‘Black Panther’ Thursday Opening Box Office Tops ‘Civil War’ and ‘Deadpool’ With $25.2 Million
We all knew Black Panther was going to dominate the box office, and now the first numbers have finally arrived to prove just how massive the Ryan Coogler movie is destined to be. After smashing ticket pre-sale records, the Marvel film opened to record-breaking numbers on opening night, making it the second-largest Thursday night preview for a Marvel movie to date.
Coogler’s trip to Wakanda opened to $25.2 million on Thursday night. That pushes it past Captain America: Civil War‘s $25 million Thursday opening in 2016, and just below Avengers: Age of Ultron‘s $27.6 preview earnings the year before. As Forbes notes, those numbers mean Black Panther has the fourth-biggest superhero preview gross ever, behind Ultron, Batman v. Superman at $27.7 million, and The Dark Knight Rises at $30.5 million.
It also doesn’t hurt that T’Challa’s solo debut came so early in the year. It now holds the record as the biggest pre-summer Thursday night opening ever, topping The Hunger Games $19 million. As Variety notes, Black Panther has also broken a Thursday night record for February. Deadpool previously held the preview record for the month, opening at $12.7 million. The film has already earned a nice $3 million from IMAX screenings alone, and pulled in $47 million overseas since its international release on Tuesday.
Black Panther’s massive preview debut should come as little surprise, though. It had the biggest one-day advance ticket sales in MCU history, and Fandango ranked the film as number 4 in its top five pre-sales of all time. It’s easy to see how; the Marvel solo movie has been hailed by critics as the best in the MCU to date – and I know, I know, critics are always saying that it seems, but trust me, Black Panther is really great. (You can read our spoiler-free review here.) The film has a stellar cast, a powerful message, and rich, complex characters. Not to mention, it’s groundbreaking as can be as Marvel’s first film with a primarily all-black cast. If Black Panther continues to sweep this weekend, hopefully studios will take note and realize that, yes, audiences will show up when you give them a lead black superhero movie. Beyond Marvel though, Black Panther‘s earnings could have major rippling effects across Hollywood as a whole, proving that films with minority casts (and ones written and directed by people of color) aren’t a risk when it comes to box office numbers.
As of now, the film is expected to gross over $170 million throughout the President’s Day weekend, breaking the February opening weekend record of $152 million held by Deadpool. Stay tuned for when those final numbers roll in.
Gallery – Hi-Res Black Panther Photos: