UPDATED: New projections suggest Black Panther could earn up to $243 million in it first four days, which would be second all-time behind only Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The original article follows.
Black Panther could top The Avengers' four-day opening weekend gross with an updated projection now suggesting that the Chadwick Boseman-starrer could earn up to $230 million in its four days. Directed by Ryan Coogler, the film introduces us to Wakanda and its people as they transition to a new King and protector, T'Challa. Boasting a cast mainly of Black actors, the movie is expected to have a positive effect with regard to proper racial representation in Hollywood.
The 18th installment in the MCU portfolio and the first film out of Marvel Studios 10th anniversary year, Black Panther has already broken several records. Buzz about the film is nothing short of electric as critics and fans alike rave about the film becoming one of the highest rated superhero films on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as an A+ CinemaScore. It's also doing well at the box office, edging out Captain America: Civil War's Thursday night previews and total Friday earnings of $75.5 million with an estimated $75.81 haul. And it doesn't look like it's going to slow down in the next couple of days as sales projections continue to increase.
Deadline's updated tracking for Black Panther's three-day opening weekend haul soars to $194 million from an earlier projection of $180 million. And while its four-day projection is still hard to gauge, analysts are looking in the $218 - $230 million range, with an average forecast of $225 million. This means, that it could edge out The Avengers in terms four-day opening haul with the 2012 epic blockbuster nabbing $226.3 million. If the Coogler-directed film is able to maintain its steam, its projected total domestic gross of $400 million could significantly increase.
The good word of mouth certainly has a big impact on Black Panther's growing numbers. Box office projections have steadily climbed from the lower half of $100 million to now more than $200 million since the film started rolling out early screenings Thursday night. Considering that people love the film, coupled with no formidable competition until March 9th's A Wrinkle In Time, it's safe to say that it'll be able to sustain this level of box office performance with minimal sales drop in the next few weeks. The conversation now, however, concerns how it will do in the overseas market. It's already a certified hit in the U.K. and South Korea (where it was partially shot) while it's yet to open in China, where Marvel films usually do well.
Regardless whether Black Panther tops The Avengers' four-day haul or not, the fact that it's performing at this box office level is already impressive. Both movies hailed by critics, they are only the two superhero films that have an A+ CinemaScore, an indication that the general viewing public really likes the film. It's important to remember, however, that the Joss Whedon flick was built up to be a cinematic event as it marked the first superhero ensemble film from the MCU with six of its iconic characters (four of which already appearing in standalones) coming together on the screen for the first time. Further, the fact that it opened that year's summer blockbuster season definitely helped with its earnings. Black Panther, on the other hand, is our first deep dive into a new world with technically just one superhero in it. It's also released in one of the quieter months for films, proving that there isn't really any season for blockbusters anymore. If a movie is good, people will see it regardless of the time of year.
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