The first traditional tracking surveys for Marvel’s Black Panther were released this morning, and early indicators suggest the film could have a new February record in its sights when it debuts in three weeks. Based on our internal analysis, the 18th chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently trending to clear $130-135 million over opening weekend, while other third-party observers are calling for a more cautious (but still excellent) $100-120 million.
February’s reigning box office opening champ is Fox’s Deadpool, which bowed to $132.4 million over the three-day portion of President’s Day weekend two years ago (when it also had the benefit of Valentine’s Day landing on Sunday). While that film’s highly unique social media prowess remains the benchmark for origin stories in the genre, Black Panther is tracking ahead of it across the board in terms of unaided awareness, total awareness, definite interest, and first choice among surveyed audiences.
Deadpool went on to post a stellar $152.2 million over the course of its four-day holiday weekend bow, and $363 million domestically by the end of its run. The latest Marvel blockbuster-in-waiting is also set to release during the President’s Day frame.
The favorable comparisons don’t end there: Black Panther‘s unaided awareness is scoring triple that of Suicide Squad and Doctor Strange, and more than four times higher than Ant-Man at the same point before release. Total awareness and definite interest are similar to that of Suicide, while first choice selections stand 11 percent ahead of the DC film, nearly double those of Doctor Strange, and more than triple Ant-Man.
On the Twitter front, Black Panther‘s recent daily tweet volumes have been comparable to Suicide Squad and well ahead of Doctor Strange in the same pre-release windows.
For reference, Suicide Squad opened to $133.7 million in early August 2016, while fellow MCU origin story pics Doctor Strange and Ant-Man started with $85.1 million and $57.2 million, respectively.
Today’s early tracking further backs up our recent forecast bumps for the film, which came in the wake of Fandango’s outstanding pre-sales report. The company had also previously announced a customer survey in which Panther ranked as the second most anticipated film of 2018 — only trailing a fellow MCU title, Avengers: Infinity War.
Stay tuned to our weekly Long Range Forecast reports for continued updates on Black Panther and other upcoming releases.