FINAL Writethru Tuesday following 8:35 AM post: Disney has just confirmed what we saw earlier: Marvel’s Black Panther is the second-biggest 4-day opener of all-time at the domestic B.O. with $242.1M, after Force Awakens ($288M) and beating Star Wars: Last Jedi ($241.6M). Monday also marked an all-time record with $40.151M, beating Force Awakens‘ $40.11M (Dec. 21, 2015). Black Panther also posted the second best Sunday ever at the domestic B.O. with $60.06M behind Forces Awakens ($60.5M).

Top 21 pics and notables per ComScore for Presidents Day weekend 2018:

  1. Black Panther, Disney 3-Day: $202M, 4-Day: $242.1M, 4,020 locations, $60,238 average, 1 Week.
  2. Peter Rabbit, Sony, 3-Day: $17.5M (-30%), 4-Day: $23.3M, 3,725 locations, $6,277 average, $54.3M, 2 Weeks.
  3. Fifty Shades Freed, Universal, 3-Day: $17.3M (-55%), 4-Day: $19.4M, 3,768 locations, $5,159 average, $78.6M, 2 Weeks.
  4. Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, Sony, 3-Day: $7.9M (-21%), 4-Day:$10M, 2,800 locations, $3,577 average, $379.6M, 9 Weeks.
  5. 15:17 To Paris, Warner Bros., 3-Day: $7.5M (-40%), 4-Day: $8.9M, 3,042 locations, $2,933 average, $26.6M, 2 Weeks.
  6. The Greatest Showman, 20th Century Fox, 3-Day: $5M (-22%), 4-Day: $6.5M, 1,936 locations, $3,372 average, $155.9M, 9 Weeks.
  7. Early Man, Lionsgate, 3-Day: $3.1M, 4-Day: $4.26M, 2,494 locations, $1,708 average, 1 Week.
  8. Maze Runner: The Death Cure, 20th Century Fox, 3-Day: $2.6M (-58%), 4-Day: $3.2M, 1,892 locations, $1,715 average, $54.7M, 4 Weeks.
  9. Winchester, Lionsgate, 3-Day: $2.2M (-58%), 4-Day: $2.6M, 1,479 locations, $1,771 average, $22.2M, 3 Weeks.
  10. The Post, 20th Century Fox, 3-Day: $1.99M (-45%), 4-Day: $2.4M, 1,050 locations, $2,322 average, $77M, 9 Weeks.
  11. Samson, Pure Flix, 3-Day: $1.9M, 4-Day: $2.25M, 1,249 locations, $1,806 average, $2.2M, 1 Week.
  12. The Shape Of Water, Fox Searchlight, 3-Day: $1.6M (-47%), 4-Day: $2M, 957 locations, $2,147 average, $53.6M, 12 Weeks.
  13. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Fox Searchlight, 3-Day: $1.5M (-34%), 4-Day: $1.9M, 780 locations, $2,430 average, $48.3M, 15 Weeks.
  14. Darkest Hour, Focus Features, 3-Day: $927K (-42%), 4-Day: $1.1M, 602 locations, $1,916 average, $53.3M, 13 Weeks.
  15. I, Tonya, Neon Rated, 3-Day: $907K (-46%), 4-Day: $1.1M, 502 locations, $2,232 average, $27.2M, 11 Weeks.
  16. Den Of Thieves, STX Entertainment, 3-Day: $934K (-69%), 4-Day: $1.1M, 730 locations, $1,530 average, $43.6M, 5 Weeks.
  17. 12 Strong, Warner Bros., 3-Day: $938K (-66%), 4-Day: $1.1M, 815 locations, $1,360 average, $44.2M, 5 Weeks.
  18. Hostiles, Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures, 3-Day: $838K (-70%), 4-Day: $1M, 767 locations, $1,309 average, $28.4M, 9 Weeks.
  19. Coco, Disney, 3-Day: $690K (-22%), 4-Day: $908K, 385 locations, $2,360 average, $207.3M, 13 Weeks.
  20. Phantom Thread, Focus Features, 3-Day: $718K (-40%), 4-Day: $892K, 355 locations, $2,511 average, $17.9M, 8 Weeks.
  21. Detective Chinatown 2, WB 3-Day: $704K, 4-Day: $873K, 115 locations, $6,112 average,1 Week

    NOTABLES:
    Monster Hunt 2 (LG) 69 theaters/3-day: $342K /$4,9K avg/4-day: $407,1K/Wk 1

    Monkey King 3 (Well) 34 theaters/ 3-day: $96K /$2,8K avg/4-day : $116,3K/Wk 1

Tuesday 7:20 AM Update: Industry morning estimates indicate that Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther has cleared $242M, which means that the superhero now owns the second-best 4-day opening of all-time behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($288.07M) and slashes the FSSM run of Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($241.6M) last December. It’s still early and Disney has yet to call the record. The 4-day for Black Panther should be around $242.4M. Ticket sales for the Ryan Coogler-directed movie were -34% on Presidents Day Monday for $40M-$40.1M. With those figures, Black Panther could very well own the all-time Monday domestic record as well, beating Force Awakens’ $40.1M. Another big winner for Disney, which now owns eight of the top 10 slots on the all-time domestic openers chart. Black Panther slotted 5th this weekend with $201.8M, and it’s only one of five titles to crack past the two-century mark in a three-day period.

UPDATED, Monday AM writethru after 12:05 AM post: Disney has verified this morning what we saw in the middle of the night, that T’Challa recorded the second-best Sunday ever at the domestic box office. Its $60.1 million (higher than the industry’s $59.55M estimate last night) ranks only behind the all-time record held by Disney/Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($60.5M on December 20, 2015). The total now pushes Black Panther to a three-day total of $201.8M, still the fifth-best domestic opening of all time after 2012’s Avengers ($207.4M).

Disney does see Black Panther making $235M over four days, which means it will beat the Friday-Monday hauls of of Avengers ($226.3M) and Jurassic World ($234.1M). But there are those in the industry who believe T’Challa has a shot to be the second-highest four-day opener ever with as much as $242M-$245M — behind Star Wars: Force Awakens ($288M) but taking out Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($241.6M).

In order for Black Panther to claw his way to that height, it would mean that Monday’s ease from Sunday would range between 30%-32%, or $40.3M, to $41.75M. Disney’s projections this morning figure today will decline 45% from Sunday, in which case Presidents Day would yield $33.2M for a $235M Friday-Saturday-Sunday-Monday. Black Panther has ripped up all previous pre-summer comps, which has made Monday a challenge for many to predict; the film has gotten this high at the B.O. and there’s no question about it going higher.

Another factor juicing ticket sales, as we mentioned earlier, is that the ages 18-24 crowd comes out in bulk after 10 PM, and that contributes to the swing factor with these forecasts by the time the sun comes up. No doubt people will continue to flock to the movies today, with ComScore’s school calendar showing 88% K-12 out and 34% of all colleges off.

Drilling down on Black Panther‘s performance: Six out of the top 10 locations were in New York, two in Los Angeles (Arclight Hollywood and Burbank), Atlantic Station in Atlanta and DC’s Tysons. Black Panther had 612 runs gross north of $100,000 for the weekend; of those, 119 venues did over $200K, 20 did $300K+, and five minted $400K. AMC Empire NY cleared $500K, while AMC Atlantic Station’s shot past $600K over the three days. One studio analyst this morning projects a $500M final domestic B.O. for Black Panther.

1..) Black Panther (DIS), 4,020 theaters  / DISNEY: $75.8M Fri (includes $25.2M in previews) /$65.9m Sat/ $60.1M Sun/ $33.2M Mon/3-day: $201.8M /4-day: $235M/Wk 1

INDUSTRY: $76.3M Fri (includes $25.2M in previews) /$66.3M Sat/ $60.3M Sun/ $39M-$43M Mon/3-day: $202.9M /4-day: $242M-$245M/Wk 1

2..) Peter Rabbit (SONY), 3,725 theaters  / $4.1M Fri /$7.3M Sat/ $6.1M Sun/ $5.5M Mon/3-day: $17.6M (-30%) /4-day: $23M /Total: $54M/Wk 2

3..) Fifty Shades Freed (UNI), 3,768 theaters  / $5.7M Fri /$7M Sat/ $4.7M Sun/ $2.1M Mon/3-day: $17.3M (-55%)/4-day: $19.4M/Total: $78.6M Wk 2

4..)   Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (SONY), 2,800 theaters (-336) / $1.87M Fri /$3.35M Sat/$2.7M Sun/ $2.1M Mon/3-day: $7.9M (-21%)/4-day: $10M /Total:$379.6M/ Wk 9

5..) The 15:17 to Paris (WB), 3042 theaters  / $2M Fri /$3.2M Sat/$2.3M  Sun/ $1.5M Mon/3-day: $7.6M (-39%)/4-day: $9.1M/Total: $26.8M/ Wk 2

6..) The Greatest Showman  (FOX), 1,936 theaters (-437) / $1.3m Fri  /$2.1M Sat/ $1.6M Sun/$1.25M Mon/3-day: $5M (-21%)/4-day: $6.25M /Total: $155.6M/Wk 9

7..) Early Man (LG), 2,494 theaters  / $850K Fri /$1.2M Sat/ $1m Sun/$1m Mon/3-day: $3.1M /4-day: $4.2M/Wk 1

8/9..) Winchester (CBS/LG) 1479 theaters (-1001)/$569K Fri/ $923K Sat/$703K  Sun/ $420K Mon/3-day: $2.2M (-57%)/4-day: $2.615M/ Total: $22.2M/Wk 3

Maze Runner: Death Cure (FOX), 1,892 theaters (-1,031) / $645K Fri /$1.07M Sat/$890K Sun/$500K Mon/ 3-day: $2.605M (-58%) /4-day: $3.1M/ Total: $54.6M/Wk 4

10..) The Post  (FOX/DW), 1,050 theaters (-815) / $466K  Fri  /$850K Sat/ $684K Sun/$460K Mon/ 3-day:$2M (-45%)/4-day: $2.46M/Total: $77M/Wk 9

11..) Samson (PURE), 1,249 theaters  / $630K Fri /$743K Sat/$569K Sun/ $300K Mon/3-day: $1.94M /4-day: $2.27M/Wk 1

Notables:

Detective Chinatown 2 (WB) 115 theaters/$191K Fri/$270K Sat/ $243K Sun/$158K Mon/3-day: $704K /4-day: $862K/Wk 1

Monster Hunt 2 (LG) 69 theaters/$116K Fri/$125K Sat/ $100K Sun/ $60K Mon/3-day: $341K /4-day: $400K/Wk 1

Monkey King 3 (Well) 34 theaters/ $29K Fri/$34K Sat/ $32K Sun/$19K Mon/ 3-day: $96K /4-day : $115K/Wk 1

Disney

UPDATED, Sunday 8:05 AM: Disney is reporting Sunday estimates of $192M over three days for Black Panther and $218M over four. However, Black Panther domination is far from over. Industry estimates believe it’s significantly higher at $195.3M three-day for Marvel’s Black Panther and a $225.7M four-day, and that’s because hourlies are flying off the grid, with some analysts’ four-day projections at $230M. Saturday raked in $65.9M, according to Disney, and their report this morning shows Black Panther as the fifth-highest opening of all-time on the three-day domestic chart after Avengers ($207.4M) and before Avengers: Age of Ultron ($191.3M). The Ryan Coogler-directed superhero movie is also beating Ultron‘s four-day take of $204.4M.

Marvel

Going into the weekend and throughout, we have emphasized what a cultural milestone Black Panther is as a movie directed by an African-American filmmaker and largely starring a Black-ensemble cast. Back in the 1990s, following Demolition Man, Wesley Snipes tried to get his own version of Black Panther up and running. This resulted in visionary differences after talks with such directors as John Singleton and Mario Van Peebles. In addition, one of the commercial concerns at the time was that moviegoers would confuse the Stan Lee-Jack Kirby superhero as a member of the 1960s Civil Rights group. That is obviously not a concern in the modern day era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In addition, as Ben Fritz’s new book The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of the Movies reveals, Sony had a shot in the late 1990s to make Black Panther in addition to a number of other Marvel superhero movies in a rights deal valued at $25M. But Sony brass crazily refused at the time, believing that the only moolah and mass appeal was in Spider-Man

Disney/Marvel

Who better than Disney and Marvel now to spread the gospel of inclusion. Says Disney distribution boss Dave Hollis this morning, “Inclusion and representation matter. We’ve seen it time and again and the results speak for themselves, whether it’s a female protagonist in the Star Wars movies, the representation of Polynesian in Moana, or the wonderful story in Coco which was embraced so proudly around the world. We make movies for a global audience of 7 billion who come from all walks of life and reflect the diversity of our world. Audiences deserve to see themselves reflected on the screen, and it makes for better and richer storytelling.”

What makes the projection for Black Panther so wild is the non-stop bulk of people who are still yearning to see the picture. There are lines around the block for the film in New York City. The 18-24 demo per  ComScore is huge on this movie at 36%; they’re always the most difficult to get into the theater nowadays. “They’re the audience coming after 10 PM and the growth we had after that time period is bigger than expected,” explains Hollis. It’s that swing that keeps pushing projections up between midnight and 6AM on Black Panther. 

Disney expects to make $50.3M today on the Ryan Coogler-directed film and another $26.1M on Monday. Industry forecasts are at $52.4M for today and $30.4M for President’s Day.

From an admissions-revenue standpoint, yesterday was the second-biggest Saturday in AMC’s history, slightly behind the all-time AMC Saturday record set on Dec. 26, 2015 by Star Wars: The Force Awakens (that includes both AMC and Carmike pre-merger). The largest exhibitor in the world also saw 80 of its theaters repping 10% of its stateside circuit, setting admissions-revenue records for a single title on opening weekend.

Fandango is reporting a significantly higher rate of repeat customers for Black Panther than it has seen for other superhero movies on an opening weekend. Group sales are unprecedented for Black Panther in a way that no Disney or exhibition insider has ever seen before.

“Whatever you think the box office is, it always does better,” beams Imax CEO Greg Foster about Black Panther‘s momentum. “I wish I had more seats to sell.”

“It’s not like anything we’ve ever experienced before, it has taken on its own life,” added Hollis on Black Panther‘s B.O. pace, which has torn up all previous comps, “The way people are talking about the experience is that, ‘I saw it on Thursday, but I’m coming back on Saturday, and might be back on Tuesday.'”

Imax’s 404 screens, driven by 77% in 2D, are grossing $20M over FSS and $23M over FSSM. That’s a record February for the large format exhibitor, and the best-ever for any Marvel title and the fourth-best all-time. Per Imax, screen averages were $49k over three-days and $56k over four-days.

Audience members watch the beginning of Black Panther during a private screening on Friday in Grand Blanc, Michigan.
AP Images

Elizabeth Frank, Executive VP of Global Programming and Chief Content Officer at AMC exclaims, “Black Panther has taken on a life of its own at movie theatres, playing to huge, broad audiences in AMC markets around the country. We’re delighted with the stories and pictures of fans who are enjoying the magic of the movie theater and turning the experience into a community event. As admissions-revenue records continue to be re-written each day this weekend at dozens of AMCs, we are adding more showtimes and still have millions of seats available over the next two days to make sure that everyone who wants to see the movie on opening weekend has that opportunity.”

With the opening of Black Panther, ComScore reports that the annual box office for the period of Jan. 1 through Feb. 18 surges ahead of the 2017’s frame by 6.1%, with a running total of $1.575 billion. All titles this weekend grossed $278 million, +85% versus the same weekend a year ago.

Screen Engine/ComScore PostTrak reports 37% African-Americans attending, followed by 35% Caucasian, 18% Hispanic, and 5% Asian (they update their exit polls throughout the weekend, as they continually poll). Still, 95% overall positive. Leading demos: Men under 25 (29%), men 25+ (27%), women 25+ (23%) and women under 25 (21%).

WB

Overall, it’s a great weekend for the global film business: As Black Panther is breaking records over here and beyond, so is Monster Hunt 2 in China. U.S. distributors took the opportunity to tap into the heat from Chinese New Year on Friday with a trio of releases, with Warner Bros. winning out with Chen Sicheng’s Detective Chinatown 2 ($677K 3-day, $800K 4-day), followed by Lionsgate’s Monster Hunt 2 ($335K 3-day, $390K 4-day), and WellGoUSA’s Monkey King 3 ($91K 3-day, $100K 4-day). Among those Chinese releases that have debuted in the states over the last three years, Detective Chinatown 2 marks the second best debut after Sony’s The Mermaid two years ago, which debuted to $985K. Ten months ago, Warner Bros. took domestic from Wanda on Detective Chinatown 2. This was an opportunity for the Burbank studio to partner with China on original content, appeal to Asian audiences’ needs stateside, and to propel young Chinese filmmakers in the North American marketplace. In addition, next to other distributors, Warner Bros. also has more muscle in its P&A spend to ensure that Detective Chinatown 2 is a success.

Warners created a customized campaign, part grassroots, part influence engagement, part digital, to reach a highly specialized segment: Chinese-speaking millennial moviegoers in the United States. With more than 329K Chinese studying in the United States being the core demo for the film, the studio hyper-targeted colleges with high concentrations of students from China. Warner Bros. reached out to over 240 student clubs through timely and culturally-relevant promo items (i.e., Detective Chinatown 2 lucky red envelopes). Streets teams also went out in the top ten Asian American markets targeting areas heavily frequented by young Asian millennials.

To build awareness on social media, Warner Bros. partnered with leading U.S.-China influencers to promote the sequel through unique branded content that showcased the New York setting of the film, which is the #1 destination for Chinese tourists. Additionally, they joined forces with WaCow Media, a U.S.-based bilingual news site targeting Chinese-speaking Millennials, to co-host a promotional screening in Los Angeles. Outlets with a strong social presence, including Sinovision, Sina News, and EDI Media, were leveraged as paid digital partners to further promote the film on platforms such as WeChat, the number one social app for Chinese users. 

Studio reported figures with industry projected notes:

1..) Black Panther (DIS), 4,020 theaters  / DISNEY: $75.8M Fri (includes $25.2M in previews) /$65.9m Sat/ $50.3M Sun/ $26.1M Mon/3-day: $192M /4-day: $218M/Wk 1

INDUSTRY: $76.6M Fri (includes $25.2M in previews) /$66.3M Sat/ $52.4M Sun/ $30.4M Mon/3-day: $195.3M /4-day: $225.7M/Wk 1

2..) Peter Rabbit (SONY), 3,725 theaters  / $4.1M Fri /$7.4M Sat/ $5.7M Sun/ $4.9M Mon/3-day: $17.25M (-31%) /4-day: $22.1M /Total: $53M/Wk 2

3..) Fifty Shades Freed (UNI), 3,768 theaters  / $5.7M Fri /$7M Sat/ $4.3M Sun/ $1.9M Mon/3-day: $16.9M (-56%)/4-day: $18.9M/Total: $78.1M Wk 2

4..)   Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (SONY), 2,800 theaters (-336) / $1.87M Fri /$3.35M Sat/$2.7M Sun/ $2.1M Mon/3-day: $7.9M (-21%)/4-day: $10M /Total:$379.7M/ Wk 9

5..) The 15:17 to Paris (WB), 3042 theaters  / $2.1M Fri /$3.2M Sat/$2.4M  Sun/ $1.4M Mon/3-day: $7.69M (-39%)/4-day: $9.1M/Total: $26.8M/ Wk 2

6..) The Greatest Showman  (FOX), 1,936 theaters (-437) / $1.3m Fri  /$2.1M Sat/ $1.7M Sun/$1.2M Mon/3-day: $5.1M (-21%)/4-day: $6.3M /Total: $155.6M/Wk 9

7..) Early Man (LG), 2,494 theaters  / $850K Fri /$1.27M Sat/ $1m Sun/$1m Mon/3-day: $3.1M /4-day: $4.1M/Wk 1

8..) Maze Runner: Death Cure (FOX), 1,892 theaters (-1,031) / $645K Fri /$1.07M Sat/$785K Sun/$500K Mon/ 3-day: $2.5M (-59%) /4-day: $3M/ Total: $54.5M/Wk 4

9..) Winchester (CBS/LG) 1479 theaters (-1001)/$569K Fri/ $924K Sat/$737K  Sun/ $445K Mon/3-day: $2.23M (-57%)/4-day: $2.67M/ Total: $22.3M/Wk 3

10..) The Post  (FOX/DW), 1,050 theaters (-815) / $465K  Fri  /$848K Sat/ $647K Sun/$440K Mon/ 3-day:$1.96M (-44%)/4-day: $2.4M/Total: $77M/Wk 9

11..) Samson (PURE), 1,249 theaters  / $630K Fri /$742K Sat/$600K Sun/ $330K Mon/3-day: $1.97M /4-day: $2.3M/Wk 1

 

Notables:

Detective Chinatown 2 (WB) 115 theaters/$191K Fri/$270K Sat/ $216K Sun/$123K Mon/3-day: $677K /4-day: $800K/Wk 1

Monster Hunt 2 (LG) 69 theaters/$116K Fri/$125K Sat/ $94K Sun/ $55K Mon/3-day: $335K /4-day: $390K/Wk 1

Monkey King 3 (Well) 34 theaters/ $29K Fri/$34K Sat/ $27K Sun/$9K Mon/ 3-day: $91K /4-day : $100K/Wk 1

Sunday 12:31AM post:Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther is even more ferocious than ever imagined. Late night estimates (not from Disney) indicate that T’Challa is headed to $194M over three-days after a super Saturday night between $66.8M-$68M which is only 11% down from Friday on the high-end. Also if you back out $25.2M Thursday previews from Friday’s $76.4M, Saturday’s business is still technically +33%.  So that means business for Black Panther wasn’t front-loaded. Four-day figures remain a wild forecast for many analysts: They’re certain that Black Panther is expected to clear $220M, but he could fly as high as $230M. Projections at this minute are averaging around $223M. Over  three-days, Black Panther now beats Avengers: Age of  Ultron‘s 3-day number of $191.2M for the fifth best opening of all-time behind Avengers ($207.4M). On a four-day basis, it will also beat Ultron ($204.4M)but it might kick Avengers 4-day haul as well ($226.3M). It’s summer box office records during the second month of the year. Ryan Coogler went up to his hometown of Oakland on Thursday night to surprise Black Panther fans at previews while Chadwick Boseman, Coogler, Marvel boss Kevin Feige, EP Louis D’Esposito and the Marvel gang surprised fans at the Cinemark LA and other theaters in town on Friday night.

Sony’s Peter Rabbit still looking to steal second place from Fifty Shades Freed with $17M over 3-days, $22M over 4 with an 11-day total of $53.2M in weekend 2. Universal’s E.L. James threequel taking third with a $17.3M 3-day, but $19.3M 4-day for a running total of $78.4M.

We’ll have more updates in the morning.

Saturday AM writethru, after Friday, 8:58PM: By the time the four-day President’s Day holiday stretch ends, Black Panther will have surpassed many of Marvel’s mightiest on the all-time domestic B.O. openers chart. Not to mention Disney continues to crowd the list, now taking up eight of the top 10 slots. Black Panther is now looking at the sixth-best opening of all-time on a three-day-basis with an estimated $185.8M per industry projections Saturday AM and a mind-blowing $213M over four days. Note that between Friday night and this morning (roughly a seven-hour time frame), estimates changed. Currently, Saturday should see around $61M which puts us at these figures. Anything significantly greater, and Black Panther breaks even more records.

How much do moviegoers love Black Panther? The Ryan Coogler-directed movie earned an A+ CinemaScore, Marvel’s second after 2012’s The Avengers. On Screen Engine/ComScore PostTrak, moviegoers are giving the pic an 88% definite recommend, a 95% overall positive score, while a third plan to see it again in the theater.

Marvel

On the three-day all-time chart, Black Panther is just above Captain America: Civil War ($179.1M). Back in January, Fandango reported that out of the gate in its first 24 hours, Black Panther outstripped the advance tickets sales of Civil War. However, analysts didn’t rush to comp the Wakanda superhero to Marvel’s other titles. They just couldn’t believe at the time how massive this was going to be. PostTrak reports that 55% of the crowd bought their tickets online, indicating it was a major event for many, just like a Star Wars film. While Black Panther is under Avengers: Age of Ultron on the three-day all-time openers list ($191.2M), the pic is beating the sequel’s four-day run ($204.4M). Black Panther has already left Disney’s Beauty and the Beast ($174.7M) and WB/DC’s Batman v. Superman ($166M) in the dust to become the biggest pre-summer opener of all-time.

Black Panther is now at $76.4M for Friday. Thursday’s previews of $25.2M rep 33% of Friday’s ticket sales. Similar to a Star Wars title, Black Panther was a big pre-planned event for many this weekend, with Fandango advance ticket sales driving 36% of Thursday’s preview figure or $9M. 

Disney

We hear from PostTrak that African American moviegoers at 40% are driving Black Panther‘s ticket sales. Diverse casts in films like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, the Fast and the Furious series, Twilight and Hunger Games have always yielded big business, but Black Panther, with its near-total Black ensemble cast, is a groundbreaking landmark for Hollywood. Disney will continue to break glass ceilings soon after Black Panther: On March 9, the studio will open the feature adaptation of the children’s classic A Wrinkle In Time, which at a $100M-plus budget is the first production of its scope to be directed by a woman of color, Oscar nominee Ava DuVernay (at one point before Coogler, she was in talks to potentially direct Black Panther). The pic is currently tracking for an opening around $35M four weeks out from release, but those estimates are bound to increase. Between Black Panther and Wrinkle, Disney will own the pre-summer space, much like they did with Zootopia and Jungle Book in 2016. In addition, Disney certainly has to be trailoring Wrinkle on Black Panther. In addition, Disney’s 2019 live-action release The Lion King touts a large Black cast that includes Beyonce, Donald Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Keegan-Michael Key, James Earl Jones, Alfre Woodard and Eric Andre, among many others.

Black Panther in CinemaScore audience exits shows a 50/50 male-female audience with 25+ repping 66% of the crowd. Close to 70% came because it’s Black Panther, while 15% bought tickets because of Coogler and 28% because they are Michael B. Jordan and Chadwick Boseman fans. Already, the leading exhibitor AMC is reporting that 33 venues have already set admissions-revenue records for a single title on an opening weekend in play at the chain, and Saturday isn’t even over yet. Twenty-one AMC locations held more than 40 showtimes for Black Panther with AMC Southlake 24, in the Atlanta market, recording an astounding 83 showtimes yesterday.

Social media is on fire as people leave the theater: RelishMix is reporting that Twitter hashtags for #BlackPanther and @TheBlackPanther have set an all-time movie record since Thursday night, with 559K unique Twitter posts in one day (100K per day is exceptional) — and that’s over twice what the social media monitor saw with #LastJedi which peaked out at 232K in a day back in December.

After hiring Boseman back in October 2014 in a five-picture deal, Marvel spurred momentum for Black Panther by introducing him in Captain America: Civil War. Disney literally showed the media the first footage of the casino heist scene back in April during a Marvel press day. That footage became public back in July, when the studio unveiled it at San Diego Comic-Con.

Disney aired the first trailer for Black Panther in June during the NBA Finals Game 4, clocking 89M views in the first 24 hours. In addition, there was another trailer during NBA’s opening night on Oct. 17. Tickets went on sale on Jan. 8. This was announced during the ESPN College Football National Championship. Kendrick Lamar had a halftime performance during that event; he produced an album of songs from and inspired by the film. RelishMix notes, “Panther successfully took a page out of other big social movies like Pitch Perfect 3 and Fifty Shades Freed” in harnessing the social media powers of recording artists Lamar, The Weeknd and SZA. Already Lamar and SZA’s “All the Stars” has cleared 18M-plus views on YouTube:

There was a massive synergy program with integrations in ESPN College Football Playoffs and on ABC’s Blackish, Grownish, TGIT (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder), and Bravo’s Real Housewives. In the last week on ESPN, NBA All-Star D’Andre Jordan carpooled to an arena with Kenny Mayne, where they get a rare sighting of the Black Panther in an integrated car chase cameo.

RelishMix reports that Black Panther‘s social media universe resides at 901M, which is off the charts for a February release, especially when stacked up against other Marvel titles and their first week SMU’s, i.e. Thor: Ragnarok at 858M and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 at 792M. Black Panther counts 390K daily YouTube views, driving toward a total of 340M, which is immense, and nearly matching those on Facebook (330M). Some of Disney’s social media stunts for the pic included the first-ever video Q&A on Tumblr with Boseman. There was also a Twitter live Q&A event in NYC (Feb. 12) streamed globally and into 10 IMAX theaters around the US – archived for placements in Apple TV, Roku, Amazon (it’s a social marketing stunt that no other studio has attempted on such a mass scale).

Shutterstock

Black Panther had a presence at New York Fashion Week on Feb. 13, working with such renegade designers as Cushnie Et Ochs, Ikiré Jones, Tome, Sophie Theallet, Fear of God, Chromat, and Laquan Smith, who created custom pieces inspired by the film.

Promo partners included Lexus, which ran a spot during Super Bowl LII titled “Long Live the King,” with fresh footage and clips showing the superhero’s sister and bodyguard using the 2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport performance sedan to collect him. By partnering with Black Panther, The Toyota Motor Corp. auto brand was aiming at a younger demographic, and in the ad world, the younger the demo is, the more culturally diverse. According to RelishMix, the Lexus tie-in spot generated 4.3M views on social following the Super Bowl telecast.

Dominic Patten/Deadline

Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan worked closely with the movie’s other promo partner, Pepsi’s Brisk Ice Tea. PepsiCo and Unilever launched an arts program in urban areas in partnership with Jordan, providing an opportunity to young film, visual arts and writing visionaries to be mentored by established artists. Jordan directed, produced and starred in a Super Bowl commercial celebrating artists’ creative hustle and spotlighting his process for transforming into his Black Panther character Erik Killmonger. Creators had the chance to win an apprenticeship at Jordan’s production company. In addition, Brisk hosted an event for Black Panther fans during the NBA All-Star weekend in Los Angeles, CA, on Feb. 16-17 with interactive Marvel-inspired installations. The pop-up event showcased the nine new Brisk labels created by emerging artists to kick off and promote the Creators Class program. The labels will debut on all Brisk packaging nationwide later this month.

Lancome featured a line of make-up products worn by Black Panther stars Lupita Nyong’o and Letitia Wright on the red carpet.

Synchrony Financial teamed with Coogler and Marvel to award the Ghetto Film School Fellows program with a $50K grant. The Ghetto Film School Fellows is a non-profit program that helps aspiring filmmakers from local communities, giving them a better chance at reaching their dreams, free of charge. The students take part in a 30-month process in which they can visit sets, screen their films, and find help to get into college. Coogler stopped by the Ghetto Film School to speak to students.

 

Other highlights this weekend:

Early Man
Lionsgate

–On Saturday night, Jumanji : Welcome to the Jungle will become Sony’s second-highest movie of all-time at the domestic box office. We’ve been saying this for a while, but it’s really happening this weekend. The Jake Kasdan-directed movie sails by Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 ($373.5M) and is now behind the director’s original Spider-Man movie ($403.7M).

–Also tonight, Fox’s The Greatest Showmanalso in the same 9th weekend as Jumanji, will fly by Oscar-winner La La Land‘s $151.1M domestic totalthe title responsible for reinvigorating the original musical on screen. There’s no such thing as coincidence, and both musicals featured music by the Oscar-winning songwriting team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

–Lionsgate/Studio Canal/Aardman’s Early Man is coming in with a lowly estimated $4.7M over four-days, which is just not good for any movie. There’s simply too much family product in the marketplace, with Peter Rabbit, Jumanji and then you have Black Panther pulling in everybody. Lionsgate gets a distribution fee and is on the hook for P&A, with StudioCanal covering it. Early Man gets a B CinemaScore. Twenty percent of the audience was under 18, with 72% being over. The young set gave it a B+ and 74% bought tickets because it was an Aardman Animation title.

China’s megahit Monster Hunt 2 ,which now owns the Middle Kingdom record for the best single day at the B.O. with $97M, is also in play stateside. Pic looks to make an estimated $529K over four days in 70 locations.

Industry estimates for the weekend of Feb. 16-19:

1..) Black Panther (DIS), 4,020 theaters  / $76.4M Fri (includes $25.2M in previews) /3-day: $185.8M /4-day: $213M/Wk 1

2..) Peter Rabbit (SONY), 3,725 theaters  / $4.1M Fri (-27%) /3-day: $17.8M (-28%) /4-day: $23M /Total: $54M/Wk 2

3..) Fifty Shades Freed (UNI), 3,768 theaters  / $5.7M Fri (-69%)/3-day: $17.4M (-55%)/4-day: $19.6M/Total: $78.8M Wk 2

4..)   Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (SONY), 2,800 theaters (-336) / $1.87M Fri /3-day: $8.1M (-19%)/4-day: $10.6M /Total:$380.3M/ Wk 9

5..) The 15:17 to Paris (WB), 3042 theaters  / $2M Fri (-44%)/3-day: $8M (-36%)/4-day: $9.5M/Total: $27.2M/ Wk 2

6..) The Greatest Showman  (FOX), 1,936 theaters (-437) / $1.3m Fri  / 3-day: $5.7M (-11%)/4-day: $7M /Total: $156.4M/Wk 9

7..) Early Man (LG), 2,494 theaters  / $850K Fri /3-day: $3.5M /4-day: $4.7M/Wk 1

8..) Maze Runner: Death Cure (FOX), 1,892 theaters (-1,031) / $645K Fri /3-day: $2.7M (-56%) /4-day: $3.3M/ Total: $54.8M/Wk 4

9..) Winchester (CBS/LG) 1479 theaters (-1001)/$570K Fri/ 3-day: $2.2M (-58%)/4-day: $2.6M/ Total: $22.3M/Wk 3

10..) The Post  (FOX/DW), 1,050 theaters (-815) / $465K  Fri  /3-day:$2M (-44%)/4-day: $2.45M/Total: $77M/Wk 9

11..) Samson (PURE), 1,249 theaters  / $630K Fri /3-day: $1.86M /4-day: $2.2M/Wk 1

Notables:

Monster Hunt 2 (LIO) 70 theaters/$118K Fri/3-day: $426K /4-day: $529K/Wk 1

Friday, 11:53AM: The first set of estimates are in, and they’re showing that Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther is headed toward a historic weekend with $200M-$205M over four-days, $175M over three. These figures do not come from Disney. The Ryan Coolger-directed, an co-written pic with Joe Robert Cole should post an estimated $72M today, with last night’s $25.2M previews repping 35% of that number.

On a three-day and four-day basis, Black Panther‘s estimates are easily the pre-summer records beating Beauty and the Beast ($174.7M 3-day, $188.2M 4-day) and Warner Bros./DC’s Batman v. Superman ($166M 3-day, $181M 4-day). If these figures maintain, then Black Panther will own the 7th best opening of all-time at the domestic box office behind Captain America: Civil War ($179M). The pic is also on track to beat Marvel’s Iron Man 3 ($174.1M 3-day, $185.4M 4-day). Beyond amazing, especially for this time of year, but this holiday always works in the majors’ favor: ComScore reports that 23% K-12 and 9% colleges are off today, figures which will respectively spike to 88% out and 34% out by Monday. Over four-days, Coogler’s Black Panther beats the first four days of F. Gary Gray’s Fate of the Furious’ debut by 86% (or $107.3M). Gray owned the previous opening record for a movie directed by an African American.

Fifty Shades Freed
Universal Pictures

Universal’s Fifty Shades Freed is estimated to take $5.5M today, -70% with a 4-day between $15M-$20M in second place. On the high end, this sends the threequel’s cume to $79M-plus.

Lionsgate/StudioCanal/Aardman’s family title Early Man is eyeing $1.1M today, $6.1M over four-days in its opening.

PureFlix’s sword and sandal movie Samson is looking at $750K for Friday, $2.6M over the four-day holiday.

Twentieth Century Fox

A huge shoutout for this weekend: Never bet against Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron singing together. 20th Century Fox’s original musical The Greatest Showman which was slow out of the gate will out-sing Lionsgate’s Oscar-winning La La Land ($151.1M) at the domestic box office on Saturday. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul won last year’s original song Oscar for “City of Stars” from the Damien Chazelle feature musical, and the songwriting duo are up again this year for “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman. The original musical about P.T. Barnum will earn $5M-$6M over four days.

Friday, 8:24AM: Black Panther‘s previews are exactly where we told you we would see them and Disney is reporting $25.2M this morning. This is the second best Thursday ever for a Marvel movie after Avengers: Age of Ultron ($27.6M) and some nickels above Captain America: Civil War ($25M). Among pre-summer releases and their preview nights, Black Panther ranks second behind Batman v. Superman ($27.7M). Already, according to Fandango, 61% are considering seeing Black Panther a second time.

Imax auditoriums grossed roughly $3M last night, which is tied with the large format exhibitor’s results for Ultron and Civil WarBlack Panther Imax figures also blew away the preview results of Deadpool which made $2.265m on 372 screens two years ago. Black Panther is in play on 404 Imax screens.

A bulk of advance tickets have been purchased by churches, youth groups, fraternities, sororities, and student groups as they celebrate the first major Black ensemble blockbuster on screen. There is a viral crowd-sourcing effort that has taken place called the  #BlackPantherChallenge — which allows kids to see the movie for free. Frederick Joseph, a New York-based philanthropist, launched the crowd-funding initiative last month to raise $40K and help children in Harlem see the movie. The challenge fueled 400 GoFundMe drives that have raised over $400K. Donations have arrived from J.J. Abrams, Chelsea Clinton, Viola Davis, and Ellen DeGeneres (who pledged $10K to the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem).

 

In Sacramento, Cyrus Mulitalo, a Sacramento State football hall of famer took advantage of the challenge and is sending 200 kids to see the movie on Saturday. We’ve already reported below that Oscar winner Octavia Spencer bought out two theaters in Mississippi so children would get the chance to see Black Panther. Here is Davis’ rally for the challenge.

PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE: Writethru with demos, 11:20pm: We have a read on Thursday night estimates for Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther and they look fantastic.

Earlier tonight sources were spotting the movie between $22M-$24M, and now the thinking is that the Ryan Coogler-directed movie about Marvel’s Black superhero T’Challa will clear $25M. Black Panther will either beat or tie with  Captain America: Civil War ($25M) as the second best Marvel preview ever behind Avengers: Age of Ultron ($27.6M). This is also easily the second biggest pre-summer preview night ever behind Batman V. Superman which made $27.7M. On the high end, it’s nearly double the $12.7M what Deadpool posted prior to its record February four-day weekend of $152.1M. These early estimates for Black Panther are exclusively from Deadline, so if you see them reported by a rival trade, they got them from us.

Other records being broken: Advance ticket sales continue to go wild over at Fandango with Black Panther now their fourth-biggest pre-seller of all-time behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. A few weeks ago, Fandango reported that Black Panther is their biggest superhero ticket-seller.

Note there is a margin of error when shooting from the hip this early. Tonight’s numbers could be much higher by morning. If Black Panther continues on this pace, it’s looking approximately at $65M for Friday (including Thursday), $161M over three and $180M-plus for four. Again, none of this comes from Disney.

Already in its first two days abroad, Black Panther, with $23.3M, is beating the opening figures of MCU deeper universe character Doctor Strange. 

It’s a special night and weekend for many people. Black Panther is a cultural milestone, becoming the highest-grossing title to star a Black ensemble cast. It will also be a record-breaking opening for an African-American director. Already, in ComScore/Screen Engine PostTrak audience reactions Black Panther is flying off the charts with an enormous 91% definite recommend (Typically anything in the 70% range is pretty good) and an overall 96% positive score and five-star rating. Those over 25 at 61% are the biggest crowd turning out with M25+ (34%), F25+ (27%), M25- (21%) an F25- (18%).

Regal cinemas and 270 RealD locations are showing exclusive content from Black Panther in over 270 locations at 6PM tonight, preceding the film.

Octavia Spencer has bought out two Feb. 17 screenings of Black Panther in Mississippi for those “families who are low on funds,” just as she promised in her Jan. 31 Instagram Tweet. On January 31, she posted that she was planning on buying out some screenings “in an under-served community there to ensure that all our brown children can see themselves as a superhero. I will let you know where and when Mississippi. Stay tuned. #KingsAndQueensWillRise#blackpanthermovie”