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Comic Riffs

‘Black Panther’ is now on track to be the biggest February opening ever

February 13, 2018 at 8:30 AM

Lupita Nyong’o stars as Nakia in Marvel’s “Black Panther,” which is poised for a massive opening Friday. (Marvel Studios/)

IT’S THE year’s most tweeted-about film.

It’s selling more advance Imax tickets than any Marvel movie.

And now, according to tracking estimates, it’s got a real shot at having the biggest February debut ever.

Marvel’s “Black Panther” continues to elevate its box-office expectations when it officially opens Friday, from early predictions of $120 million for the four-day holiday weekend to newer studio estimates of $150 million. Now, tracking estimates are putting the film’s domestic debut at somewhere between $165 million and $170 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter and Variety.

That means that the Black Panther has a fellow Marvel character in his cinematic sights.

Fox’s “Deadpool” holds the Presidents’ Day weekend record with a $152.2 million domestic debut two years ago (not adjusting for inflation). “Deadpool” also tallied $132.4 million over its opening three-day weekend — a February record, as well.

“Deadpool” ultimately grossed $363 million in North America and more than three-quarters of a billion worldwide.

“There are no borders on this,” Imax Entertainment chief executive Greg Foster told Variety of “Black Panther’s” broad-reach tracking in the United States. “The momentum is continuing on both coasts and in the middle; in red states and in blue states. In giant cities and smaller suburbs.”

Chadwick Boseman stars as T’Challa, King of Wakanda, in “Black Panther.” (Marvel Studios/)

“Black Panther,” which lands precisely a decade after “Iron Man” effectively launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe, stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, the Avenger who’s the royal leader of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, as created in 1966 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

“Black Panther” has an average aggregate score of 87 on Metacritic, as well as a 97 percent certified “fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes — the highest for a Marvel Universe film.

Read more:

‘A different kind of superhero’: Why ‘Black Panther’ will mean so much to so many

‘Black Panther’ reviews say it’s a ‘landmark,’ ‘classic’ and basically every other superlative

Review: ‘Black Panther’ is exhilarating, groundbreaking and more than worth the wait


Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the Comic Riffs column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Washington Post's Book World.

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