“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” Makes Box Office History
There was little doubt that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was going to be a huge movie, but shattering the record for November releases is still something to behold. Co-writer/director Ryan Coogler’s phenomenal sequel brought in $180 million domestically and $330 million globally, which makes it the all-time biggest launch of any film in November. It clawed past The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which took in $158 million in November of 2013. It’s the second biggest opening for the year for Marvel, just shy of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which pulled in $187.4 domestically, and it knocked Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam from its perch.
The international haul proves, yet again, the massive interest in the Black Panther franchise overseas. Wakanda Forever gobbled up $150 million internationally as audiences poured into the theater in places like the U.K., France, Mexico, South Korea, and Brazil. It also had the highest opening in history in Nigeria, where it had its African premiere.
Wakanda Forever currently ranks as the 13th biggest opening ever, and its Friday opening alone was historic. It pulled in $84 million, just about tying it to Avengers: Age of Ultron as the 9th largest single-day haul. The reviews only fueled more people into theaters (Wakanda Forever enjoys an A CinemaScore), and those audiences were diverse. According to PostTrak, the audiences were led by Black moviegoers (34 percent), followed by Caucasians (31%), Latinos (21%), and Asian/Other (14%). Another impressive stat speaking to the massive interest in the sequel is that females made up 45% of the audience, a much higher percentage than is usually the case for a superhero film.
Then there is the fact that Wakanda Forever isn’t like other superhero films and was never going to be. The original Black Panther obliterated the lie that audiences wouldn’t go see a film made by and starring a predominately Black cast. Wakanda Forever then had another humongous challenge when Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman tragically passed away back in August 2020. Coogler and his team refocused Wakanda Forever on his loss and found its narrative thrust in how the women of Wakanda, led by Ramonda (Angela Bassett), dealt with that loss and carried on. Ramonda, Shuri (Letitia Wright), Okoye (Danai Gurira), and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) were the heart and soul of Wakanda Forever, and their journey, and the crowning of a new Black Panther, led to an immensely satisfying, bittersweet cinematic experience. The introduction of a new, immensely powerful figure in Namor (Tenoch Huerta), and a brand new, gorgeously evoked world in the underwater empire of Talokan, made Wakanda Forever the rare intimate epic. The box office numbers, while historic, are unsurprising when you factor in all this talent and all this heart.
For more on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, check out these stories:
Featured image: (Center): Danai Gurira as Okoye in Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.