|Directed by||:||Ryan Coogler||Produced by||:||Kevin Feige||Written by||:||Ryan Coogler Joe Robert Cole||Based on||:||Black Panther by Stan Lee Jack Kirby||Starring||:||Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke||Cinematography||:||Michael P. Shawve||Production company||:||Marvel Studios|
There’s been a big question mark over how Disney/Marvel’s cultural and box office phenomenon Black Panther is set to fare when it hits China on Friday. While this is always a wild card market, the advance buzz is promising. Even China Daily calls the Ryan Coogler-helmed superhero movie “one of the most anticipated blockbusters” of the coming month. It notes that over 200K users on Maoyan, a popular film platform, have checked the wannasee box.
So what’s the over/under on T’Challa in China? We hear from the ground that advance ticket sales have now topped those for Spider-Man: Homecoming by 30%. SMH bowed to $71M last September, but was front-loaded as one of the market’s fave superheroes. The industry sees BP‘s opening around $50M-$60M, and possibly higher. A final gross of $100M-$120M is a resounding refrain (it’s also playing on 571 IMAX screens)
Let’s look at some Disney/MCU opening comps: At the very top end, we have Captain America: Civil War (in which Black Panther made his debut) at $99M (today’s rates). More recent comps include Doctor Strange ($47M), Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2 ($54M) and Thor: Ragnarok ($57M). BP is already playing well-ahead of the three latter films internationally.
But so much about BP has been surprising that this coming weekend proves a difficult one to predict. Either way, it is expected to push it above $1B worldwide, perhaps before Sunday. The international box office through Tuesday was $408.7M with $512.6M from domestic.
Early on, there was concern that Asian markets might not embrace the film. But it has done well in places like Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong, playing like a strong Marvel movie with good action. In Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam, BP has run past the lifetime of Thor 3. Korea is in fact the No. 2 offshore market on the title, but that also has something to do with it being heavily featured in the movie with key scenes shot in Busan.
China has little history with films that boast predominantly Black casts, and we’ve been cautioned the Wakanda wonder could be met with some resistance. Many think it will do good, but not great business. One person on the ground says, “There’s not much emotional attachment” to the character.