Disney-Marvel’s Black Panther is gaining momentum with forecasts estimating as much as $170 million in North America during the four-day President’s Day weekend, updated tracking shows.
That’s significantly above the first tracking on Jan. 25 for the tentpole, which initially placed the debut in the $100 million to $120 million range for the Feb. 16-19 period.
Black Panther should break the Presidents Day weekend record of $152 million, set in 2016 by Deadpool. It will easily top the second-highest debut for the four-day holiday, set in 2015 when Fifty Shades of Grey opened with $93 million.
Surveys showed “definite interest” continues to increase to 65% Monday. “First choice” has reached 40% among the general sample.
Online ticketing service Fandango reported Feb. 7 that presales for Disney-Marvel’s “Black Panther” are now outpacing advance sales for all other first-quarter releases in the company’s 18-year history. Critics have been impressed as the film has a 97% “fresh” score on the Rotten Tomatoes review aggregator site.
The superhero tentpole, starring Chadwick Boseman, opens Feb. 16 in more than 4,000 North American theaters, including 3,300 3D locations and more than 400 Imax screens. Previews begin at 7 p.m. on Feb. 15.
Boseman stars as T’Challa, who takes over as the king of Wakanda after his father T’Chaka is killed, as shown in “Captain America: Civil War.” The film also stars Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Michael B. Jordan. Ryan Coogler directed the movie from a script he co-wrote with Joe Robert Cole.
The character was introduced in “Captain America: Civil War.” “Black Panther” is the 18th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Marvel Studios’ first of three films in 2018, with “Avengers: Infinity War” coming on May 4.