Black Panther‘s box office predictions are here and it looks like King T’Challa and the rest of the Wakandans are about to rule the box office this weekend. Deadline reports that the Marvel superhero flick directed by Ryan Coogler is on track to earn $200 to $205 million over four days during its opening weekend. Its three-day earning estimate is $175 million. So far, close to 40 percent of those ticket sales are coming from advance screenings that took place last night.
If the estimates hold true, this will be a historic win for Ryan Coogler and the cast of Black Panther. It will mean that this is the biggest opening weekend ever recorded by a film helmed by an African-American director, beating the previous record holder, The Fate Of The Furious, which was directed by F. Gary Gray. According to Deadline, the numbers would also place the Black Panther movie in the list of top 10 biggest opening weekends ever, one spot behind another Marvel product, Captain America: Civil War.
The newest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa who has ascended to the throne of Wakanda, a technologically advanced African nation, after his father’s death in Civil War. But heavy is the head that wears the crown. As king, T’Challa must deal with the return of an old enemy who contests his right to the throne, as well as other dangers that put Wakanda and the rest of the world at risk.
The film currently has a 97 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which makes it Marvel’s best-reviewed movie to date. Boseman is supported by a roster of actors who have made names for themselves in other properties including Creed‘s Michael B. Jordan, The Walking Dead‘s Danai Gurira, Get Out‘s Daniel Kaluya, and Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o of 12 Years A Slave and Star Wars. Andy Serkis, known for his stellar turns as a motion-capture actor in Lord Of The Rings and Planet Of The Apes, stars as the main antagonist, Ulysses Klaue.
There are critics who have already called Black Panther one of the best movies in the Marvel pantheon. The Atlantic‘s review said that the scope of its subject matter and depictions make it something bigger than a run-of-the-mill superhero movie. The consensus seems to be that Ryan Coogler harnessed his directorial vision and skill to bring Wakanda to life and the box office numbers look to be on track to reward him for that.