The Presidents Day weekend is often where studios place movies they believe will shine. “Black Panther” from Walt Disney Co.’s (NYSE: DIS) Marvel Studios is no exception. The Marvel character–based movie brought in $25.5 million on Thursday and is forecast to reach over $200 million at the domestic box office for the four-day weekend. Its draw overseas already has reached $47 million.
The most successful film released ahead of Presidents Day so far was another superhero movie. “Deadpool,” from the 20th Century Fox division of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (NYSE: FOXA), had domestic ticket sales of $152 million last year. “Fifty Shades of Grey,” released on Presidents Day in 2015, ranks third for the period with domestic ticket sales of $93 million.
The build-up to the release of “Black Panther” has been extraordinary. The trailer has been viewed over 21 million times since it was posted October 16, 2017. Box Office Mojo has forecast ticket sales slightly higher than Disney has. Early ticket sales support the Box Office Mojo numbers. The online movie database’s researchers wrote:
FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Disney has now upped their weekend estimate, which now ranges from $172-198 million for the four-day, inching closer to Mojo’s weekend forecast below.
FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Disney and Marvel’s Black Panther brought in $25.2 million from Thursday night previews, just shy of doubling the $12.7 million brought in by Deadpool. When it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it outperformed the $25 million brought in by Captain America: Civil War and is behind only Avengers: Age of Ultron’s $27.6 million, making it the second highest preview gross within the franchise.
“Black Panther” could help Disney be the most successful studio in ticket sales so far in 2018. As of February 11, it ranked fourth in market share of domestic box office revenue for the year with 10.4% of the market. In the lead, Sony/Columbia has a share of 20.6%, driven by blockbuster “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” which has sold $197 million in tickets this year. In second place among studios, 20th Century Fox has a share of 20% for the period, driven by “The Great Showman” and “The Post.” In third place, Universal has a market share of 11.8% over the period.
“Black Panther” may become one of the most successful movies of all time. It also will boost Disney’s studio fortunes tremendously.