Despite a less-than-expected international bow, the highly anticipated superhero sequel from director Ryan Coogler Black Panther: Wakanda Forever shattered November domestic box office records with a massive $181 million opening weekend.
In my review of Wakanda foreverI predicted a bigger result, both domestically and internationally, but it appears to be a combination of factors – especially in the Asia-Pacific region, where the film was not distributed in China and where a recent tragedy in South Korea contributed to the movie theater attendance was stifled, not to mention global spikes in COVID, flu and RSV causing hospitals to fill up with children and adults – kept the MCU sequel from even higher ticket sales.
There’s also the fact that the results of the domestic election — or more to the point, a lack of final results heading into the weekend — probably dampened some of the excitement and enthusiasm for going to theaters with friends and family. So was the longer duration, which reduced the number of impressions per day.
And of course, Chadwick Boseman’s death and absence from the film created a more sombre tone to the film’s anticipation and release, which combined with election fears and other factors prevented a turnout as large and enthusiastic as I had anticipated.
Indeed, the loss of Boseman is a central part of not only the film’s story and its production, it’s also an undeniable element likely responsible for at least some of the stifled turnout for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. For some, his death is no doubt still too sad for a sequel to seem compelling, while others have probably decided that without Boseman, they’re less interested in the sequel. Still others will definitely see the new movie, but may be less energetic and excited about their presence, meaning they’re not as excited to bring large groups of friends or family and less likely to make it an entire “event.” complete with special dress-ups. for a showing.
Those are the things that can also influence return viewers in theaters, and even positive word of mouth framed in the wider sense of loss and grief can have a diminished effect when it comes to driving more visitors.
But none of this is to suggest Black Panther: Wakanda Forever had something less than a huge and impressive opening. Once again, the film set a record for the biggest November opening weekend in North American history, up 15% from the previous record holder. The Hunger Games: Catching Firewhich grossed more than $158 million in its freshman outing in 2013. It is also Marvel’s fourth-highest non-profitAvengers all-time domestic opening, trailing only Spider-Man: No Way Homethe first Black Panther and Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness.
Worldwide, Wakanda forever world debut in seventh place for the non-Avengers titles, back only Spider-Man: No Way Home, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness, Captain America: Civil War, iron man 3and Black Panther.
Foreign earnings are still impressive despite falling short of forecasts, but this is the only obstacle that can potentially be avoided Black Panther: Wakanda Forever of hitting $1 billion, depending on how things go. At this time of year, with so little competition for the month ahead, Wakanda forever should normally enjoy strong weekly breaks over the holidays and children get long weekends and holidays from school. The convergence of factors, including the lack of a theatrical release in China and lower ticket sales in other parts of the Asia-Pacific market, plus rising Covid, flu and RSV infections and hospital admissions, could result in lower weekly bookings.
That said, the Chinese box office contributed only a relatively small portion of the original From the black panther box office, just north of $100 million out of a total of $1.34 billion, so without the Middle Kingdom and even another $200 million in other markets, Wakanda forever should still reach $1 billion territory.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever should finish in the $525+ million range next weekend (and probably closer to $530-540 million), with much more open ground ahead and no significant competition until mid-December when Avatar: the way of the water flooding cinemas for the Christmas holidays. And while the number of pandemics and epidemics is rising again, that doesn’t seem to be causing any lasting suppression of theater attendance as of late, and the sheer number of people on vacation and children out of school for long weekends and holidays should be big enough to number avoids theaters in the long run.
If Wakanda forever does not fall below $1 billion, there is a chance that lower international totals combined with pandemic-related concerns and other factors will keep the final tally as low as perhaps somewhere in the $800+ million range. However, this assumes large weekly declines and does not include likely box office spikes during holiday weekends. More likely for a result of less than a billion, a finish would be somewhere closer to $900+ million.
There’s no point in glossing over the fact that anything under $1 billion is bound to be unexpected and under the studio’s hopes. Yes, they will be disappointed by such an outcome. That said, there is a difference between expectations and objective assessments, and even a much lower $800+ million cume would still be a successful positioning Wakanda forever to make nine-digit gains, even if that is also considered underperformance that falls short of expectations.
A global total of more than $900 million, while also below expectations, should be less disappointing. The mere fact of losing and releasing Boseman during a pandemic is more than enough in itself to make a lower financial result understandable and perhaps even foreseeable. result significantly north of that number. And of course, the loss of the Chinese market and the reduced turnout in Korea were other factors that would inevitably lead to a lower result.
I still believe Black Panther: Wakanda Forever can and will reach $1 billion, and if not, I think it will still be over $900 million. But it’s less certain at this point, even knowing it will cross the half-billion mark in its second weekend. We’ll have a much better sense of where things go after the weekend, which will indicate whether Wakanda forever sees bigger weekly drops or has better stamina.
Check back soon for updates and if you see it Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Then make sure you wear a mask this weekend, not only to protect yourself from Covid, flu and RSV spikes, but also to protect others around you who may have compromised immune systems or suffer from chronic conditions ( such as COPD for just one example). infection with one of those viruses much more dangerous.