'Black Panther' on Track for Historic $200 Million Opening Weekend


As you probably already knew -- or expected -- 'Black Panther' is on track to hit a nearly $200 million opening weekend at the box office.

Updated forecasts put the movie at the $172 million - $198 million range in North America over the four day weekend.

via Variety:

That's significantly above the first tracking on Jan. 25 for the tentpole, which initially placed the debut in the $100 million-$120 million range for the Feb. 16-19 period. The projections are higher even than tracking estimates earlier this week showing the film would make as much as $170 million.

"Black Panther" should easily break the Presidents Day weekend record of $152 million, set in 2016 by "Deadpool." The second-highest debut for the four-day holiday was for "Fifty Shades of Grey," which opened in 2015 to $93 million.

The latest Marvel entry dominated in Thursday preview showings, earning a muscular $25.2 million. The Thursday opening numbers represent a new high-water mark for the month of February. They are roughly double the previous record of $12.7 million, which was set by "Deadpool." It also ranks as the second-biggest preview gross for a Marvel title, behind only "Avengers: Age of Ultron," which scored $27.6 million from its previews.

The film is also shattering long-held views that films rooted in black culture don't sell well overseas. "Black Panther" blasted off to $23.2 million overseas after opening in 17 locations, including the United Kingdom, South Korea, and France. "Black Panther," which carries a $200 million budget, debuted to $7.2 million in the U.K., $4.7 million in South Korea, $2 million in Taiwan, $1.6 million in France, and $1.1 million in Hong Kong.

Screenings started Tuesday in a trio of international markets in the U.K., Hong Kong, and Taiwan, followed by Wednesday launches in France, Italy, Korea, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia. Most other markets will be open this weekend, followed by Russia on Feb. 22, Japan on March 1, and China on March 9.

The superhero tentpole, starring Chadwick Boseman, will play in more than 4,000 North American theaters, including 3,300 3D locations and more than 400 Imax screens.

The film has captured the zeitgeist, setting records for advanced ticket sales. Fandango on Thursday said the picture had become the fourth-highest selling pre-seller in its history, behind "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," and "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story." Fandango also reports it accounted for 36% of opening night sales for "Black Panther."

Have you seen the film yet? Thoughts?

Rich the Kid's Wife Files for Divorce, Says He Cheated with Blac Chyna & Others

Rapper Rich the Kid -- real name Dimitri Roger -- is headed for divorce.

His wife, Antonette Willis, filed the petition on Wednesday amid accusations he cheated on her with Blac Chyna and India Love.

+ Keep reading - Show less

So Sad: Queen Latifah's Mother Rita Owens Has Passed Away After Battling with a Heart Condition

Queen Latifah's mother, Rita Owens, Latifah's mother, Rita Owens, passed away on Wednesday after struggling with a heart condition for more than a decade.

+ Keep reading - Show less

Traci, Trina, and Towanda Say They're Going to Keep Talking About Tamar and Vince on 'Braxton Family Values': 'She Had a LOT to Say About Our Relationships' [Video]

Trina, Towanda, and Traci Braxton don't care that Tamar Braxton is upset over estranged husband Vince Herbert's portrayal on 'Braxton Family Values' because they believe that her drama isn't off-limits.

+ Keep reading - Show less

Vanessa Trump Reportedly Discovered 'Sexy' Texts from Aubrey O'Day While Donald Jr. Was in the Shower

Vanessa Trump -- or someone close to her -- is spilling all the tea about how she discovered Donald Trump Jr.'s affair with Aubrey O'Day.

According to new reports, Vanessa discovered "sexy" text messages between the pair.

+ Keep reading - Show less

Amber Rose's Son Sebastian Gets Surprise Concert Tickets From Taylor Swift: 'This Is Gonna Be So Exciting!' [Video]

Taylor Swift sent Amber Rose's son Sebastian concert tickets and the 5-year-old was super excited.

+ Keep reading - Show less

Tina Turner Says She Has Forgiven Ike for Years of Abuse: 'I Wonder If I'm Still Holding Something In'

Tina Turner has forgiven former husband Ike Turner for years of physical and emotional abuse.

+ Keep reading - Show less

Austin Serial Bomber Identified as 23-Year-Old Mark Anthony Conditt

The bomber responsible for two deaths in Austin, Texas, over the last three weeks has been identified as 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt.

He's believed to be the sole mastermind behind a series of package bombs that killed two people and wounded at least four more since March 2.

According to police, Mark set off a bomb and killed himself as he was being approached by police.

+ Keep reading - Show less