4-Day Estimates: Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ Set to Mangle February Record Debut

Tuesday Update: Black Panther leapt beyond even the most optimistic expectations over the course of the weekend with phenomenal holds that ended up driving a massive $242.2 million four-day bow in North America. That stands as the second highest four-day total in box office history — behind only Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Check out our weekend recap for an early breakdown of key records the Marvel title has hunted down, as well as analysis on key holdovers and the weekend’s other openers.

For a look at what elements were at play as part of this historic weekend, in case you missed it, refer to our weekend forecast last week.

Saturday Update: Black Panther has clawed out the eighth biggest opening day in North American history with $75.808 million, per Disney. That figure includes Thursday night’s $25.2 million start, and ranks just behind The Avengers‘ $80.8 million as the third best opening day in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (Age of Ultron bowed to $84.4 million). It also stands as the second largest first day gross for a pre-summer release, trailing only Batman v Superman‘s $81.56 million, and is the largest opening day in history for a superhero origin film.

Needless to say, this is an utterly stellar beginning to what should be a long and fruitful run for the game-changing Panther. Pre-release forecasts and post-release projections have risen on a near-daily basis for weeks as the cultural event’s buzz kept gaining momentum. Now, with strong word of mouth, a three-day weekend around $185 million and a four-day holiday frame of $209 million appear likely — the sixth and fifth biggest of all-time, respectively. The potential ceiling could be even higher as optimistic projections reach up to $215-220M for the four-day.

For the record, Disney itself currently projects $190-210 million for the four-day. Either way, the four-day Presidents Day weekend — and overall February — record of $152.2 million (Deadpool) will be handily crushed before Panther‘s third day is even complete.

Disney reports Panther attracted an equal audience on opening day with 50 percent women and 50 percent men comprising surveyed moviegoers, marking the first Marvel film without a male majority and only the second in modern comic book film history (Wonder Woman‘s opening day was driven by a 52 percent female crowd). 66 percent of the audience was age 25 and older, while surveyed audiences awarded Panther an “A+” Cinemascore — only the second MCU title to earn the metric’s highest grade following 2012’s first Avengers film.

You can read a deeper analysis of what’s making Black Panther tick in our earlier weekend forecast.

Not to be forgotten is Panther‘s overseas run, which is off to a strong start with $81.5 million through Friday. Disney notes the film is open in 69 percent of the market thus far, with Russia, China, and Japan to follow in the weeks ahead. More international details will be reported on Sunday morning.

In summary, signs point toward a massive run ahead with very little in the way of competition. Even if Panther were to follow the multiplier patterns of 2007’s Ghost Rider (which also opened on Presidents Day weekend when the calendar last aligned in the same exact way), it would end up over $460 million domestically. Considerably stronger reception should extend that multiplier, though. We now believe the film has a significant chance to reach $500 million or more stateside during its theatrical run. If it continues to perform at its current overseas pace, a run toward $1 billion globally is achievable.

Meanwhile, the rising tide lifted most ships as many films posted excellent holds to begin the long weekend. Fifty Shades Freed took in another $5.7 million for a new $64.9 million cume, while Peter Rabbit added $4.125 million for an updated $35.1 million eight-day haul. Jumanji ($1.9 million Friday / $371.6 million total) and The Greatest Showman ($1.33 million Friday / $150.7 million total) continued to display phenomenal holding power in the face of massive competition, as well.

Also debuting yesterday were Early Man ($850,000) and Samson ($630,000), both coming in on the low end of expectations. Their potential for staying power could improve after the initial wave of Panther madness has subsided, but for now, both look to be starting very modestly.

Four-day weekend estimates from the studios and our own projections are below. More detailed three-day estimates will be reported by studios on Sunday, followed by four-day estimates on Monday and final results on Tuesday.

Early Four-Day Estimates
Friday, February 16 – Monday, February 19, 2018

WIDE (1000+)

1 Black Panther $209,000,000 4,020 $51,990 $209,000,000 1 Disney
2 Peter Rabbit $22,000,000 -12% 3,725 0 $5,906 $52,972,542 2 Sony / Columbia
3 Fifty Shades Freed $19,100,000 -50% 3,768 0 $5,069 $78,291,455 2 Universal
4 Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle $10,500,000 5% 2,800 -336 $3,750 $380,178,565 9 Sony / Columbia
5 The 15:17 to Paris $9,500,000 -24% 3,042 0 $3,123 $27,247,717 2 Warner Bros.
6 The Greatest Showman $7,000,000 9% 1,936 -437 $3,616 $156,378,356 9 Fox
7 Early Man $4,000,000 2,494 $1,604 $4,000,000 1 Lionsgate
8 Maze Runner: The Death Cure $3,250,000 -48% 1,892 -1031 $1,718 $54,730,126 4 Fox
9 Winchester $2,500,000 -52% 1,479 -1001 $1,690 $22,130,179 3 Lionsgate / CBS Films
10 The Post $2,475,000 -32% 1,050 -815 $2,357 $77,084,372 9 20th Century Fox
11 Samson $2,200,000 1,249 $1,761 $2,200,000 1 Pure Flix

LIMITED (100 — 999)

1 The Shape of Water $2,115,000 -33% 957 -823 $2,210 $53,693,714 12 Fox Searchlight
2 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri $1,935,000 -16% 780 -493 $2,481 $48,404,506 19 Fox Searchlight
3 12 Strong $1,200,000 -56% 815 -1086 $1,472 $44,348,206 5 Warner Bros.
4 Hostiles $1,000,000 -65% 767 -1447 $1,304 $28,476,826 9 Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures
5 Coco $1,000,000 13% 385 -448 $2,597 $207,480,667 13 Disney
6 Detective Chinatown 2 $780,000 115 $6,783 $780,000 1 Warner Bros.
7 Star Wars: The Last Jedi $755,000 -46% 351 -479 $2,151 $618,177,777 10 Disney
8 La Boda de Valentina $550,000 -52% 331 0 $1,662 $2,091,094 2 Lionsgate / Pantelion
9 Wonder (2017) $290,000 4% 193 -68 $1,503 $131,751,894 14 Lionsgate
10 Thor: Ragnarok $245,000 9% 149 -24 $1,644 $314,643,124 16 Disney
11 The Commuter $155,000 -73% 148 -442 $1,047 $35,981,498 6 Lionsgate
12 Pad Man $40,000 -95% 152 0 $263 $1,035,810 2 Sony Pictures Releasing International

PLATFORM (1 — 99)

1 Let There Be Light $7,500 15 $500 $7,500 17 Atlas


Friday Update: Disney reports this morning that Black Panther ripped $25.2 million at the domestic box office last night, nearly doubling the previous February record-holder — Deadpool‘s $12.7 million — and marking the second biggest ever debut for an MCU title, besting Civil War‘s $25.0 million and coming in just behind Avengers: Age of Ultron‘s $27.6 million.

Last night’s debut also stands as the second best ever start for a pre-summer release, topping The Hunger Games‘ $19.7 million and coming in just behind Batman v Superman‘s $27.7 million.

On the domestic end, we’re remaining cautious with projections given the unique territory this film is in and the lack of direct apples-to-apples comparisons with the extended holiday weekend in play. That being said, we remain confident in our final pre-release forecast of a $179M+ three-day / $205M+ four-day opening based on modest-to-relatively conservative scenarios. You can read more analysis on that and weekend expectations here.

We’ll have updated projections and official Friday estimates on Saturday morning, with continued updates throughout the weekend.


The studio also reports that international earnings have reached a strong $47 million through three days of release. The film had a staggered rollout in 40 territories through Thursday, with an additional five set to open today. Disney notes Panther is the number one film in all territories thus far, with standout debuts including $10.1 million in the United Kingdom and $9.5 million from Korea.. They U.K. three-day total registers 90 percent ahead of Doctor Strange and 41 percent above Thor: Ragnarok, while Korea’s opening day marked the second biggest ever for an MCU title (trailing only Ultron).

Additional notes and breakdowns from the studio:

Territories GBO
UK $10.1M
Korea $9.5M
Taiwan $2.4M
France $2.3M
Australia $2.3M
Brazil $1.9M
Malaysia $1.9M
Hong Kong $1.7M
Thailand $1.7M
Indonesia $1.6M
Philippines $1.4M
Germany $1.0M
Singapore $1.0M
Other $8.2M
Total $47.0M

New openers (Feb. 15)

  • Australia: Opening day was an estimated $1.4M ($2.3M including previews), making it the third biggest ever February opening day.  It is +74% ahead of Ant-Man, +67% ahead of GOTG 1 and +37% ahead of Dr Strange.
  • Brazil: Opening day was an estimated $1.9M, placing it at #1 in the market.  It is +164% ahead of Ant-Man, +83% ahead of Wonder Woman, +36% ahead of Justice League and +9% ahead of Deadpool.
  • Germany: Opening day was an estimated $1.0M, placing it as #1 in the market.  It is +159% ahead of Ant-Man and +125% ahead of Dr Strange (Wed opening).
  • Rest of Latin America:  Black Panther opened at #1 in all the new markets there; Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Panama, Bolivia, Chile and Colombia.  Opening day across the region was very similar to Thor: Ragnarok.
  • Rest of Europe:  Black Panther opened in a number of smaller European markets yesterday and was #1 in Bosnia, Croatia, Czech Rep, Greece, Israel, Portugal, Serbia and Ukraine.  Also, Black Panther has taken the #1 spot in France, Belgium and Switzerland post Valentine’s Day.
  • Rest of Asia:  Black Panther continues to sit at #1 in most markets and saw some incredibly strong holds, including Singapore (day 2 +77% vs day 1), Malaysia (day 2 +18% vs day 1), Korea (day 2 equal to day 1), Indonesia (day 2 just -3% vs day 1) and Hong Kong (day 3 just -3% vs day 2).  Korea is at $9.5M already after just 2 days.

Looking at the same suite of territories at today’s exchange rates, Black Panther is currently pacing ahead of comparable first-installment MCU films such as Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, and Guardians of the Galaxy in most territories. However, it is not apples-to-apples at this early stage due to the varying release patterns of those comps for the territories to date.  We’ll have a comprehensive look at the global debut on Sunday.

Major markets not opening this weekend include Russia (Feb. 22), Japan (March 1), and China (March 9).

Of note, premium formats are playing well domestically – IMAX previews generated an estimated $3M from 404 IMAX screens in North America, a virtual dead heat with Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War as the best ever Marvel Thursday preview opening.

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