'Black Panther' Breaks Thursday Previews Record for a Non-Sequel

'Black Panther' Breaks Thursday Previews Record for a Non-Sequel

Feb 16, 2018

With Marvel's Black Panther one of the most anticipated movies of all time, box office records are expected to break this weekend. And the movie has already managed one significant feat. Disney reports the MCU installment kicked off its opening last night with $25.2 million. That's Marvel's second-best showing for Thursday night previews, and technically it's a new peak for a non-sequel debut. 

The extra bit of change after the decimal point is key, because it means Black Panther sold slightly more tickets than Captain America: Civil War, in which the former's eponymous African superhero made his movie introduction. The only Marvel movie to out-gross Black Panther in Thursday previews is Avengers: Age of Ultron, which did $27.6 million in 2015. 

Other superhero movies to post larger numbers on the eve of their release date include Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($27.7 million) and The Dark Knight Rises ($30.5 million). The previous record holder for a non-sequel was The Avengers, which grossed $19 million back in 2012. Of course, we're ignoring inflation, as well as the fact that both movies are still franchise installments.

Another record Black Panther can claim is best Thursday night preview for a February release. The previous holder there was Deadpool, which did about half as much ($12.7 million) in midnight previews in 2016. But it's not the best for a movie released outside the summer months. Batman v Superman did better pre-summer and the Star Wars and Twilight franchises performed better in post-summer release.

Given that Civil War went on to a domestic opening weekend gross of $179 million and Age of Ultron debuted with $191 million, Black Panther could be seeing something in the middle of those two numbers. Of course, The Avengers went even further with a $207 million opening.

With so much hype, and such phenomenal advance sales and remarkable reviews (98% score on Rotten Tomatoes!), there's a chance the movie will still overperform even the most optimistic projection. Regardless, it's already a certainty that Black Panther will have the best opening for a solo superhero's first movie, topping Deadpool's $132 million.

Black Panther is already raking in big bucks overseas, too. The movie is up to $47 million in international gross after three days, blowing away figures during the same timeframe for solo superhero Marvel movies such as Doctor Strange and last year's Thor: Ragnarok, according to Box Office Mojo

Categories: Box office, News, Geek
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