You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
Back to IndieWire

‘Black Panther’ Will Break Many Box-Office Records, But Here’s How It Really Stands to Compare

It will very likely join the top 5 among all Marvel openings, but that's only the beginning for Ryan Coogler's superhero.

"Black Panther"

“Black Panther”

A little over a week from its domestic opening next Friday, Marvel and Disney’s “Black Panther” is expected to gross an estimated $150 million in its first weekend — and that assessment came before the onslaught of stellar initial reviews.

After “The Fate of the Furious,” “Black Panther” is the second most-expensive film directed by an African-American. Any Marvel film, particularly one with a sense of original content and a new take on the comic universe, is guaranteed a big opening, but this one also has the full attention of African-American audiences who are among the most-frequent moviegoers, buying about a quarter of all domestic tickets annually — double their share of the population.

“Black Panther” is poised to open better than any of the three Marvel movies in 2017 (the best performer was “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” at $146.5 million). At $150 million or better, it would be ahead of all but two openers last year: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” at $209 million, and “Beauty and the Beast” at $175 million.

At the $150 million estimate, it’s slated to slay a lot of records. The only black-directed film to open over $100 million is F. Gary Gray’s “The Fate of the Furious,” at $101 million last year. Second best is Tim Story’s “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” with $77 million. “Scary Movie,” directed by Keenan Ivory Wayans with $72 million, is third.

It will become the top-grossing film with a largely black lead cast, a record currently held by “Straight Outta Compton” (also directed by Gray) at $177 million adjusted. With its $28 million budget, it was a huge hit even with foreign returns that were only a quarter of domestic. “Black Panther,” of course, has a pre-marketing cost of $200 million, and will need foreign revenues.

“Wonder Woman”

Similar to DC Comics’ “Wonder Woman,” “Black Panther” is getting particular attention as a breakthrough studio film. Just as Warners entrusted a major franchise title to a female director and lead character, Disney and Marvel placed their bet on an African-American director and a mostly black cast that centers on African culture.

Beyond the anticipation stemming from African-American audiences getting a full-scale Marvel movie to call their own, it could gain across the board from its balance of originality and formula.

"Black Panther"

“Black Panther”

Opening Weekends

Most of the top openers have come in this century, even with adjusted prices. The earliest film to open to over $100 million adjusted was “Batman Returns” in 1992.

At $150 million, it would be #28 all time (between “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “Iron Man 2”).

At $175 million, it would be #17 all time (between “The Hunger Games” and “The Hunger Games – Catching Fire”).

At $200 million, it would be #8 all time (between “Spider-Man 3” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2”).

Tom Hardy as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises Donald Trump inauguration speech

“The Dark Knight Rises”

Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures/REX/Shutterstock (5885759u)

Opening Weekends – Comic Book Adaptations

Comic-book universe movies make up five of the top 10 openers ever, nine of the top 20. Other than recent “Star Wars” films, they are the most reliable for initial interest.

At $150 million, it would be #11 all time (between “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “Iron Man 2”).

At $175 million, it would be #10 all time (between “Batman v Superman” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”).

At $200 million, it would be #5 all time (between “Spider-Man 3” and “The Dark Knight Rises”).

Opening Weekends – Marvel Comics Adaptations

With far more entries, Marvel leads D.C. Comics with seven films that opened over $150 million. (DC has three.)

At $150 million, it would be #8 all time (between “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “Iron Man 2”).

At $175 million, it would be # 7 all time (between “Spider-Man” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”).

At $200 million, it would be # 4 all time (between “Spider-Man 3” and “Iron Man 3”).

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”

Warner Bros.

All Time January-April Openers

Last year’s “Beauty and the Beast”  is #2 on the list.

At $150 million, it would be #4 all time (between “Furious 7” and “Deadpool”).

At $175 million, it would be #3 all time (between “Batman v Superman” and “Hunger Games”).

At $200 million, it would be #1 all time.

All-Time February Openers

“Black Panther” seems to have this one in the bag; the record holder is “Deadpool,” released February 12, 2016 to a $142 million opening.

At $150 million, it would be #1 all time.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Film and tagged , , ,