The closer we get to the release of Marvel's Black Panther, the higher the movie's projected box office openings get. Driven by fan excitement for the first Marvel superhero film to be directed by a Black man, Ryan Coogler, and star a predominantly Black cast, industry analysts continue to increase the projected take each week.
The movie started the year with projections of "more than $90 million," but by late January, those projections had been updated to $110-$120 million, even $130 million. $130 million in a 3-day period would make Black Panther the 12th highest opening superhero movie ever, right between the $128 million of Iron Man 2 and the $132 million of Deadpool. Spice-of-life-themed Hollywood trade magazine Variety reports this week that the movie could make $150 across its entire 4-day opening weekend, perhaps even breaking the President's Day Weekend record (currently Deadpool's $152 million 4-day opening).
To become the highest grossing superhero movie opening ever, Black Panther has a way to go. To break the top 5, Black Panther would need to defeat Batman v. Superman's $166 million 3-day opening weekend. The top spot would require topping The Avengers' $207 million 3-day opening. The may seem like a tall order for a movie projected to make $150 million over 4 days.
However, more evidence suggests this week that even revised projections could be underestimating Black Panther's potential. According to Fandango's Erik Davis, Black Panther is outpacing every other superhero movie in advance ticket sales on the platform. Davis even names Batman v. Superman as the previous chart topper.
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) January 31, 2018
Black Panther opens on February 16, which makes its projected take all the more impressive. Other than Batman v. Superman, which opened in March, the rest of the top 5 opening films were released in May, when the blockbuster movie season is kicking off. Just as Wonder Woman ended up surprising the industry, which originally hoped the movie would make $65 million on its opening weekend when it ended up making $103 million, don't be shocked if Black Panther ends up doing even better than the trying-to-keep-up projections tell us.