'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' aims to break box office records this weekend

‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ aims to break box office records this weekend

Angela Bassett stars as Queen Ramonda in Marvel’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”


Long live the king.

by Disney The latest entrant to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’, is set to debut in theaters this weekend, with box office analysts suggesting it could top the average forecast of 185. million and exceed $200 million in domestic ticket sales.

The long-awaited sequel to 2018’s hit “Black Panther” isn’t just another Marvel movie. It’s a memorial to the late actor Chadwick Boseman, who starred in the first film, and a celebration of diversity, which could boost ticket sales.

The release could be a boon for theater operators, who have struggled with a thin slate of releases this year. AMC Entertainmentthe world’s largest movie theater operator, posted another quarterly loss this week as spending on movie screenings and rent outpaced ticket and concession sales.

“‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ opens in extraordinary circumstances amid an outpouring of goodwill and outpouring of support for the work and legacy of Chadwick Boseman and the indelible mark he left. in the title role of the original film which was a billion-dollar worldwide,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. He called it “one of the biggest movie releases” since Covid shut down cinemas in March 2020.

The wait for ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ is so intense it could end with both the opening weekend success of Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ and resistance to the box office of Primordial and Skydance’s “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Currently, “Multiverse of Madness” holds the top opening of the year, grossing $187 million on its domestic debut in May. Other top openers include Universal’s ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ ($145 million), ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ ($144 million), ‘The Batman’ ($134 million) and “Top Gun: Maverick” ($126 million).

“Wakanda Forever” has a chance to be not only the biggest opener of 2022, but also the biggest opener of November. ‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ holds the title after raking in $158 million when it opened in 2013.

Honoring Boseman is important to ticket buyers, according to a Fandango survey of 1,000 people who purchased “Wakanda Forever” tickets. The ticket seller reported that 96% of those moviegoers hope the new movie finds a special way to honor the late actor.

Fueling ticket sales won’t just be fans of the superhero genre. Box office analysts and theater operators expect African-American and Hispanic moviegoers to flock to theaters this weekend.

Like “Black Panther,” “Wakanda Forever” features a predominantly black cast, but it also has several Hispanic actors. Both of these demographics were hugely important to the first film’s box office success and could fuel big ticket sales five years later.

According to Comscore, 37% of “Black Panther’s” opening weekend audience was black, which is more than double what the demographics typically represent for other Marvel films. Hispanic audiences accounted for 18% of ticket sales.

“Black Panther” grossed over $202 million when it opened domestically in 2018.

Disney Marvel Studios’ smash hit “Black Panther,” the No. 1 box office film of 2018, is aiming for the Best Picture Oscar critical acclaim that has long been denied to superhero movies.

Source: Marvel

“I think what we’re going to see in this movie is an over-indexing of African-American consumer representation and then an over-indexing of Hispanic consumers in this movie,” said Rolando Rodriguez, president of the National Association of Theater. . Owners.

This adds to the typical Marvel consumer universe, he said.

Also amplifying the opening of “Wakanda Forever”, the tendency of moviegoers to opt for premium formats such as IMAX, Dolby Cinema and large format cinema screens for big budget movie releases. For major superhero and action movies, premium formats, which cost more per ticket, account for around 40% of pre-sales and translate to around 33% of box office sales, according to data from EntTelligence. .

The average ticket sold for a standard format film shown this year is approximately $11.19. For premium formats, the average is $15.64 per ticket.

Beyond its opening weekend, “Wakanda Forever” will also benefit from a lighter theatrical schedule. The film has no direct competition until the release of Disney’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” on December 16.

“It’s an automatic advantage,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com.

Box office analysts expect word of mouth to be a big factor in the film’s buoyant ticket sales in theaters. That seemed to be a factor for the first “Black Panther” movie, which had stellar weekends throughout its run. Ticket sales fell just 45% between its first and second weekends, compared to the 60% to 70% decline typically expected for blockbuster movies.

In fact, weekend declines for “Black Panther” have remained below 50% for 12 straight weeks, according to Comscore data.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. Universal was the distributor of “Jurassic World Dominion” and owns Fandango.

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