Black Panther may open as big as $150 million during the holiday weekend, meaning it could dethrone Deadpool from the February top spot. Marvel may be about to kick off their biggest year yet thanks to the arrival of both Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War over the next few months. And though July's Ant-Man & the Wasp will perform modestly by contrast, it will still help the MCU dominate the 2018 box office. Ticket pre-sales for Black Panther broke records when they topped the early figures for Captain America: Civil War, offering a taste of what's to come.
Given the film will be one of the few blockbusters to feature a predominantly black cast and focus mostly on Africa, it's not surprising why so many people are excited for the film. Though Marvel and other studios have played with the superhero genre, it's clear that Black Panther will offer something new. From Black Panther's blend of spirituality and technology to a starring hero who's more king than crime-fighter, moviegoers the world over seem more than ready to head to Wakanda. And that excitement could lead to a massive opening weekend for the film.
Deadline is reporting that the latest estimates for Black Panther at the domestic box office are between $120 and $150 million across the 4-day weekend (with Presidents Day that Monday). Two years ago, Deadpool surprised everyone with a $151.2 million opening, nabbing both the Presidents Day and February records in the process. It may be a close battle, but Black Panther certainly seems capable of overtaking the Merc with the Mouth.
Given that Deadpool was hardly a household name when his film arrived, it's possible to envision a scenario where the more well-known Black Panther, paired with the Marvel Studios name, helps the film open even bigger than expected. Traditional methods of box office tracking do have blind spots and it could be that the excitement for Black Panther isn't fully accounted for.
Regardless of whether Black Panther can unseat Deadpool, it's clear the film will far outperform its peers. Doctor Strange opened to $85M, a solid debut considering the character was fairly obscure to most audiences. Black Panther, meanwhile, has benefitted from two incredibly popular trailers, massive amounts of social media buzz (such as #BlackPantherSoLit), and the character's well-received introduction in Civil War. Add in the star-studded cast and prestigious crew, and Black Panther is sure to check a number of boxes over a holiday weekend with next to no competition.
Marketing for Black Panther has also helped the film's visibility. A new Black Panther TV spot featuring Kendrick Lamar highlights the popular artist's role in shaping the movie's soundtrack. That's sure to be a big factor during the Super Bowl as well, exposing the film to an even larger audience. With such a wide range when it comes to the box office estimates, there's no telling yet how well the movie will do - but fans won't have to wait much longer to see how Black Panther performs.
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019