BLACK PANTHER smashes records with a $192 million opening

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23

The studio estimates are in, and there’s plenty of reason to celebrate – especially if you’re a Marvel accountant – as the landmark superhero picture Black Panther is roaring into a record-setting $192 million opening.

Here’s the records we’re currently looking at:

  1. It’s the biggest February opening of all time
  2. It’s on pace to become the highest grossing film directed by a black filmmaker, certainly domestically, and has a good chance of topping the current record-holder worldwide (The Fate of the Furious presently holds that title with a 1.2 billion worldwide gross)
  3. It’s the fifth-biggest opening weekend ever, not accounting for inflation – in February of all months, hardly the home of big grosses.
  4. It’s the second biggest opening for a Marvel Studios film, placing it behind only the first Avengers (207 million), and squeaks it ahead of Age of Ultron‘s (191 million).

That Black Panther is playing on the same ball-field as the biggest money-makers within the Marvel Studios brand really speaks to not only the excitement surrounding what is an impeccably-made piece of popcorn entertainment, but also the hunger for a film that puts a cast of black actors front and center. Representation matters, and much like with Wonder Woman last year, you can just follow the money for the all the proof you need. As I covered in my review earlier this week, I can only hope this will be a wake-up call to Hollywood, and more and more diverse tentpoles will become the norm.

Counting the entire four-day President’s Day weekend of movie-going, Black Panther is looking to hit around $218 million domestically. Wow! Another home-run for the studio, but what it stands for is even bigger than that.

Also, between this and Creed, there’s a really good argument to be made for Ryan Coogler’s status as the best franchise filmmaker working today. I can’t wait to see what he does next.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Black Panther is quite good. It might have the best self-contained story of any Marvel movie since Iron Man. It also suffers from a lot of the Rey-itis we’ve seen in the latest Star Wars movies, except this time it is basically every single character who is amazing and marvelous and the absolute best they could possibly be at everything.

    And it is certainly refreshing to see a big blockbuster like this with a nearly all black cast and about something other than America and Americans.

    Mike

  2. Turns out representation matters so much that you can put out a completely mediocre, predictable movie and people will go see it because it’s not about a white man. If we had more popcorn movies lead by people of colour, we could get excited about ones that are actually deserving of hype, instead of Black Panther.

    I was hoping Black Panther would turn out like Wonder Woman last year, where people were obviously mostly hyping it up because it was about a female superhero, but it was actually a great movie even if you care about things other than representation. Black Panther is not that.

  3. “basically every single character who is amazing and marvelous and the absolute best they could possibly be at everything.”

    T’Challa barely wins his fight with M’Baku and loses to Killmonger ar Warrior Falls.

    Killmonger defeats Nakia and Shuri combined.

    Okoye is manipulated by Killmonger, W’Kabi gives up in battle.

    I don’t think you paid attention at all.

  4. “Turns out representation matters so much that you can put out a completely mediocre, predictable movie”

    Salty tears are the tastiest.

  5. I’ll see the movie tomorrow or Wednesday, but I’m highly skeptical of the fact that every superhero movie is touted as “best superhero movie EVER!” I’m sure it will be great (new type of hero, new setting, new cast, origin story, high production value, separation from main continuity), and I have been excited for this movie since it was first announced. Hopefully it is worth the hype and price of admission.

  6. “Also, between this and Creed, there’s a really good argument to be made for Ryan Coogler’s status as the best franchise filmmaker working today.”

    Film critic/historian Mark Harris tweeted that not since Spielberg (with Jaws and Close Encounters) has a 31-year-old director made such terrifically entertaining movies back to back.

  7. Diversity characters are killing comics and now movies, too? Look at that opening…imagine how big it would have been if all the strong characters were white and all the women and people of color were cowering in the corner or bad guys. Really a shame…

    The Beat comments are pretty predictable nowadays. Lots of old, grumpy white men who are sad superheroes aren’t only meant for them anymore…

  8. I had a lot of problems with the movie that outweighed the good, overall. Just concentrating on the good though, and that is Shuri. Her and some other characters were really quite good. And there were glimpses of the chauvinist political gesturing that I so like about Christopher Priest’s run.

    It’s a Marvel movie. I caught some of Coogler’s Fruitvale Station the other night, which the experience it conveys reminds me that I have no real inkling of what it is to be a black man in our society. Therefore I have to suspend judgement about people getting positive valuations from BP and just go with it a little

  9. “The Beat comments are pretty predictable nowadays. Lots of old, grumpy white men who are sad superheroes aren’t only meant for them anymore…”

    And they probably haven’t read a comic book in years or decades. They probably saw a report on Fox News (or heard one on right-wing talk radio) about Marvel’s diversity initiative, and regard it as more evidence of the world going to hell.

  10. Interesting profile of Ryan Coogler from 2007, when he was a 21-year-old aspiring filmmaker.

    ttps://www.eastbaytimes.com/2007/12/17/filmmaker-avoids-tragic-life-plotline/

  11. “The Beat comments are pretty predictable nowadays. Lots of old, grumpy white men who are sad superheroes aren’t only meant for them anymore…”

    I haven’t seen anything like that in this thread. Maybe those comments were removed. Everyone so far seems to have liked the movie to one degree or another.

  12. I wonder if the success of the film will help push comics companies into pushing their products back into places besides specialty comics stores. That would be one of the best ways for them to capitalize on this if floppies are to continue.

  13. “That would be one of the best ways for them to capitalize on this if floppies are to continue.”

    I’m not sure anything can save printed periodicals at this point — not just comic books, but newspapers and magazines as well. The CEO of the NY Times thinks print journalism has 10 more years. I doubt it will last that long. And I doubt floppies will last another decade.

  14. Okay, so here’s my follow-up after watching “Black Panther” yesterday. (Unfortunately the comment program crashed when trying to post before, so this is a little condensed.) Overall, a great movie. From my enjoyment perspective, I put it about the same level as the initial Iron Man, Captain America, and Wonder Woman movie. It was not so much an “origin story”, but was more of a civil war/nation’s struggle type of story. So from that angle it succeeded by showing me something new and doing so with a new cast, a new voice/perspective, an ACTUAL soundtrack, good action scenes, great visuals, complex lore, and some good protagonists and antagonists.

    I’d give about an 8 out of 10 as a movie (9 or 9.5 as a comic book movie). A few small dings due to some weaker CGI used in a few spots, some cheesy dance moves and dialogue threw me out of the experience a few times, and what I think the unnecessary killing of a certain character.

    All that said, I’m not excited about a sequel because it almost certainly won’t live up to the quality of this movie. And I generally hate sequels because they retread the same stories and quickly become unoriginal. So the challenge to Marvel will be how to use Black Panther going forward and how to follow-up on his initial film. I don’t delve into upcoming movie plot lines, but I hear rumblings that Wakanda will feature in Infinity War? If so, then that has some promise for a way to tie those characters and settings into the larger Marvel universe.

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