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Black Panther came out of the gate swinging when it set a record for pre-sale tickets in the first 24 hours of availability. That likely spells good news for the film's opening weekend at the box office. In fact, the current estimates for the film's opening put it in the top tier of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and comic book movies in general. Black Panther is currently tracking toward a massive $120 million opening weekend.
The $120 million projection from BoxOfficePro is up 33% from the previous estimate, which is likely a direct result of the film's strong pre-sale numbers. The total puts Black Panther just above the $117 million opening for Spider-Man: Homecoming and just below the $122 million brought in by Thor: Ragnarok. This would make Black Panther the eighth highest grossing opening weekend for the MCU, and the 14th highest grossing opening for a comic book adaptation, which is a pretty solid start.
Black Panther tickets recently went on sale and Fandango proceeded to sell more tickets in the first 24 hours than any film in Marvel movie history. That shows just how strong the demand is for the film. While the opening numbers currently show Black Panther falling in line with other recent MCU films as far as the box office goes, odds are that those projections will only increase between now and the film's opening next month as Marvel's marketing shifts into high gear. The record-setting 24 hours also shows that there's a core fan base for Black Panther that is incredibly passionate for the movie, which could also mean many will be seeing the film more than once, which could impact the opening weekend that much more, and will certainly impact its overall box office take.
Black Panther is getting a lot of support because for being the first major superhero film of this generation to feature a person of color in the lead role. This has led many to raise money in an effort to send as many children to see the film as possible. It's very similar to the way that Wonder Woman received a great deal of theatrical support from women. Wonder Women, it should be pointed out, ended up blowing all box office expectation out of the water when it opened, so we shouldn't discount the possibility that Black Panther could do the same. If people who don't go to the movies often decide to support Panther, it will be difficult to predict that beforehand.
Even if Black Panther only ends up doing as well as the current estimate, that's still a decent start for the fledgling hero. It'll put the film well on its way to becoming the highest grossing origin story in the MCU. Black Panther hits theaters February 16.