UPDATE, SATURDAY: Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther is on a powerhouse run at the international box office as it climbs to $81.5M through Friday. It is now outperforming not only Ant-Man, Guardians Of The Galaxy and Doctor Strange, but Thor: Ragnarok and is on its way to besting all pre-weekend projections. It should cross $150M in 48 markets through Sunday.

It is No. 1 in most plays, with the exception of those where Fifty Shades Freed has the upper hand. Crossing $150M in its opening frame would put the Wakanda group above Deadpool, Suicide Squad and Spider-Man: Homecoming in the superheroverse, and at non-adjusted exchange rates.

The Ryan Coogler-helmed superhero movie is overperforming in the UK and Korea, and doing bang-up business in the emerging South East Asia markets as we’ve seen throughout the past few days.

The UK gross through Friday is $14.4M while Korea is hot on its heels at $14.3M. With figures added from local reporting outlet Kobiz, Korea through Saturday has grossed over $20M.

The current frame also marks the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year period and while Black Panther couldn’t pounce into the Middle Kingdom (and who would want to be trying to compete with the action there as Monster Hunt 2 got off with $145M in just two days?), the holiday is helping spin turnstiles in other Asian hubs.

Overall, Black Panther is playing to the Marvel faithful, and to non-core audiences as well as it tops what the industry saw as a $90-$120M start. We will have a full update on Sunday.

PREVIOUS, FRIDAY, writethru: Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther keeps on charging as it continues offshore rollout. After three days at the international box office, the Wakanda crew has grossed $47M in 40 markets and is now looking at a weekend in excess of $120M which was the high-end of the pre-opening estimates. In the same hubs and at today’s exchange rates, BP is pacing ahead of comparable first-installment deeper MCU films like Doctor Strange, Ant-Man and Guardians Of The Galaxy. It will end the frame above each.

Overall, the Ryan Coogler-helmed superhero pic is opening No. 1 in most markets and is the top February debut in many. The UK and Korea starts have been particularly impressive with $10.1M and $9.5M through Thursday, respectively.

The South East Asian markets are coming in with great holds and reacting strongly to the Marvel title. In Latin America, the starts are all No. 1 and similar to Thor: Ragnarok.

The score in the UK through Thursday is 90% above Doctor Strange and 41% above Thor: Ragnarok. On last year’s Thor 3, the UK was the 2nd biggest market outside China, and on DS it was the 3rd behind China and Korea.

In Korea, where Black Panther was partially filmed and where it kicked off its global press junket, the movie scored the 2nd biggest opening day Wednesday for an MCU/Marvel film behind only Avengers: Age Of Ultron. According to local estimates from Kobiz, it did not slow on Friday and through today is now at $14.1M.

New plays on Thursday included Australia at $1.4M ($2.3M with previews), making it the third biggest ever February opening day. It’s 74% ahead of Ant-Man, 67% ahead of GOTG and 37% ahead of Strange. Brazil grabbed $1.9M for No. 1 and 164% ahead of Ant-Man, 83% ahead of Wonder Woman, 6% ahead of Justice League and 9% ahead of Deadpool. In Germany, the Chadwick Boseman-starrer culled $1M at No. 1 and 159% ahead of Ant-Man and 125% more than Strange.

In the rest of Europe, BP opened in a number of smaller markets yesterday and was No. 1 in Bosnia, Croatia, Czech Rep, Greece, Israel, Portugal, Serbia and Ukraine. It’s also now No. 1 in France, Belgium and Switzerland post the Valentine’s Day Fifty Shades Freed Wednesday date night.

It’s notable that in Latin America the movie is outperforming some DC titles — the region typically leans more towards Warner Bros’ superheroes than Marvel’s. In the Asian markets not already cited above, BP is No. 1 in most. Holds were off the charts in Singapore (day 2 +77% vs day 1), Malaysia (day 2 +18%), Indonesia (day 2 -3%) and Hong Kong (day 3 -3%).

All in all, Black Panther has drawn out the Marvel faithful, and non-core audiences as well. We recently wrote about the potential that Black Panther has to become a cultural milestone overseas and shatter the glass ceiling that has existed, where most movies with predominantly black casts have seen soft grosses in comparison to domestic. It’s not yet clear how front-loaded BP will be, but these numbers are indeed encouraging.

Today’s new markets include Spain, Mexico, Finland, India and South Africa. Major markets not opening this weekend include Russia (February 22), Japan (March 1), and China (March 9).

We’ll be back with more over the weekend.

PREVIOUS, THURSDAY AM PT: Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther continued to show its power at the international box office on Wednesday, lifting the running offshore cume to $23.2M in 17 markets. The Wakanda phenomenon is currently pacing ahead of deeper Marvel Cinematic Universe brethren Doctor Strange, Ant-Man and Guardians Of The Galaxy in most of those. This is a very encouraging start.

The industry is increasingly seeing a bigger overall international bow than prior to the Tuesday overseas release. There’s sentiment the movie will expand beyond the core Marvel audience and pounce heartily above $100M. The UK and Korea numbers are terrific, while emerging South East Asian markets have come out in force. BP is the top opening day ever for a February release in Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia.

The best early performance comp in the deeper MCU is Doctor Strange as both movies opened on a Tuesday. Strange‘s ultimate first offshore weekend in like-for-like markets was $114M (at current exchange rates). Black Panther has a solid shot at beating that. Once Friday comes on line, the picture will be clearer.

The UK so far is leading play through Wednesday. After a record-setting debut on Tuesday with the Ryan Coogler-helmed superhero pic scoring the best single day of 2018 so far, it has now amassed $7.2M there to run ahead of Strange, Ant-Man, Wonder Woman and Deadpool.

Even more impressively, the Wednesday Korea start of $4.7M is the 2nd biggest MCU/Marvel opening day ever — behind only Avengers: Age Of Ultron. It is also the 7th industry launch day of all time and the best ever for February. That translates to 422% ahead of Guardians Of The Galaxy, 251% bigger than Ant-Man and 77% ahead of Doctor Strange.

Here’s what’s particularly notable in those Korea numbers: this is not a big Guardians hub, but it was a massive play for Doctor Strange. Disney smartly kicked off the global press junket in Korea last week — and the movie was partly shot in Busan. The market was clearly energized on Wednesday. On Thursday, unofficial estimates show BP keeping up the pace with $9.38M through today.

In France, the Chadwick Boseman-starrer’s opening day was $1.6M for the biggest start of the year to date in Paris and the suburbs. There were distractions in this market from Valentine’s Day (read: Fifty Shades Freed) and the Paris Saint-German/Real Madrid football match — yes, that matters. In the Netherlands, the Wednesday bow was $500K for No. 1 and the best first day of the year/No. 3 MCU start ever.

Today brings Black Panther to Germany, Australia and Brazil along with Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Lebanon, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, New Zealand, Argentina, Panama, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile and Colombia.

Updates to follow throughout the weekend.

PREVIOUS, WEDNESDAY PM PT: Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther bounded into the UK, Taiwan and Hong Kong in its openings on Tuesday, landing an estimated $5.2M and No. 1s in the three markets. In the UK, it notably topped both Doctor Strange and Thor: Ragnarok‘s first-day performances. It’s early on the Ryan Coogler-directed superhero movie, which rolls out in 69% of the international box office footprint this week, but these are very encouraging launches.

While the overseas run has barely begun, Black Panther kicked off mightily versus the best of the deeper Marvel Cinematic Universe. One industry source, based on the first numbers out of South East Asia, believes the movie is likely to expand beyond the core Marvel audience. This person opines it’s going to “overcome the concerns people are having about it in the emerging markets and open bigger than anticipated internationally.” The range we’ve been hearing is from $90M-$120M; this will evolve and sharpen as the weekend nears.

We recently wrote about the potential that Black Panther has to become a cultural milestone overseas and shatter the glass ceiling that has existed, where most movies with predominantly black casts have seen soft grosses in comparison to domestic. Let’s look at the first figures:

In the UK, T’Challa scored $3.7M to top the starts of both Doctor Strange (+80%) and Thor: Ragnarok (+33%) which likewise each opened on a Tuesday. Half-term holidays in the market are underway, helping to fuel turnstiles. The opening was also 104% ahead of Ant-Man and 16% ahead of Deadpool, although those comps are not as clear given the films opened on different weekdays. The truer test will come as we get to the weekend. Black Panther‘s UK premiere was held on February 8, rocking the Hammersmith Apollo.

In Taiwan, the Tuesday debut was an estimated $1M for the 3rd biggest February opening day ever and came in 182% above Guardians Of The Galaxy and 35% over Ant-Man. Both of those films bowed on a Thursday versus BP‘s Tuesday.

Hong Kong started with $500K, the 2nd biggest February opening day, behind only 2016’s The Mermaid which bowed on a Monday as the Chinese New Year kicked off. This is notable as that film went on to be the biggest movie ever in China, holding the record until last year’s Wolf Warrior 2 unseated it. Hong Kong’s BP start was 95% ahead of GOTG and 19% above Ant-Man, which both debuted on a Thursday. The market share for the day was an impressive 75%.

Black Panther is not launching in China until March 9, once the Spring Festival wraps, but the holiday will spur increased activity in related markets this weekend which is evident in the Asian hubs where it’s already opened. (The New Year’s official start is tomorrow, however, we’re already seeing major activity in China with The Monkey King 3: Kingdom Of Women taking a big $28M on Wednesday.)

REX/Shutterstock

Meanwhile, in Korea on Wednesday, Black Panther was king with an estimated $4.7M according to local box office tracker Kobiz. That was good for 65% of the market and follows a fan event that was held last week to kick off the global press tour. Korea features in the film which shot partly in Busan.

France on Wednesday had the best opening showings of 2018 in Paris and the suburbs. These numbers are based on the first 2PM screenings at 107 locations, per CBO-BoxOffice. They are very early stats and are not always indicative of a film’s future performance. We’ll have the full first-day France and Korea figures later today.

Black Panther continues rolling out this weekend and will be open in around 69% of the international marketplace by Sunday. Along with France and Korea, Wednesday added Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Today (Thursday) adds Germany, Australia, Brazil, Austria, Denmark, New Zealand and Argentina with Friday bringing Spain, Mexico, Finland and India to screens.