Now that Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and Fifty Shades Freed‘s grip on the global box office is beginning to wane, all eyes are beginning to turn toward Black Panther.
Marvel’s Afrocentric spinoff, which has garnered a staggering amount of praise (our review) since the embargo broke earlier this month, is currently simmering at 97 percent over on Rotten Tomatoes – even if a group of spiteful armchair rebels plans to sabotage the film’s audience score.
So far, so good, then, and while box office forecasts have been off the charts ever since Black Panther began screening to critics, Deadline has relayed an updated projection that claims the Ryan Coogler actioner has a chance of scoring anywhere between $160 million and $180 million, with high-end estimations even going so far as to suggest that Black Panther will break $200 million in its four-day weekend. Two. Hundred. Million.
To date, Deadpool is the only February release to have opened above $100 million in North America, which brings these sky-high projections into perspective. They could be a little off-base, of course, as there’s simply no way industry analysts can predict a film’s opening weekend with absolute certainty.
Either way, it won’t be too long before those estimates are put to the test, as Black Panther is expected to host its Thursday night screenings later this evening. It’ll need to clear $20 million or $25 million in advanced showings if it’s to really break past $170 million across the four-day weekend, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on those numbers as the reports come in.
One way or another though, Black Panther has been deemed as a progressive and revolutionary expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And we’ll be able to see what all the hype is about tomorrow, February 16th.