Black Panther is making so much money, you’d think Marvel Studios was selling Vibranium. The film will eclipse $600M domestic this weekend and has earned over $1.13B worldwide. Those are impressive revenue numbers, but the profit is what’s really going to excite Disney.
Deadline estimates that Disney will profit upwards of $460M from Black Panther. That’s more than the reported profit for Marvel Studios heavyweights like Avengers: Age of Ultron ($382.3) and Captain America: Civil War ($193.4).
The estimated profit for Black Panther, which is coming from Deadline’s sources and not Disney, includes future box office, home release, and other projections for all ancillary revenue streams. It’s a pretty good bet, however, that Black Panther could be Marvel Studios’ most profitable film because of one key factor.
Most of the actors in Black Panther are appearing in their first Marvel movie. They’ve not been in a position to negotiate deals for big shares of the profits on the backend like Robert Downey, Jr. Those kind of deals usually happen with an actor’s second contract for a franchise.
I don’t know if star Chadwick Boseman receives anything on the backend for Black Panther, but even if he does, he’s probably the only member of the cast with such a deal. That means Disney retains more of the money brought in by Black Panther compared to the four other Marvel Studios movies that topped $1B at the box office, all of which star Downey.
The Black Panther franchise will still make a ton of money, but perhaps be a little less profitable once the actors have a chance to renegotiate.