LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Black Panther continued its record-setting romp this weekend, passing the half-billion-dollar mark in only its third week out in North America as it stayed on track to be one of the highest-grossing films ever, industry analysts said.
The Disney/Marvel collaboration, starring Chadwick Boseman as the superhero king of an idyllic if fictional African country, took in an estimated US$65.7 million (S$86.7 million) for the three-day weekend, website Exhibitor Relations reported.
That take, nearly four times the US$17 million earned by the weekend's No. 2 movie - Red Sparrow from Fox - gave Panther the third-highest weekend ever, trailing only Star Wars: The Force Awakens (US$90.2 million) and Avatar (US$68.5 million), according to Variety.com.
Panther, which also stars Lupita Nyong'o, Michael B. Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya and Martin Freeman, has now taken in nearly US$900 million globally, with its opening in China still days away.
Red Sparrow tells the story of Russian ballerina-turned-elite spy Jennifer Lawrence. She is backed by an all-star cast including Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeremy Irons and Charlotte Rampling.
In third spot was MGM's new release Death Wish, with ticket sales of US$13 million. The thriller stars Bruce Willis as a doctor who goes vigilante after an attack on his family. The cast includes Vincent D'Onofrio and Elisabeth Shue.
Next was comedy thriller Game Night from Warner Bros., taking in US$10.7 million. The movie, starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, tells the story of six friends who get together for beer and games and stumble into a reality game where lives may be at stake.
And in fifth place was Sony's Peter Rabbit, taking in US$10 million in its fourth week out. The film, which mixes live actors with computer-generated animation, is based loosely on the children's book by Beatrix Potter.
Rounding out the top 10 were:
Annihilation (US$5.7 million)
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (US$4.5 million)
Fifty Shades Freed (US$3.3 million)
The Greatest Showman (US$2.7 million)
Every Day (US$1.6 million)