The critically acclaimed superhero movie is doing massive business at the Friday box office; overseas, it has already earned an impressive $47 million since opening midweek.
Disney and Marvel Studios’ Black Panther is making history at the U.S. box office, where it’s pacing to take in $205 million or more over the long Presidents Day weekend after earning a rare A+ CinemaScore from audiences.
The tentpole’s projected Friday haul is a mighty $70 million-plus, including $25.2 million in Thursday evening previews. Since it’s so early in the game, Disney insiders are erring on the side of caution in projecting a $190 million-$205 million domestic weekend.
Black Panther is set to score the top February opening of all time and possibly the best showing of any superhero pic ahead of fellow Marvel title The Avengers ($207.4 million), not accounting for inflation.
Directed by Ryan Coogler, the $200 million film is a defining moment in Hollywood history, being a big-budget studio tentpole featuring a virtually all-black cast. In the film, Chadwick Boseman stars as T’Challa/Black Panther alongside Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker and Andy Serkis.
The story follows T’Challa as he is sworn in as king of Wakanda, a cloaked, technologically advanced nation in Africa that’s home to the exotic metal vibranium, which powers much of Black Panther’s tech.
Black Panther has generated enormous buzz in recent weeks, selling more tickets in advance than almost any other movie before it.
Two years ago, Deadpool became the February champ when taking in $152.2 million over the four-day Presidents Day weekend.
Black Panther is also making a major push overseas, where it is opening in virtually every major market this week and weekend, besides Russia (Feb. 22), Japan (March 1) and China (March 9). It has already earned an impressive $47 million overseas, led by the U.K. ($10.1 million) and South Korea ($9.5 million).
The critically acclaimed movie currently boasts a 97 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, the best of any title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the rival DC Extended Universe. And on Thursday night, the movie drew almost perfect scores during exit interviews conducted by comScore’s PostTrak service.
The only movies daring to open nationwide opposite Black Panther are Lionsgate and Aardman Animation’s family film Early Man, which is pacing to open in the $5 million-$6 million range, and PureFlix’s faith-based pic Samson, which looks to take in $2.6 million.