Black Panther got a major surge in business on Saturday to push it well over all of the previous box office estimates. Motivated by an outstanding marketing campaign and the film’s fantastic word-of-mouth, moviegoers came out in droves last night. Black Panther is now headed for a $195.5M domestic opening weekend over three days and $225M over four days, according to industry estimates
Disney’s projections are a little more conservative ($192M three-day, $218M four-day), but either way, this means Black Panther is going to break multiple box office records.
Marvel Studios’ 18th feature film will have the second highest three-day opening of any superhero movie, trailing only Marvel’s own The Avengers ($207.4M). Black Panther will obliterate the record for the best opening weekend by a standalone or solo superhero film, previously held by Iron Man 3 ($174.1M).
Black Panther will easily surpass Deadpool ($132.4M three-day, $152.2M four-day) for the best opening ever on President’s Day weekend, and all of February. It will also beat last year’s Beauty and the Beast ($174.8M) for the best three-day opening for a pre-summer release.
There is still a chance that Black Panther could wind up with even higher totals through Sunday and Monday. The reason these projections keep going up is because Black Panther is outperforming traditional models for the pace at which new releases perform in their first three days.
The same kind of surge that happened on Saturday could happen again on Sunday. Black Panther has captured the zeitgeist in a way so few superhero movies ever have. The last time we saw anything like this, in terms of every box office estimate coming in higher than the last throughout the entire weekend, was The Avengers in 2012.
It should be no surprise, however, that Black Panther is performing more like The Avengers than any other superhero film for the last six years. Black Panther and The Avengers are the only two live-action superhero movies to receive an “A+” CinemaScore from moviegoers.
Something special is happening right now. The film is special in its own right, but so is the manner in which audiences are coming together to embrace it.