Amazingly, the low budget movie beat Disney's big-budget A Wrinkle In Time, which landed in fourth with an estimated $16.56 million in its second week on release.
Warner Bros. reported that "Tomb Raider" took in almost 50% of the box office among the top five films in China, where the action-adventure played on 15,500 screens, and notched the studio's seventh-highest opening weekend in that market.
"Black Panther" is projected to earn $461 million in profit after its theatrical run and all ancillaries are through.
Lionsgate-Roadside Attractions' faith-based drama "I Can Only Imagine" outperformed forecasts with $17.1 million at 1,629 venues, notching the top per-screen average in the top 10 with $10,476. It's the first time a movie has pulled off that feat since the 2009 box office sensation, "Avatar".
Gay teen romance Love, Simon debuted with $11.5 million to come in fifth. Russian Federation generated the top figure with $4.4 million at a 50% share of the top five films, followed by the United Kingdom with $4.2 million on 1,089 screens, France with $3.2 million at 553 screens and Germany and Mexico with $2.2 million each.
Five things we learned from Mark Hughes first Southampton press conference
Southampton lined up with two strikers rather than their customary one, only for Wigan to pin them back in a one-sided first-half. Hughes will be pleased to get a first win under his belt as he looks to save Southampton's league season after the global break.
At five weeks running, Black Panther is now in 16th place for the longest streak of consecutive box office-leading weekends, according to Box Office Mojo. Norwegian filmmaker Roar Uthaug (The Wave) directed the $90 million film, which stars Alicia Vikander opposite Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu and Kristin Scott Thomas.
The weekend's overall box office took in about $130 million, down 50 percent from the same weekend past year when Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" opened with $174.5 million.
However, its main competition will come from the sci-fi sequel, Pacific Rim Uprising, with John Boyega and Charlie Day. In the blockbuster era, films rake in as much as half of their entire gross on the first weekend and fade: Not Black Panther.
Warner Bros. Pictures' actioner "Tomb Raider" had a strong second-place showing, grossing $23M across 3,854 locations. The film opened in nine markets last weekend and has an worldwide total of $102 million. Fox's third weekend of "Red Sparrow" followed in ninth with $4.5 million at 2,583 venues, pushing the Jennifer Lawrence thriller past $39 million.
Sony also celebrated Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle clearing the $400-M threshold domestically, becoming only the 2nd film in the studio's history to do so.