Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever began unfurling at the foreign box office on Wednesday, grossing $10.1 million from 17 material markets.
By the weekend, Wakanda Forever will be playing in theaters around the globe, excluding China and Russia. Projections show the tentpole opening to at least $175 million in North America — some exhibitors are suggesting $185 million to $200 million — and anywhere from $155 million to $195 million at the international box office.
That should put is worldwide start at $325 million or more. That would make it the third-biggest global opening of the pandemic era behind Sony and Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home and Marvel/Disney’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
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.
The sequel’s journey to the big screen endured its own tragedy when Chadwick Boseman, who played the titular role of T’Challa/Black Panther in the 2018 film, died of colon cancer in August 2020. 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.
More to come.