Movies & TV / Columns

What’s Next for the Black Panther?

February 19, 2018 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Black Panther Avengers

Opening box office weekends answer so many questions and leave us with so many more. When it comes to Black Panther, we have plenty to examine. Black Panther looks to be finishing with a massive $218 million debut over the four-day President’s Day weekend.

If there was any doubts about Marvel and Black Panther, we can safely lay them to rest.

The first point to cover is $218 million is a long way from what analysts were originally projecting it to make. First estimates had it at $100-120 million, a fine number by any means. As the opening day approached, that number grew and then grew some more. The buzz picked up and by the time Thursday previews arrived, it brought in $25.2 million, the largest Thursday night preview gross for a February opener and the second-largest preview gross for a Marvel film.

So what kind of records did it set?

Black Panther’s estimated three-day gross of $192 million is the highest debut ever for a February film and the fifth highest of all time. Combine that with an estimated international debut of $169 million from 69% of the international market, the estimated global debut stands at $361 million through Sunday.

The movie broke the record for the largest Presidents Day weekend, beating Deadpool’s mark of $152 million. The four-day North American numbers should finish at $300 million, way above the $278 million mark in 2016.

Also of note is that Black Panther received an A+ CinemaScore, the only Marvel film to have done so besides 2012’s The Avengers. According to Comscore, the audience was 37% African American, 35% Caucasian and 18% Hispanic.

The AMC chain reported Sunday that 80 AMC locations, more than 10% of its U.S. circuit, have set an admissions-revenue record for a single title on opening weekend. Imax locations took in $23 million for the fourth-highest total in the format of all time.

“This is proof that the big screen experience may arguably be the most powerful platform of change in our society,” said Paul Dergarabedian,” senior media analyst with comScore. “The emotional, communal, immersive and bigger than life theatrical experience has an impact that virtually no other medium can match.”

The big question is just where Black Panther will finish and we’ll get a better idea next week with the drop off but judging by the numbers and reaction so far, Black Panther looks to have some impressive legs at the theater.

With any movie that enjoys this much success, everyone runs to ask about the sequel.

Marvel knew it had a hit early on and just two and a half weeks into shooting Black Panther, producer Nate Moore was already discussing sequels. In an interview with Screen Rant, he confirmed that Marvel hoped to bring the cast back “through many sequels.”

Of course we’ll be able to see several of them in Avengers: Infinity War, which appears to feature a significant Wakandan portion.

Kevin Feige, co-president of Marvel Studios, told Variety that he couldn’t confirm a sequel but added that there are many Black Panther stories Marvel wants to tell, even going so far as to saying he’s hopeful director Ryan Coogler would return for a sequel. If it happens. Which we all know it will.

“We always say we work on one movie at a time,” Feige told Variety. “If you have any good ideas, put it in the movie you’re making. If you don’t, you might not be able to make another one. That said, Panther has been around for more than half a century in the comic books and there are many, many stories to tell.”

After this weekend, it’s a safe bet we’ll be seeing these stories sooner rather than later.