LOS ANGELES • If it keeps this up, Black Panther could be the newest member of moviedom's US$1 billion (S$1.31 billion) club.
In its second weekend, Marvel's Black Panther demonstrated an astounding hold on audiences in the United States and Canada, collecting about US$108 million and pushing its global total after only 12 days of release to roughly US$704 million (S$928 million), according to comScore.
As a point of context, Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy collected US$773 million in 2014 over its five-month run.
Imax, which is playing Black Panther in more than 60 countries, said that people are paying to see the film more than once, a quality that the biggest of the big movies share. "This movie has very strong word-of-mouth and a deeply loyal core fan base, which are both necessary criteria for repeat business," said Mr Greg Foster, Imax's entertainment chief.
The film has yet to arrive in China and Japan, two of Hollywood's biggest markets. Strong results in other Asian countries, including South Korea, bode well.
For the weekend in North America, three new movies arrived in wide release. Game Night (Warner Bros) did the best, taking second place with an estimated US$16.6 million. New Line, a division of Warner, spent about US$35 million to make the R-rated comedy, which received strong reviews and stars Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman.
The holdover Peter Rabbit (Sony) chugged away in third place, with US$12.5 million.
That left Annihilation in fourth place, with US$11 million. An R-rated science-fiction drama directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina, 2015) and starring Natalie Portman as a biologist, Annihilation cost Paramount Pictures and David Ellison's Skydance at least US$40 million to make.
The weekend's remaining new wide-release film was Every Day, a microbudgeted teenage fantasyromance that took in about US$3.1 million and was marketed mostly online. The movie was the first from a rebooted Orion Pictures, which is owned by Metro Goldwyn Mayer.