NEW YORK (AP) — A wave of feverish anticipation, fawning critical acclaim and groundbreaking cultural meaning pushed “Black Panther” to a record-setting $192 million debut in U.S. and Canada theaters, firmly establishing the superhero sensation as a box-office landmark.
The Marvel film from the Walt Disney Co. blew past expectations to become the fifth-highest-grossing debut ever, not adjusting for inflation, following only “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” ″Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” ″Jurassic World” and “The Avengers.”
In estimates Sunday, Disney predicted a four-day holiday weekend of $218 million domestically and a global debut of $361 million.
Though the film’s international footprint doesn’t include several of the largest markets — China, Russia and Japan — it still ranks among the top 15 global debuts ever. It’s also the highest-grossing February opening weekend.
“All hail the King of Wakanda!” Disney declared, referring to the movie’s mythical and highly advanced African nation.
Ryan Coogler’s film, which cost about $200 million to make, is the most expensive movie with a largely black ensemble and among the few to be centered on a black superhero. The strong opening suggests “Black Panther” will easily set a box-office record for films directed by a black filmmaker.
The previous best is Sidney Poitier’s 1980 comedy “Stir Crazy,” which took in $322 million domestically, when inflation is calculated.
“Black Panther” set pre-sale records and saw lines around theaters over the weekend, including some who came costumed for the event.
“This is the very definition of a blockbuster: People lining up around the block to see a great movie,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore. “A movie like ‘Black Panther’ is a cultural event that nothing on the small screen can really match in that way.”
Chadwick Boseman stars as T’Challa/Black Panther in the first stand-alone film for the superhero created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1966. The cast also features Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya and Letitia Wright.
The movie has been hugely acclaimed, with a 97 percent fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences agreed, giving it an A-plus CinemaScore. The film especially resonated among African-Americans, who made up 37 percent of moviegoers, according to comScore.
Dave Hollis, distribution chief for Disney, called the film’s success “a real source of pride” for Disney.
“Inclusion and representation matters,” Hollis said. “We know that great stories can come from anywhere, and our goal is to make films that reflect the wonderful diversity of our world and resonate with audiences everywhere — no matter who they are, no matter where they come from.”
Coming at one of the slower periods of the year, “Black Panther” benefited from little competition, and it can be expected to dominate the marketplace for weeks.
Last week’s top film, the erotic romance sequel “Fifty Shades Freed,” slid to third place, with $16.9 million in its second week for Universal. Sony’s children’s book adaptation “Peter Rabbit” held much stronger, taking the No. 2 spot with $17.3 million in its second week.
But moviegoers — and Hollywood — were focused on “Black Panther,” including how it would fare overseas. Though considered by most to be an outdated myth, some have claimed that foreign audiences have less appetite for films with largely black casts.
“Black Panther” vanquished those notions with $169 million in ticket sales. It was No. 1 in most international markets, though “Fifty Shades Freed” bested it in Germany.
Its release in China will come later. This weekend, the Chinese New Year holiday, local productions led by “Detective Chinatown 2” and “Monster Hunt 2″ dominated Chinese theaters, with more than $140 million in ticket sales each.
“Black Panther” also performed especially well on large-format screens. Imax reported $30 million in ticket sales for the three-day weekend.
“There was a groundswell of wanting this movie to work, and then when it actually did as a film, itself, it just kicked it up a notch to a level no one could have ever predicted,” said Greg Foster, Imax Entertainment’s chief executive. “That makes me feel really good about the movie business.”
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday also are included. Final four-day domestic figures will be released Tuesday.
1. “Black Panther,” $192 million ($169 million international).
2. “Peter Rabbit,” $17.3 million.
3. “Fifty Shades Freed,” $16.9 million ($47.7 million international).
4. “Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle,” $7.9 million ($4.8 million international).
5. “The 15:17 to Paris,” $7.7 million ($2.8 million international).
6. “The Greatest Showman,” $5.1 million ($9.6 million international).
7. “Early Man,” $3.2 million ($3.7 million international).
8. “Maze Runner: The Death Cure,” $2.5 million ($11 million international).
9. “Winchester,” $2.2 million.
10. “Samson,” $2 million.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:
1. “Black Panther,” $169 million.
2. “Detective Chinatown 2,” $155 million.
3. “Monster Hunt 2,” $141 million.
4. “Operation Red Sea,” $70.3 million.
5. “The Monkey King 3: Kingdom of Women,” $52.3 million.
6. “Fifty Shades Freed,” $47.7 million.
7. “Boonie Bears: The Big Shrink,” $32.6 million.
8. “The Shape of Water,” $12.3 million.
9. “Maze Runner: The Death Cure,” $11 million.
10. “The Greatest Showman,” $9.6 million.
Aretha Franklin, ‘The Queen of Soul,’ dies at age 76
- Aretha Franklin, known famously as “The Queen of Soul,” has died at age 76.
Aretha passed away in her Detroit home where she was under hospice care. She’d been in failing health for many months and she was down to 86 pounds. One source told us he was informed more than a week ago that Aretha could go at any time, according to TMZ.
Aretha’s career is just incredible. Born in Memphis in 1942, her family eventually relocated to Detroit where she began singing in her father’s church. She was such a powerhouse gospel singer, she landed a Columbia record deal in the early ’60s.
Her string of chart-topping hits began with her Atlantic Records deal in 1967.
Aretha’s achievements in the late ’60s were remarkable for any artist, but especially so for a black woman in the midst of the Civil Rights movement. She held the record for the most entries on the Hot 100 list of any female artist for nearly 40 years, only to be dethroned in 2017 by Nicki Minaj.
She won 18 Grammys and was the first woman ever inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
Aretha delivered a powerful rendition of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” — while wearing that unforgettable hat — at Barack Obama‘s 2009 inauguration.
Throughout her career, Aretha was known for delivering incredible one-off live performances, including at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors show where she sang ‘Natural Woman’ in honor of the song’s co-writer, Carole King.
The Queen of Soul was 76. She is survived by her 4 sons.
She was surrounded by friends and family when she passed.
She had appeared incredibly frail in recent years, and rarely performed live. Her most recent appearance was last November for Elton John‘s AMFAR event.
Entrepreneurship Camp for girls starts Monday in Jacksonville, ages 10-17
“My passion is to see young ladies during their best. I wanted to do something that would bring out their creativity and teach them that they can be a vital part and help build our economy,” is what the event organizer Aisha James had to say when asked what inspired her to host this kind of event.
Aisha James said that this event will show the young ladies that the power of making money can start in their hands and in their minds if they just change their thinking.
“I want to show them another way outside of how social media depicts the young ladies today,” James said.
The Entrepreneurship Hands-On Craft Camp is a 4-day event at Sleep Inn & Suites in Jacksonville, North Carolina located at 129 Circuit Lane.
The event will run through Monday, August 13-Thursday, August 16, where young ladies between the ages of 10-17 will be learning how to:
- Upcycle old jeans and t-shirts
- Properly rhinestone and embellish
- Design cupcakes
- Tutu designs and arts
This event will be a longterm goal for the girls. “These girls will always have something to fall back on in life and will always remember that they can make it and that they are somebody special in their own way,” James said.
James is no stranger in Jacksonville. Once before she held her first event titled “Working On My Selfie” at the USO in Jacksonville and more than 80 girls were in attendance. The purpose of that event was to teach the young girls to be more than a selfie by showing them the beauty on the inside of them.
The event beginning Monday will be James first event based around entrepreneurship, which is planned to take place every year. The event is sold out and will begin at 10 AM-3 PM daily.
Out with the old and in with the new, Roller City Skating Rink to open Thursday
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Welp, now that the HALFWAY HOUSE doors at Skate Nation have closed, it’s time for new owners to give the people of Jacksonville what they’ve all be waiting for and that’s a REAL SAFE family-fun skating rink.
Jeni and Bradley Lanier, of Richlands, and the new owners of Roller City skating rink will hold its grand opening Thursday evening at 120 Bridget Lane in Southwest of Jacksonville. The rink known as Wheels and Skate Nation will now be the place for every teenager to have fun and experience fun in a safe environment. We reported to you two weeks ago about the closing of Skate Nation due to drugs and violence which led the halfway house to run out of business. (click HERE if you missed that)
The new owners said that when they saw the announcement about the rink closing, they immediately started looking into it the same day. According to the family, the skating rink floor has been repaired and re-coated. All skates left at the rink by the old owners have been cleaned, including removing old gum stuck to the wheels.
I think that’s a darn shame that the former owners of this rink weren’t even taking care of the skates…, why is gum stuck to the wheels of the skates? Thankfully no one got hurt because had anyone did it would’ve been a check the Brown’s couldn’t have written.
Roller City will be open Thursday through Sunday and regular admission is $9, with the exception of Thursday, which is cheapskate for $5. There will be $1 off admission on Sundays for those who bring in a church bulletin.
Homeschool students will be able to skate every Friday morning once the school year starts back. Toddler skating will also be in the making and the community interest in the new addition is much needed.
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