Black Panther is on track to take in as much as $210 million at the North American box office over Presidents Day weekend, according to Variety, far exceeding initial projections. As recently as Jan. 25, Marvel’s latest film was expected to earn in the $100–$120 million range, but estimates have been increasing by leaps and bounds as the film’s release date neared. Now, after $25.2 million in Thursday preview revenue and another $50 million on Friday, Black Panther is headed for the $200 million club.
That will secure it the record as the largest Presidents Day opening ever, beating Deadpool’s $152 million by an easy margin. Additionally, its Friday grosses (including Thursday’s previews) give Black Panther the eighth highest opening day box office in history and the third highest among Marvel movies. It also joins The Avengers as the only other Marvel film to earn an A+ CinemaScore. Director Ryan Coogler is the first black person to direct a Marvel Cinematic Universe film, and this is the first MCU film to focus on a black superhero. (It is very far from the first black superhero film, however.)
Black Panther will be the highest grossing film of the weekend by an order of magnitude, winning it first prize, a 1992 Cadillac Eldorado. Second prize, a set of steak knives, will go to Peter Rabbit for its projected $22 million box office. Third prize is you’re fired, Fifty Shades Freed.
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