Black Panther is off to a strong start at the box office as its opening day gross tops 2016's Captain America: Civil War. Audiences first had the chance to see T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) two years ago, and its abundantly clear he's made a lasting impact. As just a part of the ensemble in Civil War, he's now been given a solo movie all his own - but one that spends plenty of time introducing the intricate country of Wakanda. The combination of Black Panther's talent behind and in front of the camera, a strong marketing campaign, and raving reviews gave every indication it would be a huge hit at the box office.
Black Panther is now officially out in theaters in most territories and the swell of interest has resulted in box office projections climbing in the lead up. Black Panther ticket pre-sales were dominated by the film's interest and resulted in the preview showings just edging out Civil War. With that $25 million haul included, the estimates for the full Friday opening again have Black Panther on top.
BoxOffice reports Black Panther grossed an estimated $75.81 million on its opening day. That figure narrowly beats Civil War's opening day of $75.5 million, which gives the Ryan Coogler-directed film the third biggest opening day in Marvel Cinematic Universe history. This is just an estimate for the time being, and given the fever of interest that has surrounded Black Panther, the actual figures could not only come in higher but possibly overtake The Avengers' $80.8 million opening as well, which is the MCU's second biggest opening day.
The more figures that come out in regards to Black Panther point to Civil War being the perfect comparison for its box office run. As it already is beating Civil War in terms of Thursday night previews and total Friday earnings, the current projections for an opening over $180 million make complete sense. Civil War kicked off Phase 3 with a $179.1M opening weekend. The film's strong opening and legs resulted in a $408 million haul domestically. The question will now turn to how it will compare internationally, and if it can match Civil War's $1 billion gross. Black Panther's Early UK results point to the film having a large audience overseas as well.
The ability for Marvel Studios' 18th movie, which is also the beginning of a franchise, to beat every non-Avengers film on opening day shows the sheer strength of Black Panther. Not only does it match up well against fellow MCU movies, but it also will go down in the books among the top 10 opening day records, even if the actual numbers are a big lower. The current estimates have Black Panther topping all but eight films all-time. That list includes the last two episodic Star Wars films, the final Harry Potter, Jurassic World, Batman v Superman, both Avengers films, and The Dark Knight Rises. Now we'll have to wait and see just how high Black Panther can climb.
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