MONDAY AM: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is higher this morning with a $181M opening, still a domestic debut record for the month of November. Sunday came in a million higher than what Disney was expecting at $40.5M (vs. $39.5M), a 28% ease from Saturday’s $56.5M. As we mentioned previously, a robust theatrical window is ahead, a bare minimum of 45 days, with no plans for the Ryan Coogler directed and written movie to land on Disney+ at the end of the year (ala Strange World). Also, even though the movie came in lighter than Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in regards to its start, look for Wakanda to have longer legs than that film, some figuring at least a half billion stateside.
SUNDAY AM: Disney and Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is settling in at a $180M opening, and there is absolutely nothing to complain about. The MCU title unseats the previous November opening champ, Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which held the month’s domestic box office opening record for nine years. Wakanda arrived slightly higher than Disney and tracking’s $175M+ estimate. Exhibition were the ones projecting this sequel higher, toward $185M. Worldwide start for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is $330M.
In regards to admissions, EntTelligence reports that Wakanda Forever pulled in the second-most for an opening weekend this year at 12.7M, after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness‘ 13.7M. The sequel’s opening reps the third-highest of the pandemic era after Spider-Man: No Way Home ($260.1M) and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($187.4M).
Though $7M lighter than the start of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and $22M less than the 3-day of Black Panther, peg that to the time of year, when there’s not as much audience available, Wakanda‘s running time, and yes, likely no Chadwick Boseman. However, everybody is loving this sequel, and it has enough gas to hold No. 1 each weekend until 20th Century Studios/Disney’s Avatar: The Way of Water arrives on Dec. 16.
The first Black Panther held No. 1 for 5 weekends straight back in 2018. On PostTrak, a huge 38% of those polled said they plan to see Wakanda Forever again in a theater. Even though Doctor Strange 2 did a 2.2x off its opening for a $411.3M domestic final, it would not be shocking, given the great buzz for Wakanda Forever, to go further, for a half billion stateside endgame.
Other notches in the MCU belt: Wakanda’s opening stands as the 13th-highest opening of all-time, as well as the No. 8 opening of all-time for an MCU title. MCU now accounts for nine out of the top 15 opening weekends ever. Seven MCU movies released between 2021 and current times have grossed $2.3 billion at the box office, repping 21% of the the industry’s $11 billion domestic box office over that near two years.
Updated PostTrak held up throughout the weekend at 5 stars and 93% positive (the first one was 95%), an 85% definite recommend (BP was 88%), and a huge share of Black and Latino/Hispanic audiences, at respectively at 43% and 22% (BP was 40% and 18%).
The big difference here between part 2 and part 1: a huge turnout from women over 25 for Wakanda, which pulled in 32%, and also gave the MCU sequel its highest grade at 97%. That demo only repped 23% on the first Black Panther. Men over 25 showed up next at 31% (91% grade); they repped 27% on the first chapter. Men under 25 repped 21% (88% grade) vs. 29% on Black Panther. Women under 25 showed up at 15%, a lower share than BP‘s 21%, however, they gave the Letitia Wright-Angela Bassett-Lupita Nyong-o sequel a 96% grade.
Proof that word of mouth is in full effect: PostTrak shows that 56% of those who watched Wakanda Forever bought their ticket either the day of or the day before they saw it this weekend, versus 44% who bought their tickets in advance.
Also in PostTrak exits, 55% said they went to see Wakanda Forever because it’s part of a franchise they love, while 44% says it’s because it’s an MCU title, and 42% the cast as a whole.
EntTelligence shows that the average ticket price for Wakanda Forever was $13.71 across the board for the U.S., $12.63 for a non-premium ticket, and $17.24 for a premium format ticket. Top markets for Wakanda were LA, NYC, Dallas, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, D.C., Philly, Houston, and Phoenix in regards to attendance. More proof of the power of a Marvel tentpole: foot traffic was largely evenly spread throughout the day with 18% before 1pm, 29% between 1p-5pm, 30% between 5p-8pm, and 23% after 8pm.
Wakanda‘s Saturday at $56.5M is slightly up from Friday’s $56M (sans previews), a great sign in regards to momentum. Sunday is factored at a 30% from Saturday for a $39.5M take.
As we told you yesterday, Wakanda Forever‘s opening is a November US record for Imax with $14.2M at 405 auditoriums.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has succeeded in delivering a poignant, unmissable sequel to the iconic original, while jumpstarting the global box office ahead of a strong blockbuster slate through 2023. Heading into the Thanksgiving holiday, we expect this film to have a strong run,” said Rich Gelfond, CEO of IMAX in a statement. “A Filmed for IMAX release, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is one of many forthcoming tentpoles created with our technology, for our screens, and further demonstrates the creative and commercial power IMAX can help unlock.”
While exhibition has received word that Disney’s animated Thanksgiving release Strange World will hit Disney+ in time for the year-end holidays, there’s a robust theatrical window ahead for Wakanda Forever, definitely more than 45 days, I understand, with no plans for a holiday drop on the studio’s OTT service.
The other highlight this past weekend, though lower in the charts, was Amblin/Universal’s Steven Spielberg-directed autobiopic The Fabelmans, which got a start at four locations with $160K, or $40K per theater. The film received an A CinemaScore in polling over the weekend. The movie expands on Nov. 23 to roughly 600 theaters. The pic’s opening theater average is solid, much like Tar ($39K) and Banshees of Inisherin‘s ($46K), but it’s a much different movie. While those movies are very arthouse, Fabelmans has the potential to find a crossover audience in its family drama. Uni is supporting this film big throughout awards season after it won the Oscar bellwether People’s Choice award at TIFF.
- ) Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Dis), 4,396 theaters, Fri $84M, Sat $56.5M, Sun $39.5M, 3-day $180M/Wk 1
- Black Adam (NL) 3,603 (-382) theaters, Fri $2.7M (-43%), Sat $3.3M, Sun $2.5M , 3-day $8.6M (-53%)/Total $151.1M/Wk 4
- Ticket to Paradise (Uni) 3,633 (-433) theaters, Fri& $2.1M(-17%), Sat $2.4m, Sun $1.47M, 3-day $6.1M (-29%)/Total $56.5M/Wk 4
- Lyle, Lyle Crocodile (Sony) 2,486 (-519) theaters, Fri $1.125M (+52%), Sat $1.2M, Sun $815K 3-day $3.2M(-5%)/Total: $40.8M/Wk 6
- Smile (Par) 2,271 (-775) theaters, Fri $800K (-31%) Sat $990K Sun $540K, 3-day $2.33M(-42%),total $102.7M/Wk 7
- ) Prey for the Devil (LG) 2,164 (-816) theaters, Fri $680K (-40%), Sat $830K Sun $500K 3-day $2M (-48%) Total $16.96M/ Wk 3
- Banshees of Inisherin (Sea) 960 (+65) theaters Fri $548K(-25%), Sat $660K, Sun $492K, 3-day $1.7M (-17%), Total $5.7M/Wk 4
- One Piece Film Red (Crunchy) 2,161 (-206) theaters, Fri $483K, Sat $559K, Sun $405K, 3-day $1.44M (-84%)/Total $12.7M/Wk 2
- Till (UAR) 1,358 (-778) theaters, Fri $193K (-63%), Sat $250K, Sun $175K 3-day;$618K ;(-67%)/Total $8M/Wk 5
- Yashoda(Cine) 200 theaters, Fri $134K, Sat $145K, Sun $101K, 3-day $380K/Wk 1
SATURDAY AM: What we know for certain is that Disney and Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever posted the 10th-highest opening day ever at $84M, with today being a swing factor in regards to how high or low this 2-hour-and-41-minute running MCU title plays.
Opening weekend range is between $175M-$185M now, which decimates the November opening record previously held by 2013’s Hunger Games: Catching Fire ($158M). But some rivals believe that the Ryan Coogler-directed movie could soar beyond $190M. What’s making this one hard to predict for many? Veterans Day falling on a Friday. You don’t know how much of that big first day is driven by the movie or the amount of kids off from school, which combined was 83% between K-12 and college. The last time Veterans Day fell on a Friday was 2016. CinemaScore is an A versus Black Panther‘s A+.
Backing out previews, Friday made $56M, which is above what Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness did on its first Friday without previews, $54.7M. If today plays even with yesterday, then Wakanda Forever lands at $179M. If Wakanda Forever plays like Spider-Man: No Way Home between its Friday (sans previews) and Saturday it will wind up at $181.8M, and if it emulates a gross pattern like Doctor Strange 2 between a pure Friday and Saturday (+6%) then it will stand at $184.6M for the weekend (All Sundays here are factored on a -30% decline from Saturday).
Note the weekend gross pattern for the first Black Panther is out the window as a comp, as that played out over a 4-day Presidents Day holiday weekend, with dips registering -13% on Saturday vs. Friday, and -9% on Sunday vs. Saturday.
Imax and PLFs are repping close to 35% of the pic’s ticket sales. I hear Wakanda Forever will post the biggest opening weekend for Imax for November, which has stood since Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The Imax weekend numbers here for the Coogler film beat previous Bonds and Marvel movies by leaps and bounds.
Anecdotally, it was very hard to get a good seat at the Porter Ranch AMC north of LA in the Dolby auditorium yesterday and today, which underscores, as some have told me, the need for more premium cinema formats when we have tentpole weekends such as this.
Audience exits still amazing for Wakanda Forever, with 93% on Screen Engine/Comscore’s PostTrak and an 85% definite recommend, with kids under 12 giving it a near 100% and 72% recommend. Guy-leaning at 52%, 45% between 18-34, with 37% over 35. Very diverse film at 44% Black-leading, 21% Hispanic and Latino, 20% Caucasian, and 15% Asian/other.
How good is Wakanda Forever for the economy? The pic is pushing the entire weekend box office to do around $219M in ticket sales, +261% from last weekend’s doldrums of $60.8M and +100% from the same weekend a year ago (weekend 45), which is when Disney/Marvel debuted Eternals. Drilling down on Friday, four theaters made north of $200K, ten were over $150K, 65 were over $100K, and close to 460 were north of $50K, which is excellent.
Busting into the top 10 was Cinegalaxy’s Indian sci-fi movie Yashoda at 200 theaters in 84 markets, with prints in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu. Numbers were OK in NYC, San Francisco, Dallas, and Seattle for what is shaping up to be a $395K opening. The movie from directors Haresh Narayan and K. Hari Shankar follows a pregnant woman named Yashodha, who is advised to follow a few guidelines about her physical and mental well being and safety. However, a set of events occur that make her live on the edge, risking her well being.
1.) Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Dis), 4,396 theaters, Fri $84M, 3-day $175M-$185M/Wk 1
2.) Black Adam (NL) 3,603 (-382) theaters, Fri $2.7M (-43%), 3-day $10M (-45%)/Total $152.5M/Wk 4
3.) Ticket to Paradise (Uni) 3,633 (-433) theaters, Fri $2.1M (-17%), 3-day $6.3M (-25%)/Total $56.7M/Wk 4
4.) Lyle, Lyle Crocodile (Sony) 2,486 (-519) theaters, Fri $1.125M (+52%), 3-day $3M (-9%)/Total: $40.6M/Wk 6
5.) Smile (Par) 2,271 (-775) theaters, Fri $800K (-31%) ,3-day $2.285M (-43%),total $102.7M/Wk 7
6.) Prey for the Devil (LG) 2,164 (-816) theaters, Fri $678K (-40%), 3-day $1.9M (-51%) Total $16.8M/ Wk 3
7.) One Piece Film Red (Crunchy) 2,161 (-206) theaters, Fri $481K (-90%), 3-day $1.53M (-84%)/Total $12.8M/Wk 2
8.) Banshees of Inisherin (Sea) 960 (+65) Fri $548K (-25%), 3-day $1.5M (-25%), Total $5.6M/Wk 4
9.) Till (UAR) 1,358 (-778) theaters, Fri $193K (-63%), 3-day $685K (-63%)/Total $8.1M/Wk 5
10.) Yashoda (Cine) 200 theaters, Fri $137K, 3-day $395K/Wk 1
FRIDAY MIDDAY: Right now we hear that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is heading for an $80M+ Friday, for what will be a $170M-$180M opening weekend at 4,396 theaters.
There is hope that the Ryan Coogler directed and written sequel could overtake Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness‘ $187.4M opening, however, it’s still too early. Currently in hourlies, Wakanda Forever is overtaking Doctor Strange 2 and Thor: Love & Thunder. The sequel doesn’t appear to be front-loaded. If it emulates exactly Doctor Strange 2, its 3-day will come in less than that movie. Doctor Strange 2 fell 36% on Saturday, and 32% on Sunday. In terms of Wakanda Forever coming up short of Doctor Strange 2 in previews by $8M, sources attribute that to the time of year and running times. More people were available back in early May than now on a Thursday night, plus Doctor Strange 2 ran at 2 hours and 6 minutes while Wakanda Forever is 2 hours and 41 minutes.
With an $80M opening day that includes last night’s $28M, Wakanda Forever is the 13th highest opening day of all-time, just under The Avengers’ $80.8M (May 4, 2012). A $170M-$180M opening gets Wakanda Forever into the top 17 best U.S. openings at the B.O., a range that includes such MCU titles as Captain America: Civil War ($179.1M, No. 13) and Iron Man 3 ($174.1M, No. 16).
In 2nd, the fourth weekend of New Line/DC’s Black Adam is between $7M-$11M at 3,603 theaters, down between 38% to 61% for a running total by Sunday between $150M-$154M.
Third belongs to Universal’s fourth weekend of Ticket to Paradise at 3,633 which is eyeing a fourth Friday of $2.4M, -9%, and a 3-day of $6.9M, -19%, and total of $57.3M.
Sony’s Lyle, Lyle Crocodile at 2,486 has a sixth Friday of $1.1M, and an estimated sixth weekend of $3.3M, even with last weekend and a running cume by Sunday of $40.9M.
Fifth goes to Paramount’s seventh weekend of Smile at 2,271 theaters with a Friday of $675K, 3-day of $1.9M, -52% and running total by Sunday of $102.3M.
FRIDAY AM: As expected, Disney and Marvel Studios Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is on fire with a $28M Thursday which easily beats the preview night of the first Black Panther in 2018 which did $25.2M. Wakanda Forever ranks as the third best Thursday preview of the year behind Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($36M) and Thor: Love and Thunder‘s ($29M). Overall, Black Panther 2‘s previews rank as the 15th top preview performance in industry history and gives the Marvel Cinematic Universe six of the top 15 starts ever. The 3-day projection for Wakanda Forever is between $175M-$200M at 4,936 theaters.
Nothing to wince about here with previews for Wakanda Forever being lower than Thor: Love & Thunder which, though panned by critics and earning a B+ CinemaScore, turned in a $144M opening. Previews’ share of MCU opening weekends have varied. Thor: Love & Thunder‘s repped 19% of its 3-day while Doctor Strange 2’s repped 19% of its $187M opening, Black Panther‘s Thursday was 12% of its $202M opening, and Captain Marvels $21M was 14% of its $153M 3-day.
Other great signs for the weekend: Wakanda Forever represents more than 80% of the online ticket retailer’s Veterans Day sales today. Comscore spots 52% K-12 schools off today and another 31% colleges. The Marvel Studios title has been their No. 1 daily ticket-seller for the last two weeks. 82% of fans on Fandango buying tickets to Wakanda say it’s their most anticipated film of this year. We hear that advance ticket sales for Wakanda Forever weren’t front-loaded, rather spread out evenly over the course of the weekend. Disney reports that as of yesterday, Wakanda Forever counted $66M in advance sales, which is behind Doctor Strange 2‘s $85M, but ahead of Thor: Love & Thunder‘s $48M.
Wakanda Forever, which kicked off previews at 3PM yesterday, currently counts a Rotten Tomatoes audience score of 94% to the original Black Panther‘s 79%. Screen Engine/Comscore audience exits are even better at 5 stars for general audiences, parents and kids under 12. Total recommend among general audience is at a high 83%. Thursday night’s audience pulled in 42% Black, 22% Hispanic and Latino, 20% Caucasian and 10% Asian. Thirty-four percent were men over 25 (90% grade), 26% were women over 25 (95% grade), 25% were men under 25 (87%), and 15% women under 25 (98% grade). Among kids under 12, 61% were boys, 39% were girls.
The critical score for Black Panther 2 has settled at 85% certified fresh, which is under the 96% of the first film. Still that won’t hurt Wakanda Forever‘s momentum this weekend. It’s going to be rich one for everyone from theater circuits to Imax.
Among the regular films in release, New Line/DC’s Black Adam ends its third week with $23.7M and a running total of $142.5M. Thursday at $950K, was -11% from Wednesday at 3,985 theaters. Universal’s Ticket to Paradise ends its third weekend with $12.1M, a running total of $50.4M at 4,066 theaters and a Thursday at $840K that was 7% off yesterday. Crunchyroll’s One Piece Film Red at 2,367 theaters ends week one with $11.1M. Thursday was $320K, down 25%. Paramount’s Smile crossed $100M this week after a sixth week of $5.3M, and Thursday of $269K, -11% from Wednesday. Lionsgate’s Prey for the Devil at 2,960 theaters posted a second week of $5.1M, running total of $15M and a Thursday of $234K, -16% from Wednesday.