Long Range Box Office Forecast: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Tracking for Potential November Record Debut of $180M+

Photo Credits: Disney & Marvel Studios ("Black Panther: Wakanda Forever")

One of 2022’s most anticipated films finally hits theaters in four weeks, and legions of Marvel fans are expected to turn out in blockbuster numbers once again.

Anticipation for Ryan Coogler and Marvel Studios’ follow-up to Black Panther is steadily building, with long range tracking models indicating it’s on course to eclipse The Hunger Games: Catching Fire‘s $158.1 million November record set in 2013.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Disney & Marvel Studios
November 11, 2022

PROS:

  • The first Black Panther was a phenomenon in every sense of the word, demolishing Presidents Day weekend and February records with a $202 million domestic bow. The film was a watershed moment for Black culture and superhero representation that drew audiences beyond just the Marvel faithful. It went on to earn $700.1 million domestically and $1.35 billion worldwide — not to mention three Oscar wins and a nomination for Best Picture.

    The lead character’s importance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe built from there with a key role in the Infinity War and Endgame duet of Avengers films.
  • Since his untimely and tragic passing, conversation surrounding this sequel and how the franchise will carry on with Chadwick Boseman has been at the forefront of the most pressing questions by Marvel fandom. For all intents and purposes, this sequel is expected to deliver on marketing’s promise that it will be a memorial to him and his legacy for all to share and experience together.
  • The first trailer received an enormous outpouring of positive reactions upon its release while delicately hinting at which character will inherit the role of Black Panther, a central point of speculation among fans.
  • Pre-sales have been strong since beginning over a week-and-a-half ago, pacing alongside the recent Thor: Love & Thunder — an encouraging sign since Wakanda Forever‘s sales cycle began much earlier in the marketing window (39 days versus Love & Thunder‘s 25 days). As a fall release, Wakanda may also prove somewhat less front-loaded to Thursday previews.
  • As seen throughout the theatrical recovery era over the past year, audiences are ready and willing to show up for major event films. The drought of must-see tentpole releases since summer should again create some pent-up demand among casual patrons.
  • Average ticket prices are an estimated 23 percent higher in Q4 2022 than when the first Panther opened in February 2018, providing some statistical indication for box office potential alongside its position as the only true tentpole release in theaters before Avatar: The Way of Water more than one month later.

CONS:

  • While respectfully considering the death of Chadwick Boseman, that is ultimately an element that’s challenging to define in forecasting models from an objective standpoint.

    Unlike the loss of Heath Ledger and Paul Walker before their final major roles in The Dark Knight and Furious 7, Boseman will not appear in this film. Those aforementioned event-level franchise performers attracted beyond their core audiences to generate series-best box office earnings.

    Since it can be argued the first Black Panther already achieved that, expecting an even larger performance for this sequel based on those histories doesn’t make for an apples-to-apples comparison. With the intense interest expected to drive upfront business, a more front-loaded run for this sequel (relative to the first Panther) is likelier than not.
  • Mixed reception for this year’s two prior MCU theatrical films — as well as general saturation of the brand when including numerous Disney+ streaming series — could be in play for casual viewers, particularly dependent on reviews and word of mouth.

Long Range Box Office Forecast & 2022’s Upcoming Calendar
(as of 10/13/22)

Release Date Title 3-Day (FSS) Opening Low/High Range Pinpoint % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total Low/High Range Pinpoint % Chg from Last Week Estimated Location Count Distributor
10/21/2022 The Banshees of Inisherin         4 Disney / Searchlight Pictures
10/21/2022 Black Adam $55,000,000 – $65,000,000 -8% $135,000,000 – $163,000,000 -8% 4,400 Warner Bros. Pictures
10/21/2022 Tár (Limited Expansion)         100 Focus Features
10/21/2022 Ticket to Paradise $9,000,000 – $14,000,000 -13% $35,000,000 – $60,000,000   3,500 Universal Pictures
10/28/2022 Prey for the Devil $6,000,000 – $11,000,000   $13,000,000 – $25,000,000     Lionsgate
10/28/2022 Tár (Nationwide Expansion; Limited on October 7)           Focus Features
10/28/2022 Till (Wide Expansion; Limited on October 14)           MGM / UAR / Orion
11/4/2022 Armageddon Time (Wide Exp; Limited on Oct. 28)           Focus Features
11/4/2022 One Piece Film Red $8,000,000 – $15,000,000   $14,000,000 – $30,000,000     Crunchyroll / Sony
11/11/2022 Black Panther: Wakanda Forever $180,000,000 – $225,000,000   $445,000,000 – $590,000,000     Disney / Marvel Studios

All above figures represent best and worst case scenarios for how each respective film is currently tracking based on existing market conditions and projected model fluctuation before release. These are not final forecasts.

Additional pinpoint opening weekend and domestic total projections are available to clients. For more information on forecasts, pricing, and availability, please contact us.

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