‘Black Panther’ blows away box office with $192M weekend

This image released by Disney shows Lupita Nyong’o, left, and Letitia Wright in a scene from Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther.” (AP)
Updated 19 February 2018

‘Black Panther’ blows away box office with $192M weekend

NEW YORK: A wave of feverish anticipation, fawning critical acclaim and groundbreaking cultural meaning pushed “Black Panther” to a record-setting $192 million debut in US 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.”

Veteran singer Majida El-Roumi’s first magazine cover sends ‘a love letter to Lebanon’

The renowned soprano’s Vogue Arabia cover her first magazine shoot in her 45-year-long career. (Getty)
Updated 04 June 2020

Veteran singer Majida El-Roumi’s first magazine cover sends ‘a love letter to Lebanon’

DUBAI: Life in Lebanon is tough, with economic struggles, political protests and a pandemic, no one can be in any doubt that anyone living there faces daily challenges.

But that hasn’t stopped legendary Lebanese singer Majida El-Roumi pushing a message of hope.

The renowned soprano, famous for her hits “Kalimat,” “Ana Am Behlam” and “Sahrit Eid,” is featured on this month’s Vogue Arabia cover – her first magazine shoot in her 45-year-long career.

“The artist’s role is more important than a politician,” the music sensation told the publication. “An artist should call for unity, independence, and freedom of his country. This is their true duty.”

“What I care about is to stand by my human brothers, live their pain, and wipe their tears. This is my true joy,” El-Roumi explained.


@voguearabia ・・・ Majida El Roumi is one of the most prolific icons of the Arab world, but prefers to focus on her mission rather than on awards and ovations. With her voice, she chants for the people. “The role of an artist is more important than a politician,” she tells us. “Artists should call for unity, independence, and freedom for their countrymen. This is their true duty.” Don’t miss our Love Letter to Lebanon issue, which focuses on supporting the creative and humanitarian communities affected during these post-revolution and Covid-19 times. Cover 2 of 2 #VogueArabia #VogueLovesLebanon #Lebanon لا يختلف اثنان على أن النجمة ماجدة الرومي تعدّ من ألمع أيقونات الفن العربي، وإلى جانب مكانتها الفنيّة، تركز أسطورة الغناء على نشر رسالتها الإنسانية أكثر من سعيها وراء نيل الجوائز والتكريمات. وبصوتها الشجي وأغانيها العذبة، تعبّر النجمة الكبيرة عن الناس بصدق. وترى ماجدة الرومي أن "دور الفنان أهم من دور السياسي، فالفنان يجب أن ينادي بوحدة وطنه واستقلاليته وحريته وهذا واجبه الحقيقي". احرصوا على اقتناء عددنا الجديد الذي نبعث من خلاله بـ"رسالة حبّ إلى لبنان"، كما ندعم المجتمعات الإبداعية والإنسانية التي تضررت بعد الثورة وكذلك بفعل جائحة فيروس كورونا المستجد "كوفيد-19". #ڤوغ_العربية #ڤوغ_تحتفي_بلبنان #لبنان @awadelroumi ‎ #magidaelroumi #magida #MajidaElRoumi #magida_el_roumi #vogue #lebanon #voguemagazine #ڤوغ_العربية #لبنان #ماجدة_الرومي #ڤوغ_تحتفي_بلبنان Editor in Chief: @mrarnaut | Photography: @sandra.chidiac | Style : @aminejreissaty | Makeup: @bassamfattouh | Hair: @joeraad @joeraadhc | Production: @marianawehbepr assisted by @marwadarazi (Lebanon), @beats.love.lipstick (Dubai) | Words: @nadineelchaer | Shot on location at La Residence des Pins

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When addressing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the singer said: “I advocate for Lebanon to exercise sovereignty, dignity, and prestige on its land, and I call for confederation. Why shouldn’t there be a United States of Lebanon?”

El-Roumi shared a video on Wednesday on Instagram to tease her 120,000 followers with the issue. In the clip, she was seen – in her glamorous dresses – walking down the aisles of Lebanon’s Résidence Des Pins, saying: “It is difficult to summarise Lebanon in a few words. I wondered: ‘What should I say to gather all my thoughts.’”

In an interview with Lebanon’s TV channel El-Jadeed, El-Roumi said: “This is the one of the best things I’ve done in my life.”

“Today Lebanon is going through a tough period, but that will not be the case tomorrow,” she added. “Life does not go in a straight line. There are ups and downs. We are in a ‘down’ now, but tomorrow we will be stand stand back up.”    

The star, who has been a UN FAO Goodwill Ambassador since 2001, wore royal-like dresses by international celebrity-loved Lebanese designers Goerges Hobeika and Zuhair Murad.

El-Roumi’s Hobeika dress was a coral-colored cascading chiffon gown and her Zuhair Murad dress was a white lace caftan with the country’s flag loosely attached at the shoulder.

Both designers took to their social media accounts to share pictures of the magazine cover, noting they were proud to be part of a project that honored their country.