early Black Panther: Wakanda Forever box office projections predict lower numbers than the first film. In 2018, Marvel’s Black Panther grossed $700 million at the domestic box office, shattering expectations and setting records. It became the highest-grossing film directed by a black filmmaker, the highest-grossing film of 2018, and its $1.3 billion worldwide pull placed it as the 9th highest-grossing film of all time. Black Panther even beat Avengers: Infinity Wars $678 million domestic gross while playing in 400 fewer theaters nationwide, though Infinite War grossed more worldwide with a total of $2.04 billion. Four years later, Black Panther still stands as the 14th highest-grossing film of all time.
In 2022, the domestic cash register will still be in a post-lockdown slump, though this year has raised $5.6 billion so far, up from $4.5 billion since this time last year. Much of the year-over-year increase is due to the continued success of Top Gun: Maverick, which has exceeded $700 million domestically and more than $1.4 billion globally. But a lack of strong releases in August and September has seen the box office fall below pre-pandemic levels, and Labor Day was noticeably weaker this year than in 2021, when Marvel’s Shang-Chi became the highest-grossing film to open the Labor Day weekend, staying in first place four weekends in a row. This year’s Marvel efforts weren’t outright disasters, but Thor: Love and Thunders $343 million and Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness’ $411 million domestic grosses were both considered underperformers.
utilities Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s box office is expected to be lower than that of the first film. According to Variety, predictive data provided exclusively by Cinelytic, a content analytics company, suggests that due to the untimely death of star Chadwick Boseman (with Marvel film head Kevin Feige refusing to recast T’Challa), and the way the box office is running from 2022 to has expired so far, the sequel is expected to earn only $424 million domestically. This exceeds the Doctor Strange sequel is dirty, but far from it Black Panther’s opinion; $276 million less, to be exact.
Can Black Panther: Wakanda Forever surpass the Box Office projections?
What the cold calculation of Cinelytic’s figures cannot fully take into account, however, is the unpredictability of theatergoers. The first Black Panther wasn’t a hit either, but the film struck a chord with audiences, especially the black audience, who had never seen themselves so fully featured in a big-budget superhero film. While superhero movies have strived for more diversity in casting in general, Black Panthers extensive bank of excellent POC characters remains a rarity and could probably bring audiences back en masse. This includes all audience members who are curious to see how Wakanda Forever is about the loss of King T’Challa, those who want to know who will be the next Black Panther, be it Shuri or not, and those who want to commemorate the late Boseman. Also to be reckoned with, though less critically received than their previous films, both Thor: Love and Thunder and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness earned more than Thor: Ragnarok and Doctor Strange, respectively.
Given the lack of major feature films in the past two months, audience demand could exceed Cinelytics’ projects. In addition to other tent poles to be released in the last quarter of the year, such as Halloween ends, Black Adamand Avatar: The way of the waterpeople may crave big screen entertainment, making Black Panther: Wakanda Forever another global hit. Or it will surpass Black Panthers $700 million domestic remains to be seen, but more than $424 million seems much more likely.
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