As expected, Disney and Marvel Studios Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is on fire with a $28M Thursday which easily beats the preview night of the first Black Panther in 2018 which did $25.2M. Wakanda Forever ranks as the third best Thursday preview of the year behind Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($36M) and Thor: Love and Thunder‘s ($29M). Overall, Black Panther 2‘s previews rank as the 15th top preview performance in industry history and gives the Marvel Cinematic Universe six of the top 15 starts ever. The 3-day projection for Wakanda Forever is between $175M-$200M.
Nothing to wince about here with previews for Wakanda Forever being lower than Thor: Love & Thunder which, though panned by critics and earning a B+ CinemaScore, turned in a $144M opening. Previews’ share of MCU opening weekends have varied. Thor: Love & Thunder‘s repped 19% of its 3-day while Doctor Strange 2’s repped 19% of its $187M opening, Black Panther‘s Thursday was 12% of its $202M opening, and Captain Marvels $21M was 14% of its $153M 3-day.
Other great signs for the weekend: Wakanda Forever represents more than 80% of the online ticket retailer’s Veterans Day sales today. The Marvel Studios title has been their No. 1 daily ticket-seller for the last two weeks. 82% of fans on Fandango buying tickets to Wakanda say it’s their most anticipated film of this year. We hear that advance ticket sales for Wakanda Forever weren’t front-loaded, rather spread out evenly over the course of the weekend. Disney reports that as of yesterday, Wakanda Forever counted $66M in advance sales, which is behind Doctor Strange 2‘s $85M, but ahead of Thor: Love & Thunder‘s $48M.
Wakanda Forever, which kicked off previews at 3PM yesterday, currently counts a Rotten Tomatoes audience score of 94% to the original Black Panther‘s 79%. Screen Engine/Comscore audience exits are even better at 5 stars for general audiences, parents and kids under 12. Total recommend among general audience is at a high 83%. Thursday night’s audience pulled in 42% Black, 22% Hispanic and Latino, 20% Caucasian and 10% Asian. Thirty-four percent were men over 25 (90% grade), 26% were women over 25 (95% grade), 25% were men under 25 (87%), and 15% women under 25 (98% grade). Among kids under 12, 61% were boys, 39% were girls.
The critical score for Black Panther 2 has settled at 85% certified fresh, which is under the 96% of the first film. Still that won’t hurt Wakanda Forever‘s momentum this weekend. It’s going to be rich one for everyone from theater circuits to Imax.