Last Updated: February 19
Marvel’s Black Panther is finally hitting theaters after spending 24 years in development hell, and it looks like it was well worth the wait. Black Panther – directed by Ryan Coogler and written by Joe Robert Cole, and starring Chadwick Boseman as the eponymous character – is being hailed as one of the best MCU films to date. And with a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 97 percent, Black Panther is one of the highest-rated superhero films of all-time.
Taking those reviews into account, as well as all of the hype that’s been building since T’Challa’s debut in Captain America: Civil War, it’s clear that Black Panther is on its way to box office glory. At the moment, Black Panther is on track for a $165+ million debut at the U.S. box office. That puts it ahead of many films on the domestic chart and in the running to set multiple new records.
Black Panther is Highest-Rated Superhero Movie
Black Panther is now the highest-rated Marvel movie of all-time (according to Rotten Tomatoes). That includes all Marvel films, not just ones from Marvel Studios. It’s currently sitting at 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with Jon Favreau’s Iron Man in second place at 94 percent and James Mangold’s Logan in third place at 93 percent. Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok, and Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Homecoming are all tied in fourth place at 92 percent. Although Black Panther‘s ratings may fluctuate when the film releases, it should maintain its lead above all the other Marvel movies.
Update: With a continuous score of 97/98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, Black Panther is currently the highest-rated superhero film of all-time on the review-aggregate website, surpassing 2004’s The Incredibles (97%).
Black Panther Ticket Presales Pass All Superhero Films
Ticket presales are used by box office analysts to track how well a movie will perform over the course of its opening weekend. Considering that Black Panther was originally expected to hit $90 million in the U.S. and is now tracking for more than $170 million, it’s safe to say that presales are not only high but they continue to tick higher as the film’s release date nears. On Fandango, Black Panther is outpacing all superhero films – particularly Marvel and DC films – for most ticket presales. The previous record-holder was Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which opened to $166 million at the domestic box office in March 2016.
As if that wasn’t enough, Black Panther is also leading in ticket presales on Fandango for all first quarter films (January through March). That includes recent blockbuster releases such as 2012’s The Hunger Games and 2017’s Beauty and the Beast. Considering that superhero movies tend to lead the pack, though, that record may not be as surprising as Black Panther edging out all other superhero films. The question is, how will Avengers: Infinity War do against Black Panther‘s numbers?
Black Panther IMAX Ticket Presales Ahead Of All Marvel Films
On top of already surpassing every superhero movie on Fandango, Black Panther is also leading in IMAX ticket presales. IMAX’s chief recently mentioned that presale tickets for superhero movies tend to peak about 10 days prior to release, but Black Panther isn’t expected to peak until it hits theaters. While he didn’t say how many tickets have been sold thus far, he did say that Black Panther is currently outpacing every Marvel movie for IMAX ticket presales. That most likely includes non-MCU films as well. It’ll be interesting to see how Black Panther‘s IMAX sales stack up against not only the rest of the MCU but to DC films and all other blockbusters as well.
Black Panther Sets February Thursday Night Previews Record
Black Panther got off to a strong start thanks to its Thursday night previews. The film raked in a hefty sum of $25.2 million at the U.S. box office on February 15, not only doubling Deadpool’s previous February preview record of $12.7 million but also becoming one of the highest-grossing previews ever for a superhero film. Black Panther passed Captain America: Civil War ($25 million) to score the second-highest preview gross for a Marvel movie – behind only Avengers: Age of Ultron ($27.6 million) – and the fourth highest for a superhero film, behind The Dark Knight Rises ($30.6 million), Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice ($27.7 million), and the aforementioned Avengers film.
Black Panther Opening Day Gross Tops All Non-Team-Up Films
Black Panther continued to rake in big bucks following its preview night. On opening day – Friday, February 17 – Black Panther grossed an estimated $75.81 million, thus topping Deadpool‘s $47.3 million to set a new February opening day record. But that’s not what’s most impressive about that number. Black Panther also topped Captain America: Civil War and The Dark Knight Rises to secure the eighth spot on the chart of highest-grossing opening days of all-time. In fact, it’s only a few million dollars short of tying with 2012’s The Avengers ($80.81 million). Moreover, Black Panther‘s number puts it on top of all non-team-up superhero films; the second closest is 2013’s Iron Man 3 ($68.85 million).
Black Panther Sets February Opening Weekend Record
After topping the competition on Thursday and Friday, Black Panther went all the way and set a new box office record, one that most likely won’t be topped for a long time to come. Black Panther earned a whopping $192 million at the domestic box office, thus topping Deadpool‘s previous 3-day opening record of $132.4 million. (It also tops Deadpool‘s 4-day gross of $152.1 million, which opened this same weekend two years ago.) As if that wasn’t enough, Black Panther also topped Avengers: Age of Ultron ($191.2 million) to score the fifth highest-grossing opening weekend of all-time, behind only The Avengers ($207.4 million), Jurassic World ($208.8 million), Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($220 million), and Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($247.96 million).
It’s worth noting that Black Panther‘s numbers are currently estimates, and the actual figures (which usually arrive Monday morning but may be delayed to Tuesday because of the holiday weekend) might come in higher, thus giving it a chance of breaking the $200 million threshold. Update: Black Panther’s official opening weekend gross came in at $201.7 million.
Black Panther Has Biggest Opening For an African-American Director
Black Panther‘s 3-day opening weekend gross of $201.7 million is by far the biggest opening for a film by an African-American director. Ryan Coogler bested the competition by a long shot; the previous record-holder was F. Gary Gray’s The Fate of the Furious, which opened to $98 million at the domestic box office in April 2017. Suffice to say, Coogler is going to hold onto that record for a long time considering that the film broke $200 million already.
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