'Tomb Raider' Can't Topple 'Black Panther' at Box Office

Posted March 18, 2018 1:53 p.m. EDT
Updated March 18, 2018 4:18 p.m. EDT

The return of a blockbuster action franchise couldn’t bump “Black Panther” from the top of the box office this week. The Marvel movie earned another $27 million for its fifth straight week at No. 1, leaving “Tomb Raider” to settle for second place.

“Black Panther” has now made $605 million domestically, making it the second-fastest movie to reach $600 million behind “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Globally, it has made $1.2 billion and sits in 14th place all time. But ticket sales fell steeply in its second weekend in China, where audiences complained about “political correctness.”

The rebooted “Tomb Raider” earned $23.5 million in its first weekend, according to comScore, which compiles box office data. The Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie, which cost about $94 million to make, stars the Oscar-winning Alicia Vikander as the grim and acrobatic action hero Lara Croft. It barely performed better at the box office than 2003’s “Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life,” which starred Angelina Jolie and closed that era of the franchise. The reboot received tepid reviews and a B grade from ticket buyers in CinemaScore exit polls.

The surprise hit of the week was Roadside Attractions’ “I Can Only Imagine,” which opened to a strong $17 million in just 1,629 locations (compared with 3,854 for “Black Panther”), easily making back its budget. The film stars Dennis Quaid and depicts the back story behind the song of the same name by the Christian band MercyMe. The marketing team made a strong push on Christian radio and at church events, resulting in a large audience driven by women and moviegoers over 35; the film received an A+ CinemaScore grade, suggesting it may continue to thrive from word-of-mouth.

“Love, Simon,” a teen movie from Fox with a gay protagonist, performed decently with $11.7 million. The film also received an A+ from CinemaScore.