As of right now, sources tell us that the Ryan Coogler-directed movie about Marvel’s Black superhero T’Challa is on a course to make $22M-$24M tonight. This would rank as the third-best Thursday preview night for a Marvel title after Avengers: Age of Ultron ($27.6M) and Captain America: Civil War ($25M). This is also easily the biggest pre-summer preview night ever, outstripping The Hunger Games ($19.7M). On the high end, it’s nearly double the $12.7M what Deadpool posted prior to its record February four-day weekend of $152.1M. These early estimates for Black Panther are exclusively from Deadline, so if you see them reported by a rival trade, they got them from us.
Other records being broken: Advance ticket sales continue to go wild over at Fandango with Black Panther now their fourth-biggest pre-seller of all-time behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. A few weeks ago, Fandango reported that Black Panther is their biggest superhero ticket-seller.
Note there is a margin of error when shooting from the hip this early. Tonight’s numbers could be much higher by morning. If Black Panther continues on this pace, it’s looking approximately at $65M for Friday (including Thursday), $161M over three and $180M-plus for four. Again, none of this comes from Disney.
Already in its first two days abroad, Black Panther, with $23.3M, is beating the opening figures of MCU deeper universe character Doctor Strange.
It’s a special night and weekend for many people. Black Panther is a cultural milestone, becoming the highest-grossing title to star a Black ensemble cast. It will also be a record-breaking opening for an African-American director.
Regal cinemas and 270 RealD locations are showing exclusive content from Black Panther in over 270 locations at 6PM tonight, preceding the film.
Octavia Spencer has bought out two Feb. 17 screenings of Black Panther in Mississippi for those “families who are low on funds,” just as she promised in her Jan. 31 Instagram Tweet. On January 31, she posted that she was planning on buying out some screenings “in an under-served community there to ensure that all our brown children can see themselves as a superhero. I will let you know where and when Mississippi. Stay tuned. #KingsAndQueensWillRise#blackpanthermovie”