Superhero fans will be flocking to theaters tonight to be amongst the first to see Black Panther in theaters, and now it seems like it could be a record-breaking debut for February, and one of the biggest openings of all-time. The latest projections put the four-day Presidents Day weekend total between $190 million and $205 million, and while there are no three-day projections for the opening weekend, the three-day tally should be more than enough to break the all-time February box office record of $132.4 million set by Deadpool, which pulled in $152.2 million for its four-day President's Day weekend tally two years ago. This is also a massive increase over the box office projections from just a few weeks ago, which claimed the movie would take in between $100 million and $120 million.
This new report claims that Black Panther is one of, "only a handful of films that have ever tracked at this level of demand," making it more difficult to track, but it's clear that the demand is rising at an exponential rate. A version of this report posted yesterday put the four-day opening weekend tally between $170 million and $180 million, which increased by $20 million in a single day. Since most opening weekend records are taken from the three-day tally, it's difficult to project what the Friday-Sunday tally may be, but with this four-day projection of $190 million to $205 million, the three-day tally should be more than enough to beat Deadpool's February record. Still, that impressive opening from two years ago will still hold the record for the highest R-rated opening weekend.
The huge increase in Black Panther's box office projection isn't terribly surprising though, given the incredible critical reception, with the movie earning an impressive 100% on Rotten Tomatoes from its first wave of reviews, with the current tally at 98%, 208 positive reviews and just five negative reviews. Marvel's own estimates put the four-day tally around the $150 million mark, near the $152.2 million President's Day record set by Deadpool, but these latest reports claim it will be much, much bigger. Fandango even released new information today that supports this movie posting record numbers, since it just cracked the top 5 for the site's all-time pre-sellers.
Black Panther, the 18th movie in the MCU, is currently in fourth place on Fandango's top 5, ahead of the 2012 blockbuster The Hunger Games, but behind, unsurprisingly, the the last three Star Wars movies, with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in third place, Star Wars: The Last Jedi in second place and Star Wars: The Force Awakens in first. Black Panther also became the top superhero movie for Fandango presales, beating Marvel's Captain America: Civil War and Warner Bros. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It also became the top February preseller, beating Fifty Shades of Grey and Deadpool and even the top first quarter preseller, beating The Hunger Games and Beauty and the Beast. Black Panther has also made history in other areas as of late, becoming the first Marvel movie to land the Time Magazine cover, while also becoming the first MCU movie to feature gay characters.
While the anticipation for Black Panther is certainly high for most fans, the movie has also made headlines thanks to a hate group vowing to destroy the user ratings for Black Panther on Rotten Tomatoes, while the same group has also targeted the IMDB ratings. While this war may be waged on the internet, that won't stop fans from heading to theaters en masse to watch T'challa (Chadwick Boseman) and his people of Wakanda. You can head over to BoxOffice.com for their full report and analysis on Black Panther's opening weekend.