Black Panther, the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe-set inaugural solo movie starring Chadwick Boseman’s big screen version of the comic book industry’s first African-originated superhero, will head into its release with auspicious accolades. Indeed, the film has already set a record for first day advance ticket sales, and Fandango recently reported that presale numbers will make it the top-booked superhero film… ever! – Yet, still over a week from its release, the accolades keep coming.
Fandango’s latest report on the Black Panther advance sales indicates that the film about the King of Wakanda is about to become the King of Q1, purportedly “outpacing” presales for all first quarter releases that have existed in the company’s 18-year history. Additionally, the report claims that the film’s presale numbers are “on track to leap past” some serious Hollywood heavies in 2012’s Jennifer Lawrence-headlining YA franchise-launcher, The Hunger Games, and a recent record setter in 2017’s Emma Watson-starring Disney live-action adaptation, Beauty and the Beast.
The ticket seller’s previous report indicated that Black Panther advance sales are paced to surpass 2016 DC/Warner Bros. megamovie, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, for the title of the company’s most lucrative presales for any superhero movie (Marvel or DC). Contextually, Dawn of Justice, despite its generally tepid reception, did dominate its opening weekend, in which it earned $166 million, going on to gross $873.6 million globally.
Once it arrives, Black Panther will have its work cut out regarding the reaching of more benchmarks. Currently, the title of all-time best February and President’s Day weekend opening belongs to the 2016 surprise smash, Deadpool (whose sequel trailer will reportedly debut with Black Panther). However, industry analysts (via Deadline,) currently have Black Panther pegged for an opening weekend ranging between $120 million and $150 million, which would be below the mark. Of course, intangible elements like online buzz, its historical nature, as well as glowing early reviews, provide plenty of potential for the film to exceed those expectations.
Back in January, Fandango revealed that Black Panther’s advance ticket sales surpassed the advance sales numbers posted back in 2016 for Captain America: Civil War, making it the new king of MCU presales. Contextually, Civil War, the highly-anticipated Marvel movie event that showcased, amongst stupendous superhero infighting, the onscreen debut of Boseman’s T’Challa/Black Panther, posted $179 million in its May 2016 opening weekend.
Black Panther was directed and co-written by Ryan Coogler, who wowed audiences with the 2013 drama, Fruitvale Station and the 2015 Rocky spinoff, Creed. Both of those films starred Michael B. Jordan, who returns for Coogler as villain Erik Killmonger. Here, Coogler draws upon something akin to the unearthly spectacle and grandeur of Asgard from the Thor films to bring the fictional African kingdom of Wakanda to life. Central to the plot is the political power struggle faced by Wakandan royal T’Challa, which will complement an attempt by Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) to exploit the hidden country’s main natural resource, vibranium, the nigh-indestructible metal woven into Black Panther’s costume, which was also used to make Captain America’s shield.
Black Panther is set to unleash the fantastic fury of the Wakandan king to the big screen when it arrives at theaters on February 16.
This article is updated with new information as it arrives.