron. According to local estimates from Kobiz, it did not slow on Friday and through today is now at $14.1M.

New plays on Thursday included Australia at $1.4M ($2.3M with previews), making it the third biggest ever February opening day. It’s 74% ahead of Ant-Man, 67% ahead of GOTG and 37% ahead of Strange. Brazil grabbed $1.9M for No. 1 and 164% ahead of Ant-Man, 83% ahead of Wonder Woman, 6% ahead of Justice League and 9% ahead of Deadpool. In Germany, the Chadwick Boseman-starrer culled $1M at No. 1 and 159% ahead of Ant-Man and 125% more than Strange.

In the rest of Europe, BP opened in a number of smaller markets yesterday and was No. 1 in Bosnia, Croatia, Czech Rep, Greece, Israel, Portugal, Serbia and Ukraine. It’s also now No. 1 in France, Belgium and Switzerland post the Valentine’s Day Fifty Shades Freed Wednesday date night.

It’s notable that in Latin America the movie is outperforming some DC titles — the region typically leans more towards Warner Bros’ superheroes than Marvel’s. In the Asian markets not already cited above, BP is No. 1 in most. Holds were off the charts in Singapore (day 2 +77% vs day 1), Malaysia (day 2 +18%), Indonesia (day 2 -3%) and Hong Kong (day 3 -3%). 

All in all, Black Panther has drawn out the Marvel faithful, and non-core audiences as well. We recently wrote about the potential that Black Panther has to become a cultural milestone overseas and shatter the glass ceiling that has existed, where most movies with predominantly black casts have seen soft grosses in comparison to domestic. It’s not yet clear how front-loaded BP will be, but these numbers are indeed encouraging.
Today’s new markets include Spain, Mexico, Finland, India and South Africa. Major markets not opening this weekend include Russia (February 22), Japan (March 1), and China (March 9).

We’ll be back with more over the weekend.

PREVIOUS, THURSDAY AM PT: Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther continued to show its power at the international box office on Wednesday, lifting the running offshore cume to $23.2M in 17 markets. The Wakanda phenomenon is currently pacing ahead of deeper Marvel Cinematic Universe brethren Doctor Strange, Ant-Man and Guardians Of The Galaxy in most of those. This is a very encouraging start.

The industry is increasingly seeing a bigger overall international bow than prior to the Tuesday overseas release. There’s sentiment the movie will expand beyond the core Marvel audience and pounce heartily above $100M. The UK and Korea numbers are terrific, while emerging South East Asian markets have come out in force. BP is the top opening day ever for a February release in Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia.

The best early performance comp in the deeper MCU is Doctor Strange as both movies opened on a Tuesday. Strange‘s ultimate first offshore weekend in like-for-like markets was $114M (at current exchange rates). Black Panther has a solid shot at beating that. Once Friday comes on line, the picture will be clearer.

The UK so far is leading play through Wednesday. After a record-setting debut on Tuesday with the Ryan Coogler-helmed superhero pic scoring the best single day of 2018 so far, it has now amassed $7.2M there to run ahead of Strange, Ant-Man, Wonder Woman and Deadpool.

Even more impressively, the Wednesday Korea start of $4.7M is the 2nd biggest MCU/Marvel opening day ever — behind only Avengers: Age Of Ultron. It is also the 7th industry launch day of all time and the best ever for February. That translates to 422% ahead of Guardians Of The Galaxy, 251% bigger than Ant-Man and 77% ahead of Doctor Strange.

Here’s what’s particularly notable in those Korea numbers: this is not a big Guardians hub, but it was a massive play for Doctor Strange. Disney smartly kicked off the global press junket in Korea last week — and the movie was partly shot in Busan. The market was clearly energized on Wednesday. On Thursday, unofficial estimates show BP keeping up the pace with $9.38M through today.

In France, the Chadwick Boseman-starrer’s opening day was $1.6M for the biggest start of the year to date in Paris and the suburbs. There were distractions in this market from Valentine’s Day (read: Fifty Shades Freed) and the Paris Saint-German/Real Madrid football match — yes, that matters. In the Netherlands, the Wednesday bow was $500K for No. 1 and the best first day of the year/No. 3 MCU start ever.

Today brings Black Panther to Germany, Australia and Brazil along with Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Lebanon, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, New Zealand, Argentina, Panama, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile and Colombia.

Updates to follow throughout the weekend.

PREVIOUS, WEDNESDAY PM PT: Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther bounded into the UK, Taiwan and Hong Kong in its openings on Tuesday, landing an estimated $5.2M and No. 1s in the three markets. In the UK, it notably topped both Doctor Strange and Thor: Ragnarok‘s first-day performances. It’s early on the Ryan Coogler-directed superhero movie, which rolls out in 69% of the international box office footprint this week, but these are very encouraging launches.

While the overseas run has barely begun, Black Panther kicked off mightily versus the best of the deeper Marvel Cinematic Universe. One industry source, based on the first numbers out of South East Asia, believes the movie is likely to expand beyond the core Marvel audience. This person opines it’s going to “overcome the concerns people are having about it in the emerging markets and open bigger than anticipated internationally.” The range we’ve been hearing is from $90M-$120M; this will evolve and sharpen as the weekend nears.

We recently wrote about the potential that Black Panther has to become a cultural milestone overseas and shatter the glass ceiling that has existed, where most movies with predominantly black casts have seen soft grosses in comparison to domestic. Let’s look at the first figures:

In the UK, T’Challa scored $3.7M to top the starts of both Doctor Strange (+80%) and Thor: Ragnarok (+33%) which likewise each opened on a Tuesday. Half-term holidays in the market are underway, helping to fuel turnstiles. The opening was also 104% ahead of Ant-Man and 16% ahead of Deadpool, although those comps are not as clear given the films opened on different weekdays. The truer test will come as we get to the weekend. Black Panther‘s UK premiere was held on February 8, rocking the Hammersmith Apollo.

In Taiwan, the Tuesday debut was an estimated $1M for the 3rd biggest February opening day ever and came in 182% above Guardians Of The Galaxy and 35% over Ant-Man. Both of those films bowed on a Thursday versus BP‘s Tuesday.

Hong Kong started with $500K, the 2nd biggest February opening day, behind only 2016’s The Mermaid which bowed on a Monday as the Chinese New Year kicked off. This is notable as that film went on to be the biggest movie ever in China, holding the record until last year’s Wolf Warrior 2 unseated it. Hong Kong’s BP start was 95% ahead of GOTG and 19% above Ant-Man, which both debuted on a Thursday. The market share for the day was an impressive 75%.

Black Panther is not launching in China until March 9, once the Spring Festival wraps, but the holiday will spur increased activity in related markets this weekend which is evident in the Asian hubs where it’s already opened. (The New Year’s official start is tomorrow, however, we’re already seeing major activity in China with The Monkey King 3: Kingdom Of Women taking a big $28M on Wednesday.)


Meanwhile, in Korea on Wednesday, Black Panther was king with an estimated $4.7M according to local box office tracker Kobiz. That was good for 65% of the market and follows a fan event that was held last week to kick off the global press tour. Korea features in the film which shot partly in Busan.

France on Wednesday had the best opening showings of 2018 in Paris and the suburbs. These numbers are based on the first 2PM screenings at 107 locations, per CBO-BoxOffice. They are very early stats and are not always indicative of a film’s future performance. We’ll have the full first-day France and Korea figures later today.

Black Panther continues rolling out this weekend and will be open in around 69% of the international marketplace by Sunday. Along with France and Korea, Wednesday added Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Today (Thursday) adds Germany, Australia, Brazil, Austria, Denmark, New Zealand and Argentina with Friday bringing Spain, Mexico, Finland and India to screens.


3 Billboards Movie Inspires Florida Gun Control Campaign

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri inspired a group of activists to set up 3 moving trucks with big, bold signs out in front of Senator Marco Rubio’s office late last week in protest of his stance on gun control. Three Billboards is the Academy Award nominated movie that stars Frances McDormand’s character setting up 3 billboards to make a point to the local police who have not found the man who killed her daughter. The signs read, “Raped While Dying,” “And Still No Arrests?” “How Come, Chief Willoughby?” Those signs inspired the Avaaz activist group to stage the same kind of protest after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, earlier this week.

Florida is known for their relatively lax gun control laws, which were made even more lax when President Donald Trump signed a bill that made it easier for people with mental illnesses to obtain guns early last year. Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who has received over $3 million in campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association, said that stricter gun control laws would not have prevented the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were shot and killed. Activist group Avaaz decided to take matters into their own hands and staged a Three Billboards-style protest in front of Rubio’s office in Florida.

The 3 moving trucks that Avaaz placed in front of Marco Rubio’s offices read, “Slaughtered In School,” “And Still No Gun Control?” “How Come, Marco Rubio?” The signs, just like the ones in the movie, were big and bold, but did not elicit an immediate response from the republican senator. The moving trucks were also seen in downtown Miami and Little Havana. When asked why they set up the protest, Avaaz’s deputy director, Emma Ruby-Sachs, said.

“Florida has notoriously lax gun laws, and Rubio, who is supported by the NRA, has never attempted to reform them. The senator ranks as one of the highest recipients of NRA contributions and has received an A+ rating from the NRA.”

On Valentine’s Day, a gunman armed with an AR-15-style rifle, which is a military-style weapon, walked on to the grounds of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He then started shooting and pulled the fire alarm in an effort to shoot as many people as possible. The young man had been previously reported to the FBI for remarks that he made on social media and local law enforcement had been to his home multiple times, but he was still able to purchase firearms in Florida.

The 2nd amendment and gun control are hot button topics in the United States where mass shootings happen often. The United States holds 5 percent of the world’s population but holds 31 percent of the world’s mass shootings and makes up nearly 50 percent of the world’s civilian-owned firearms. Senator Rubio has yet to respond to his Three Billboards-inspired protest in front of his office. You can check out the Three Billboards moving trucks below, courtesy of CNN’s Twitter account.

3 billboards near Miami are trolling Sen. Marco Rubio after the Florida school shooting

— CNN (@CNN) February 16, 2018


‘Black Panther’ Top-Grossing Film in History at 80 AMC Theaters

That’s up from 33 theaters on Friday.

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