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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever breaks $546m over the weekend

The Black Panther sequel is living up to the original at the box office (so far)

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is finally in theaters (Buy tickets on Fandango or Atom Tickets) - and according to early box office receipts, it's a massive success.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Image credit: Marvel Studios

As of Sunday November 21, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has earned $546 million - with 52.7% of that coming from North America (that's about $288m if you don't want to do the math).

While revenue doesn't equate to quality, it does give us a sense of how much we as the general public are interested in the film. That being said, let's dive into some numbers.

The competition for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opened in theaters three weeks after DC Studios' Black Adam, but even with that three-week headstart the Marvel sequel has surpassed the DC/Rock tag-team - $546m to $366m.

Looking at the calendar ahead, it's a relatively light 2023 holiday season as far as movies goes - opening the door to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever being able to last in theaters longer than would be expected in a crowded summer schedule, so long as ticket sales hold.

Did Black Panther: Wakanda Forever have the biggest opening weekend of 2022?

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Image credit: Marvel Studios

That is a no.

Prior to its theatrical release, the consensus of industry experts was that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever would rake in at least $175m in its opening weekend domestically, with some saying it could go as high as $200m. It ended up landing at $180m, above some estimates but short of the record - $187m domestic, earned by Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness back in May.

Comparing the box office of of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to the original

Black Panther reportedly made $1.347 billion in its 2018 theatrical release (and 2020 re-release) - with roughly 52% of that coming from North America. The original film's Thursday preview receipts totaled $25.5m, going towards a domestic opening weekend of $242.1m.

Comparing second weekend stats between the two, Wakanda FOrever is roughly 2% ahead of the original - that's despite it being 27 minutes longer, which adds up to decrease the number of times it can play in a given theater in any given day.

How much did Black Panther: Wakanda Forever cost?

According to Variety, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever had a production budget of roughly $250 million dollars - and that's not including what's going into marketing.

Given theaters roughly take about 50% of the ticket sales, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever earned back its budget in just two weeks in theaters.

What's next for the Black Panther franchise?

Cropped poster for Black Panther Wakanda Forever featuring the cast of Black Panther
Image credit: Marvel Studios

In what was either nice timing or some pre-planned marketing for this film, reports hit the trades just before the opening weekend that Marvel is already working on multiple Disney+ spin-offs from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. That would include the recently-wrapped Ironheart series for Disney+, the teased Wakandan Disney+ show rumored to center on Okoye, as well as additional Disney+ show(s) about new Wakandan characters.

As for a third Black Panther film? Director/co-writer Ryan Coogler says that he doesn't know what he's directing next, while Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige says he wants more - but is hoping that Coogler is the one to do it, if possible.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is in theaters now. Buy tickets on Fandango or Atom Tickets.

This is the last major superhero film of 2022, but there's a lot more coming in 2023 and beyond. Check out our comprehensive guide to upcoming superhero movies (and their release dates).

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