The box office for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” roars to $28 million on Thursday

Marvel Studios’ highly anticipated sequel is directed by acclaimed filmmaker Ryan Coogler.

According to Comscore, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever from Marvel Studios amassed an impressive $28 million in Thursday previews, placing it in the top 15 preview grosses of all time.

Wakanda Forever outperformed this summer’s companion Marvel film Thor: Love and Thunder ($29 million), which had grossed $25 million in previews, and outperformed the first Black Panther ($25 million). The Batman ($21.6 million) and the more recent Black Adam ($7.6 million), both from DC, are two 2022 superhero movies far behind.

Marvel Studios' Black Panther: Wakanda Forever | Long Live Wakanda - YouTube
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

By Friday, more than 4,300 cinemas nationwide, including Imax and premium big format screens, will show director Ryan Coolger’s eagerly awaited Black Panther sequel.

The tentpole is expected to make at least $175 million in the United States, although some exhibitors are predicting $185 million to $200 million, and anything between $155 million and $195 million internationally (that excludes China and Russia). Black Panther: Wakanda Forever made an early $10.1 million on Wednesday in its top 17 material markets.

According to Disney insiders, Wakanda Forever’s advance ticket sales in the United States as of Sunday were $45 million, which is greater than Thor: Love and Thunder but less than (frontloaded) Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. Wakanda Forever’s advance ticket sales might reach $60 million to $65 million by Friday, surpassing the $55 million the original Black Panther movie brought in.

Coogler’s groundbreaking Black Panther made history when debuting to $202 million domestically over the Feb. 16-18 weekend in 2018. The film was the first Hollywood studio tentpole to feature a predominantly Black cast and transformed into a cultural phenomenon on its way to earning more than $1.34 billion at the worldwide box office.

Sony and Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, one of the superhero films released during the pandemic, debuted at $260.1 million in December 2021. Early in May of this year, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness debuted at $187.4 million, while Thor: Love and Thunder earned $144.2 million in July (Marvel/Disney produced both). The Batman, a joint production of Warner Bros. and DC, debuted at $134 million in March 2022. DC’s Black Adam, which debuted to a more modest $67 million domestically and starred Dwayne Johnson in his first live-action superhero role, came out more recently.

When Chadwick Boseman, who played the title character of T’Challa/Black Panther in the 2018 film, passed away from colon cancer in August 2020, the sequel’s path to the big screen had its own sorrow. Wakanda Forever’s cast includes Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Danai Gurira, Florence Kasumba, and Martin Freeman, as well as Marvel newcomer Tenoch Huerta as Namor and Dominique Thorne as the hero Riri Williams.