‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Rises To $175M-$185M Opening Weekend – Saturday Box Office

SATURDAY AM: Refresh for more analysis and chart What we know for certain is that Disney and Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever posted the 10th highest opening day ever at $84M, with today being a swing factor in regards to how high or low this 2 hour and 41 minute running MCU title plays. Opening weekend range is between $175M-$185M now, but some rivals believe that the Ryan Coolger directed movie could soar beyond $190M. What’s making this one hard to predict for many? Veterans Day falling on a Friday. You don’t know how much of that big first day is driven by the movie or the amount of kids off from school which combined was 83% between K-12 and college. The last time Veterans Day fell on a Friday was 2016. CinemaScore is an A versus Black Panther‘s A+.

Backing out previews, Friday made $56M, which is above what Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness did on its first Friday without previews, $54.7M. If today plays even with yesterday, then Wakanda Forever lands at $179M. If Wakanda Forever plays like Spider-Man: No Way Home between its Friday (sans previews) and Saturday it will wind up at $181.8M, and if it emulates a gross pattern like Doctor Strange 2 between a pure Friday and Saturday (+6%) then it will stand at $184.6M for the weekend (All Sundays here are factored on a -30% decline from Saturday). Note the weekend gross pattern for the first Black Panther is out the window as a comp as that played out over a 4-day Presidents Day holiday weekend with dips registering -13% on Saturday vs. Friday, and -9% on Sunday vs. Saturday.

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Imax and PLFs are repping close to 35% of the pic’s ticket sales. Anecdotally, it was very hard to get a good seat at the Porter Ranch AMC north of LA in the Dolby auditorium yesterday and today, which underscores as some have told me, the need for more premium cinema formats when we have tentpole weekends such as this.

Audience exits still amazing for Wakanda Forever with 93% on Screen Engine/Comscore’s PostTrak and an 85% definite recommend with kids under 12 giving it a near 100% and 72% recommend. Guy leaning at 52%, 45% between 18-34 with 37% over 35. Very diverse film at 44% Black leading, 21% Hispanic and Latino, 20% Caucasian and 15% Asian/other.

How good is Wakanda Forever for the economy? The pic is pushing the entire weekend box office to do around $219M in ticket sales, +261% from last weekend’s doldrums of $60.8M and +100% from the same weekend a year ago (weekend 45) which is when Disney/Marvel debuted Eternals. Drilling down on Friday, four theaters made north of $200K, ten were over $150K, 65 were over $100K and close to 460 were north of $50K, which is excellent.


Busting into the top 10 was Cinegalaxy’s Indian sci-fi movie Yashoda at 200 theaters in 84 markets with prints in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Numbers were OK in NYC, San Francisco, Dallas and Seattle for what is shaping up to be a $395K opening. The movie from directors Haresh Narayan and K. Hari Shankar follows a  pregnant woman named Yashodha, who is advised to follow a few guidelines about her physical and mental well being and safety. However, a set of events occur that make her live on the edge, risking her well being.

1.) Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Dis), 4,396 theaters, Fri $84M, 3-day $175M-$185M/Wk 1

2.) Black Adam (NL) 3,985 (-417) theaters, Fri $2.7M (-43%), 3-day $10M (-45%)/Total $152.5M/Wk 4

3.) Ticket to Paradise (Uni) 3,633 (-433) theaters, Fri $2.1M (-17%), 3-day $6.3M (-25%)/Total $56.7M/Wk 4

10.) Yashoda (Cine) 200 theaters, Fri $137K, 3-day $395K/Wk 1


FRIDAY MIDDAY: Right now we hear that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is heading for an $80M+ Friday, for what will be a $170M-$180M opening weekend at 4,396 theaters.

There is hope that the Ryan Coogler directed and written sequel could overtake Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness‘ $187.4M opening, however, it’s still too early. Currently in hourlies, Wakanda Forever is overtaking Doctor Strange 2 and Thor: Love & Thunder. The sequel doesn’t appear to be front-loaded. If it emulates exactly Doctor Strange 2, its 3-day will come in less than that movie. Doctor Strange 2 fell 36% on Saturday, and 32% on Sunday. In terms of Wakanda Forever coming up short of Doctor Strange 2 in previews by $8M, sources attribute that to the time of year and running times. More people were available back in early May than now on a Thursday night, plus Doctor Strange 2 ran at 2 hours and 6 minutes while Wakanda Forever is 2 hours and 41 minutes.

With an $80M opening day that includes last night’s $28M, Wakanda Forever is the 13th highest opening day of all-time, just under The Avengers’ $80.8M (May 4, 2012). A $170M-$180M opening gets Wakanda Forever into the top 17 best U.S. openings at the B.O., a range that includes such MCU titles as Captain America: Civil War ($179.1M, No. 13) and Iron Man 3 ($174.1M, No. 16).

In 2nd, the fourth weekend of New Line/DC’s Black Adam is between $7M-$11M at 3,603 theaters, down between 38% to 61% for a running total by Sunday between $150M-$154M.

Third belongs to Universal’s fourth weekend of Ticket to Paradise at 3,633 which is eyeing a fourth Friday of $2.4M, -9%, and a 3-day of $6.9M, -19%, and total of $57.3M.

Sony’s Lyle, Lyle Crocodile at 2,486 has a sixth Friday of $1.1M, and an estimated sixth weekend of $3.3M, even with last weekend and a running cume by Sunday of $40.9M.

Fifth goes to Paramount’s seventh weekend of Smile at 2,271 theaters with a Friday of $675K, 3-day of $1.9M, -52% and running total by Sunday of $102.3M.

BPL1160 comp DDO v0237.1180 R2

A scene from Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.


FRIDAY AM: As expected, Disney and Marvel Studios Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is on fire with a $28M Thursday which easily beats the preview night of the first Black Panther in 2018 which did $25.2M. Wakanda Forever ranks as the third best Thursday preview of the year behind Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($36M) and Thor: Love and Thunder‘s ($29M). Overall, Black Panther 2‘s previews rank as the 15th top preview performance in industry history and gives the Marvel Cinematic Universe six of the top 15 starts ever. The 3-day projection for Wakanda Forever is between $175M-$200M at 4,936 theaters.

Nothing to wince about here with previews for Wakanda Forever being lower than Thor: Love & Thunder which, though panned by critics and earning a B+ CinemaScore, turned in a $144M opening. Previews’ share of MCU opening weekends have varied. Thor: Love & Thunder‘s repped 19% of its 3-day while Doctor Strange 2’s repped 19% of its $187M opening, Black Panther‘s Thursday was 12% of its $202M opening, and Captain Marvels $21M was 14% of its $153M 3-day.

Other great signs for the weekend: Wakanda Forever represents more than 80% of the online ticket retailer’s Veterans Day sales today. Comscore spots 52% K-12 schools off today and another 31% colleges. The Marvel Studios title has been their No. 1 daily ticket-seller for the last two weeks. 82% of fans on Fandango buying tickets to Wakanda say it’s their most anticipated film of this year. We hear that advance ticket sales for Wakanda Forever weren’t front-loaded, rather spread out evenly over the course of the weekend. Disney reports that as of yesterday, Wakanda Forever counted $66M in advance sales, which is behind Doctor Strange 2‘s $85M, but ahead of Thor: Love & Thunder‘s $48M.

Wakanda Forever, which kicked off previews at 3PM yesterday, currently counts a Rotten Tomatoes audience score of 94% to the original Black Panther‘s 79%. Screen Engine/Comscore audience exits are even better at 5 stars for general audiences, parents and kids under 12. Total recommend among general audience is at a high 83%. Thursday night’s audience pulled in 42% Black, 22% Hispanic and Latino, 20% Caucasian and 10% Asian. Thirty-four percent were men over 25 (90% grade), 26% were women over 25 (95% grade), 25% were men under 25 (87%), and 15% women under 25 (98% grade). Among kids under 12, 61% were boys, 39% were girls.

The critical score for Black Panther 2 has settled at 85% certified fresh, which is under the 96% of the first film. Still that won’t hurt Wakanda Forever‘s momentum this weekend. It’s going to be rich one for everyone from theater circuits to Imax.

Among the regular films in release, New Line/DC’s Black Adam ends its third week with $23.7M and a running total of $142.5M. Thursday at $950K, was -11% from Wednesday at 3,985 theaters. Universal’s Ticket to Paradise ends its third weekend with $12.1M, a running total of $50.4M at 4,066 theaters and a Thursday at $840K that was 7% off yesterday. Crunchyroll’s One Piece Film Red at 2,367 theaters ends week one with $11.1M. Thursday was $320K, down 25%. Paramount’s Smile crossed $100M this week after a sixth week of $5.3M, and Thursday of $269K, -11% from Wednesday. Lionsgate’s Prey for the Devil at 2,960 theaters posted a second week of $5.1M, running total of $15M and a Thursday of $234K, -16% from Wednesday.

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