The African superhero movie collected $27 million this weekend in North American theaters, researcher ComScore Inc. estimated Sunday in an email. That makes the picture the first to lead the domestic box office for five straight weeks since “Avatar” went on to hold the crown for seven weeks in 2010. “Tomb Raider,” with Alicia Vikander taking the role made famous by Angelina Jolie, placed second with $23.5 million, ahead of three other new wide releases.
“Black Panther” continues to buoy theaters at home and abroad. In recent days, the film has risen to No. 16 in all-time sales, passing “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.” It’s poised to become only the seventh movie to top $600 million in the U.S.
With “Tomb Raider,” critics were split over Vikander’s reprisal of the video-game icon, with only 38 percent of top reviewers having positive reviews, according to aggregator RottenTomatoes.com The movie, which cost $94 million to make, was expected to earn $24.8 million on its first weekend, according to analysts at Box Office Mojo.
In Warner Bros.’ resuscitation of the franchise Lara Croft, Vikander stars as the daughter of an eccentric adventurer and has set out to solve the mystery of his disappearance.
Three other new releases vied for moviegoers’ attention. “Love, Simon,” a coming-of-age tale about young gay man, placed fifth with $11.5 million in sales for 21st Century Fox Inc.’s film division. That missed the forecast of $14.3 million from Box Office Pro.
Roadside Attractions’ “I Can Only Imagine,” a family film about the Christian band MercyMe, placed third with $17.1 million, beating Box Office Mojo’s forecast of $6 million. “7 Days in Entebbe,” from Comcast Corp.���s Universal Pictures and Focus Features, didn’t crack ComScore’s top 10 list.