Annihilation flops at US box office despite rave reviews

  • 26/02/2018

Alex Garland's acclaimed sci-fi Annihilation opened with a disappointing box office result in North America over the weekend, despite glowing reviews.

The film, which stars Natalie Portman opposite Oscar Isaac, fell victim to the wild success of Black Panther, which is showing no sign of letting up and continues to break records.

Annihilation pulled in US$11 million over the weekend, while Black Panther added US$108 million to its total - the second biggest second weekend ever.

Paramount Pictures sold international distribution rights for Annihilation to Netflix a few months ago, so its low result may not be such a financial burden - but it was expected to make more.

Reviews labelled it a masterpiece, comparing it to the work of Stanley Kubrick, Darren Aronofsky, David Cronenberg and Andrei Tarkovsky.

"Garland's latest cements his status as a modern auteur and a virtuoso of forming vivid, visceral and out-of-body experiences," writes Benjamin Lee at The Guardian.

"Sweating with an ethereal pulse and a looming corporeal dread, if Stanley Kubrick and David Cronenberg teamed up to make a cerebral 'weird nature' horror movie, it might look a little bit like Annihilation."

The film currently sits at 87 on Rotten Tomatoes and 80 on Metacritic. It's Garland's second film as director, following Ex Machina.

Black Panther is just the fourth movie ever to bring in more than US$100 million in North America on its second weekend, joining an exclusive club along with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Avengers and Jurassic World.

The Ryan Coogler film currently sits at US$704 million (NZ$965 million) internationally, which will be added to when it opens shortly in Russia, China and Japan.