The domestic release of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” from Disney and Marvel Studios brought in an estimated $180 million, setting a record for the greatest November opening and the second-highest opening of 2022.
Prior to its release, the much anticipated “Black Panther” sequel created positive buzz, with reviewers applauding it for paying tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman and moving the Marvel Cinematic Universe forward.
This weekend, “Wakanda Forever” is expected to draw 12.7 million viewers, according to data from EntTelligence. Only Marvel’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” which made 13.7 million during its opening weekend in May, attracted more moviegoers.
With $187 million, “Multiverse of Madness” now holds the record for the biggest opening in 2022. It might reach that number if “Wakanda Forever” experiences a spike in ticket sales on Sunday.
The movie has already exceeded “Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” whose launch in 2013 brought in $158 million, making it the largest November opening ever.
An flood of African American and Hispanic moviegoers who descended on theatres over the weekend helped to boost ticket sales. The majority-Black cast of “Wakanda Forever” is similar to that of “Black Panther,” but it also includes a number of Hispanic actors. The first movie’s box office success depended a lot on these two groups of people.
According to EntTelligence, 36% of ticket buyers were African Americans, more than double the percentage for other Marvel movies. 13% of ticket sales were to a Hispanic audience.
According to Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com, “Wakanda Forever” is living up to expectations as both a monument to Chadwick Boseman that fans are experiencing together and a significant tentpole blockbuster for Disney and movie theatres.
The movie also opened in theatres at a time when the theatrical calendar was slow, giving the business a much-needed boost.
Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, said, “After weeks of a post-summer slowdown, ‘Wakanda Forever’ offered a strong reminder of the capacity of an epic Marvel movie to deliver blockbuster-style revenue to movie theatres.”
According to EntTelligence data, “Wakanda Forever” accounted for nearly 100% of all premium format showings over the weekend and 94% of all domestic theatre foot traffic.
The movie might gain some much-needed momentum leading up to the holidays, according to Comscore’s Dergarabedian, as it faces little competition and won’t face any huge blockbusters until Disney’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” debuts on December 16.
Positive reviews should help this movie gain momentum in the coming weeks as audiences enjoy the moving continuation of the Black Panther saga as the MCU enters its next stage, according to Robbins of BoxOffice.com.