×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Black Panther’ Heading Toward Massive $170 Million-Plus Opening

Disney-Marvel’s “Black Panther” is gaining momentum with forecasts estimating as much as $170 million in North America during the four-day President’s Day weekend, updated tracking shows.

That’s significantly above the first tracking on Jan. 25 for the tentpole, which initially placed the debut in the $100 million to $120 million range for the Feb. 16-19 period.

Black Panther” should break the Presidents Day weekend record of $152 million, set in 2016 by “Deadpool.” It will easily top the second-highest debut for  the four-day holiday, set in 2015 when “Fifty Shades of Grey” opened with $93 million.

Surveys showed “definite interest” continues to increase to 65% Monday. “First choice” has reached 40% among the general sample.

Online ticketing service Fandango reported Feb. 7 that presales for Disney-Marvel’s “Black Panther” are now outpacing advance sales for all other first-quarter releases in the company’s 18-year history. Critics have been impressed as the film has a 97% “fresh” score on the Rotten Tomatoes review aggregator site.

The superhero tentpole, starring Chadwick Boseman, opens Feb. 16 in more than 4,000 North American theaters, including 3,300 3D locations and more than 400 Imax screens. Previews begin at 7 p.m. on Feb. 15.

Disney said Monday that although tracking at this level is difficult to accurately predict, it anticipates a four-day domestic weekend in the $150 million range. Tracking services have raised their guidance to the $155 million to $172 million range.

Screenings start Tuesday in a trio of international markets in the UK, Hong Kong, and Taiwan followed by Wednesday launches in France, Italy, Korea, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia. Most other markets will be open this weekend, followed by Russia on Feb. 22, Japan on March 1 and China on March 9.

International performance on “Black Panther,” a less-familiar Marvel character, could come in similarly to openings for “Doctor Strange” with $114 million (boosted by Benedict Cumberbatch’s international appeal), “Ant-Man” at $73 million and “Guardians of the Galaxy” at about $80 million.

Boseman stars as T’Challa, who takes over as the king of Wakanda after his father T’Chaka is killed, as shown in “Captain America: Civil War.” The film also stars Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Michael B. Jordan. Ryan Coogler directed the movie from a script he co-wrote with Joe Robert Cole.

The character was introduced in “Captain America: Civil War.” “Black Panther” is the 18th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Marvel Studios’ first of three films in 2018, with “Avengers: Infinity War” coming on May 4.

Lionsgate’s stop-motion comedy “Early Man” is also opening domestically on Feb. 16 at about 2,400 locations with expectations of a $7 million launch. Directed by Nick Park, the stop-motion movie is co-financed by the U.K.’s Aardman and France’s Studiocanal. It’s a re-team of the companies following 2015’s “Shaun the Sheep.”

Faith-based distributor Pure Flix is launching Biblical story “Samson” at about 1,200 sites with forecasts in the $3 million range. Taylor James stars in the title role opposite Billy Zane and Lindsay Wagner.

More Film

  • Black Panther Meme

    To All the Pop-Culture Memes We've Loved in 2018

    Critical praise and awards are great, but in the Year of Gaga, it’s memes that are often the ultimate indicator that a song, film, or TV show has truly entered the pantheon of pop culture. Whether it’s from “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” or “A Star Is Born,” these moments from 2018 captured [...]

  • Downton Abbey Series Finale PBS

    Watch the First 'Downton Abbey' Movie Teaser Trailer

    Focus Features has unveiled a dialogue-free teaser trailer for its upcoming “Downton Abbey” movie, highlighted by soaring vistas of the majestic English country house. The footage, which debuted on Friday, features servants prepping the fictional Crawley family home for arrivals, along with shots of the stately furnishings. “Next year, you are cordially invited to the [...]

  • 'Into the Spider-Verse' Box Office: Movie

    Box Office: 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Flies to $3.5 Million on Thursday

    “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” flew to an impressive $3.5 million at 3,321 North American locations on Thursday night. Meanwhile, MRC-Universal Pictures’ “Mortal Engines” grossed $675,000 in previews from 2,600 theaters. “The Mule” did not hold previews on Thursday.  Sony’s animated “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” which expands to 3,813 sites on Friday, should handily win the weekend’s [...]

  • Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et

    Ashok Amritraj Decorated by French Government

    Already the most famous Indian producer in Hollywood, Hyde Park Entertainment founder Ashok Amritraj was honored by the French government on Friday. At a ceremony in Mumbai, Amritraj was presented with the Knight of the Order of Arts and of Letters (Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) medal. Minister of External Affairs Jean-Yves [...]

  • Worst Movies of 2018 Christopher Robin

    The Worst Films of 2018

    Every critic’s worst movie is another’s best, but Variety critics Peter Debruge and Owen Gleiberman had to draw the line somewhere. Whether it was the year’s top film at the box office, or a right-wing documentary that’s even worse than the filmmaker’s previous outrages, it was a good year to hate-watch. Peter Debruge’s Five Worst [...]

  • Portrait of Czech playwright and civil

    Vaclav Havel Biopic Receives $635,000 From Czech Film Fund

    Czech director Slávek Horák, who was chosen as one of Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch three years ago, has received 14.5 million Czech Koruna ($635,000) from the Czech Film Fund for his second feature film, a biopic of Václav Havel, the Czech writer and dissident, who became President of Czechoslovakia, and later President of the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content