Update (2/20): Final holiday weekend numbers put the film at $242M. It has the best 4-day numbers since Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and its only bested by Star Wars: The Force Awakens, becoming the second-best 4-day haul in history.
Update (2/19): Revised numbers put its opening weekend in the U.S. at $201M
Funny how things change. Believe it or not, there was a time, not that long ago, when a Black Panther movie was considered an impossibility. Just don’t take my word for it. That was was the hardcore opinion of Louis D’Esposito, who is the co-president of Marvel, and has been the executive producer of every Marvel film made since Iron Man. Back in 2012, during a panel at the New York Comic Con, he actually said that a Black Panther film was highly unlikely, mainly because trying to visually create on-screen a fictional African nation of Wakanda is “maybe a little more difficult, maybe … it’s always easier basing it here … For instance, Iron Man 3 is rooted right here in Los Angeles and New York. When you bring in other worlds, you’re always faced with those difficulties.”
Yeah right. Funny that Marvel didn’t seem to have any trouble recreating other fantastic imaginary fantasy worlds in other films, but Wakanda is somehow too difficult. Of course, he was roundly criticized for those comments and people were quick to point out that D’Esposito and Marvel what really saying was that there was no audience for a black superhero film. And that’s despite the fact that Blade back in 1998 practically started the whole Marvel film franchise. So, I wonder how D’Esposito must have felt when he saw his name as executive producer during the end credits of Black Panther. Did he have any sense of shame or remorse? Or was what he said was all conveniently forgotten. Who knows? But like I said, funny how things change
And as for Black Panther, it was pretty obvious to everyone that it was going to be a box office, hit but the question was how big of one? The answer is pretty damn big. In fact, it’s historic and recording-breaking big. The film is even the highest-grossing title in history at 80 AMC Theaters across the country.
So, with that being said, it should be no surprise that the film grossed $192 million as of Sunday. is the fifth-biggest opening ever for any film, and overtakes The Avengers: The Age of Ultron as the second-biggest opening for any Marvel movie. But this is where we begin to split hairs. Since the film is projected to gross $210-215 million over this extended four-day holiday weekend, that in fact would make it the biggest weekend opening for any Marvel film ever and third-biggest opening ever after Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. But, any way you slice it, it’s a monster.
Other records it has smashed include being the second-best superhero film opening of all-time, the biggest opening for a black director of all-time and biggest February opening of all-time.
And that’s just domestically. Around the world, the film continues to break records. It had the biggest box office opening day in the UK so far in 2018 this year and also in Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea. It had the third-biggest box office opening ever for any film in Australia. The film also pulled in great opening day numbers in Brazil and Germany, as well in Spain, Mexico, Finland, India and South Africa. The film naturally opened to big numbers in Nigeria and Kenya, and in Ethiopia, there are reports that all screenings sold out in Addis Ababa.
The film continues its international rollout opening on Russia on February 22, Japan on March 1 and China on March 9. So far as of Sunday, the film has grossed $169 million internationally, making for a worldwide total to date of just over $361 million. The film will hit the half-billion mark by next weekend. It’s still too early to guess if the film will hit the vaunted $1 billion worldwide mark. How it plays in China will be the major factor in that. There is no question though that the film will easily make at least $800-850 million worldwide and that is very impressive.
But another question is how will the “Black Panther” effect impact other black films, like as Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time, which comes out in three weeks There were earlier box office projections of a solid $35-40 million opening, but now the thinking is that is expected to do even higher. Meanwhile Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, with Dwyane Johnson and Kevin Hart, with $377.6 million so far, domestically has now quietly become the second-biggest grossing film domestically in Sony (Columbia) Pictures history. And with $904 million worldwide, it’s headed for $1 billion, which no doubt no one or even Sony saw coming.
As for other films that bravely opened up against Black Panther this weekend, Lionsgate’s stop-motion animated film Early Man took a beating with only $3.2 million while the family faith-based film, Samson, took an even rougher beating opening with just under $2 million.
Meanwhile, Sony Animation has found itself with nice little winter sleeper hit in Peter Rabbit, which came in second in its second week of release behind Black Panther with $17.2 million for the weekend and $48.2 million to-date.
1) Black Panther BV $192,023,000
2) Peter Rabbit Sony $17,250,000 Total: $48,222,542
3) Fifty Shades Freed Uni. $16,940,000 Total: $76,134,455
4) Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Sony $7,945,000 Total: $377,623,565
5) The 15:17 to Paris WB $7,685,000 Total: $25,432,717
6) The Greatest Showman Fox $5,100,000 Total: $154,478,356
7) Early Man LGF $3,150,000
9) Winchester LGF $2,230,000 Total: $21,860,179
10) Samson PFR $1,972,000
11) The Post Fox $1,965,000 Total: $76,574,372
12) The Shape of Water FoxS $1,665,000 Total: $53,243,714