By the time Avengers: Infinity War rolls around in May, Marvel and Disney may already be having money problems — that is, they may run into trouble trying to count up all the money. Why? Because updated box office projections are predicting an even bigger blowout opening weekend for Black Panther than analysts had first anticipated.
Ahead of its mid-February release, Black Panther already has generated historic levels of buzz and momentum — and that’s before the updated projections, which raise the movie’s opening weekend take from an originally-expected $120 million to a potentially record-breaking haul in excess of $150 million.
According to Variety, analysts now believe that Black Panther “could break the Presidents Day weekend record of $152 million, set in 2016 by Deadpool.” As mind-blowing as that is, it’s in keeping with the movie’s early ticket sales, which already have blown past both Captain America: Civil War and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice to become Fandango’s highest-selling superhero film of all time.
All that box office buzz has only been strengthened by a resoundingly warm critical reception. While full reviews are embargoed until closer to the film’s release, Black Panther’s late-January premiere screening appeared to leave little doubt about which way many critics’ final verdicts will lean.
In tweet after tweet, knee-jerk reaction from the premiere’s industry-insider audience described the film as “incredible, kinetic, purposeful” and “a visual feast” that tackles social and political themes in a way that still leaves a finished artistic product for everyone to enjoy.
We’re only two weeks away from knowing whether the hype is real. Black Panther opens in wide release on Feb. 16. Will you be watching?