As predicted, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever from Disney and Marvel Studios is blazing with a $28M Thursday, considerably surpassing the preview night of the first Black Panther in 2018 which did $25.2M.
Behind Thor: Love and Thunder ($29M) and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($36M), Wakanda Forever is the third-best Thursday preview of the year. With six of the top 15 starts ever, Black Panther 2’s previews place it as the 15th best preview performance in the history of the industry. Wakanda Forever has a three-day forecast of between $175 million and $200 million at 4,936 theaters.
Wakanda Forever accounts for more than 80% of the online ticket seller’s Veterans Day sales today, which bodes well for the weekend. Today, Comscore finds 31% colleges and 52% K–12 institutions to be ineffective. For the past two weeks, the Marvel Studios film has consistently sold the most tickets per day.
Wakanda is reportedly the movie that 82% of fans on Fandango most eagerly await seeing this year. According to reports, early ticket sales for Wakanda Forever were evenly distributed over the weekend rather than being front-loaded. According to Disney, Wakanda Forever had $66 million in advance sales as of yesterday, which is less than Doctor Strange 2’s $85 million but more than Thor: Love & Thunder’s $48 million.
There is nothing to be concerned about here because Wakanda Forever’s previews are lower than those for Thor: Love & Thunder, which despite receiving negative reviews and a B+ CinemaScore, opened to $144 million. The proportion of MCU opening weekends that included previews has fluctuated. Thor: Love & Thunder made up 19% of its first three days, while Doctor Strange 2 made up 19% of its $187 million debut, Black Panther made up 12% of its $202 million debut on Thursday, and Captain Marvel made up 14% of its $153 million first weekend.
Wakanda Forever, which began previews yesterday at 3PM, currently has a 94% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes compared to 79% for the first Black Panther. For general audiences, parents, and children under 12, Screen Engine/Comscore audience exits are even better at five stars. Total audience recommendations are at a high 83%. 42% of the audience on Thursday night was Black, 22% was Hispanic or Latino, 20% was Caucasian, and 10% was Asian. Males over 25 made up 34% of the population (90% grade), women over 25 made up 26% (95% grade), men under 25 made up 25% (87% grade), and women under 25 made up 15% (98% grade). 39% of females and 61% of boys aged under 12 were present.
Black Panther 2’s critical rating has been validated at 85%, which is lower than the 96% of the previous movie. However, Wakanda Forever’s momentum this weekend won’t be harmed by that. Everyone will benefit from it, from Imax to theater circuits.