After its third straight box office win in a row, Black Panther is on top of the movie world, pulling in a whopping $501.7 million domestic and an additional $403.4 million from international markets, for a worldwide total of $905.1 million, with the $1 billion plateau looming closer and closer. While Black Panther is a bona fide box office blockbuster, it's also raking in big bucks in merchandise sales as well. A new report claims that Disney could rake in upwards of $250 million from Black Panther-related merchandise this year.
While that figure is certainly nowhere in the neighborhood of merchandising sales for Star Wars or even other popular Disney brands like Frozen and Mickey Mouse and Friends, it's still, "pretty respectable," according to Licensing Letter Executive Editor Karina Maslova. She adds that, "We really don't see that happening a lot," referring to a movie like Black Panther suddenly, "blowing up like that." The $250 million estimate doesn't include products that Disney sells itself, or unofficial products that others are selling on sites like Etsy.
The success of Black Panther even has popular toy maker Hasbro increasing its estimates for Black Panther merchandise revenue. Stephanie Wissink, an analyst for the global investment firm Jeffries, recently sent a note to her clients where she raised her estimates for Hasbro's Black Panther merchandise sales from $60 million to $100 million, due to retailers, "aggressively chasing inventory." Here's what she had to say in her recent note to clients, where she suggested clients buy Hasbro stock.
"Interestingly, we heard that Hasbro was one of the only licensees that had deep consumer insights that pointed to a breakout success. They built a robust product line to support the film based on those insights. But getting the product placed and into the market is more reliant on retailers' collective confidence and excitement. I'd argue that Hasbro was more optimistic than the marketplace and they were right."
A spokesperson for Hasbro, based in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, declined to comment on Black Panther sales. T-shirt maker Fifth Sun has a license to make Black Panther t-shirts, and, according to its website, eight of its top 10 selling shirts are Black Panther shirts. Lexus also debuted its new vehicle, "The Black Panther Custom LC," with an ad campaign that kicked off during the Super Bowl, with a Lexus spokesperson revealing that this new car is currently arriving in dealerships. LEGO is also selling two Black Panther sets while Funko also has a license for Black Panther merchandise, but spokespeople for both companies refused to comment on their sales thus far. Here's what Hal Vogel, chief executive of Vogel Capital Management, who tracks the entertainment sector, had to say about the Black Panther merchandise.
"Merchandise sales can noticeably contribute to profitability, but it depends. (It) plays some role in thinking about sequels, but in this case, the success is large enough that a sequel will be made regardless of how much merchandise is sold. It's not a swing factor."
As for a Black Panther sequel, while one has not been officially announced yet, a follow-up is almost certainly inevitable, given the incredible success of this movie, which debuted in February, a month that doesn't play host to box office blockbusters too often. You can head on over to CBS News for their report on the Black Panther merchandise. The movie should be crossing the $1 billion mark at some point this week, or this weekend, as well.