Black Panther’s box office numbers are already smashing records starting with its opening night returns, and the Marvel Studios film is poised to break even more records in the coming days.
The politically and culturally charged superhero film, led by Chadwick Boseman as the titular hero, secured $25.2 million on its Thursday night opening in the U.S. and Canada, Independent reported. Black Panther has already set its first record, having the highest opening night results for February. Its total sales are double that of 2016’s Deadpool, which only took home $12.7 million.
Within the Marvel Cinematic Universe alone, Black Panther is a close runner-up to Avengers: Age of Ultron, which still holds the number one spot with $27.6 million on its opening night.
In addition to the film dominating the box office and receiving glorious reviews, Black Panther’s success streak isn’t expected to end there. As a matter of fact, expectations are running high for the film’s overall performance.
The Ryan Coogler-directed movie is expected to rake in around $172-$198 million at the box office during its four-day opening weekend, making it a historical first for Disney and Marvel Studios. Early predictions suggest that Black Panther could easily overtake current President’s Day weekend record-holder Deadpool, which took the crown with $152 million in 2016, Variety reported. Deadpool is followed by Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan’s Fifty Shades of Grey, which opened with $93 million in 2015.
Black Panther currently boasts a 97 percent fresh rating on movie aggregate score website Rotten Tomatoes, making hit the highest rated title in the MCU and its rival DC Extended Universe.
The film takes place after the events of Captain America: Civil War when Boseman’s T’Challa returns to Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. Black Panther is being praised for presenting a solid list of African cast members, including Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, and Daniel Kaluuya.
Ahead of its release, the movie also created a social media firestorm, with fans eagerly sharing their opening night outfits and discussing what the film means to them with the hashtag “#WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe.”
The movie also features a soundtrack produced by Kendrick Lamar and features tracks from The Weeknd, SZA, Future, Swae Lee, and more.