Disney and Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” netted an estimated $180 million during its domestic debut, setting the record for biggest opener in the month of November and second-highest opener of 2022.
The highly anticipated sequel to 2018’s smash hit “Black Panther” generated plenty of word of mouth heading into its opening weekend, with critics praising the film for honoring the late Chadwick Boseman and pushing the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the future.
According to data from EntTelligence, “Wakanda Forever” will attract an estimated 12.7 million customers this weekend. Only Marvel’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” attracted more moviegoers, bringing in 13.7 million during its opening weekend in May.
“Multiverse of Madness” is also the film that currently holds the record for highest opening in 2022, at $187 million. If “Wakanda Forever” sees a surge in ticket sales on Sunday, it could top that figure.
The film has already outperformed “Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” which grossed $158 million during its 2013 debut, its highest November opening of all time.
Ticket sales were boosted by an influx of African American and Latin American moviegoers who flocked to the cinemas over the weekend. Like “Black Panther”, “Wakanda Forever” has a mostly black cast, but it also has several Latin American actors. These two demographics were hugely important to the box office success of the first film.
EntTelligence estimates that 36% of ticket buyers were African American, more than double the demographics typical of other Marvel movies. The Spanish public accounted for 13% of ticket sales.
“‘Wakanda Forever’ lives up to expectations as not only a major blockbuster for Disney and movie theaters, but also as a memorial to Chadwick Boseman that fans share and experience together,” said Shawn Robbins, principal analyst at BoxOffice.com.
The film also arrived in theaters during a hiatus in the theatrical calendar, giving the industry a much-needed boost.
“After weeks of delays after the summer, ‘Wakanda Forever’ brought a strong reminder of the power of an epic Marvel film to deliver blockbuster cinema returns,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.
According to EntTelligence data, “Wakanda Forever” accounted for 94% of all foot traffic in inland theaters and accounted for nearly 100% of all premium format weekend screenings.
Comscore’s Dergarabedian noted that the film should generate much-needed momentum heading into the holiday season, as competition is limited and no major blockbusters open until Disney’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” on December 16.
“A positive reception should boost this film in the coming weeks as fans embrace the heartfelt continuation of the Black Panther story and the MCU moves on to the next phase,” said Robbins of BoxOffice.com.