Marvel Studios / Disney
Marvel Studios opened its highly-anticipated Black Panther movie starring Chadwick Boseman as the king of Wakanda last night for Thursday previews, and the superhero movie grossed an estimated $25.2 million, which is quite astounding by any and all standards.
Not only does that amount nearly double Deadpool‘s $12.7 million Thursday opening two years ago, but it’s also slightly ahead of Captain America: Civil War‘s $25 million Thursday previews a few months later. The irony, of course, is that Civil War was the movie that introduced Boseman’s Black Panther in the first place.
Black Panther‘s opening is still behind the $27.6 Thursday opening for Avengers: Age of Ultron and the $27.7 million for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but Black Panther is likely to have better internal “legs” than both those movies due to the Monday holiday.
Clearly, the grassroots movement to promote the movie by buying tickets for kids in underprivileged areas helped contribute to that opening number, so we’ll have to see how frontloaded the movie ends up being.
If Black Panther follows Civil War‘s path, then it will gross more than $179 million in the next three days on its way to $400 million, but with schools out on Monday, one has to imagine Black Panther could do closer to Avengers: Age of Ultron with $191.3 million.
Of course, a $200 million plus four-day opening including Monday also isn’t out of the question. That would put Black Panther in a rare breed along with Marvel’s The Avengers, Jurassic World, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi as one of only five movies to open with more than $200 million.
There would have to be an asterisk next to Black Panther‘s opening due to the holiday on Monday, but it’s already well on its way to beating the February and Presidents Day weekend opening records set by Deadpool.
Check back tomorrow for an update on how well Black Panther (and the other movies) are faring based on Friday estimates.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor