Black Panther 2’s Fourth Weekend

Black Panther 2 took in some $18 million in its fourth weekend, bringing its gross during the first twenty-four days of its North American run to $394 million.

But how much higher will it go?

Once more the original Black Panther can seem a good first point of comparison. That movie took in $562 million in the same period — working out to 80 percent of its total. If Black Panther 2 likewise manages to expand its 24-day take by another 25 percent then it will finish up in the vicinity of $500 million, which does not seem wholly implausible.

Still, there is the fact that the film is fading faster. The original Black Panther not only opened “bigger” ($202 million on opening weekend, which is $240-$250 million in today’s terms, versus Black Panther 2’s $181 million), but in spite of the particularly large opening in its fourth weekend took in 20% of what the movie made in its first three days ($41 million). By contrast in its fourth weekend Black Panther 2 made less than 10 percent of what it did in its more modest opening weekend (under $18 million) — a fact offsetting the better hold it got from a Thanksgiving day release.

Once again, its trajectory looks less like that of Black Panther than that of Thor 4, which made about the same relative to its first weekend in its fourth (9.2 rather than 9.7 percent). That movie made 88 percent of its gross by that point. Assuming Black Panther 2 to be doing the same it would be headed for a gross in the vicinity of $450 million.

Meanwhile the overseas earnings are likely to be proportionate. Currently running 86 percent of the domestic gross, should this trend continue down to the end of the film’s run the movie would end up making $390-$430 million. The result is that the global take would be in the $840-$930 million range — once more, under a billion dollars, and especially at the low end of the range — which I think the more likely outcome — not much more than the disappointing Thor 4 ($761 million), somewhat less than the not-quite-all-that-was-hoped-for Dr. Strange 2 ($956 million), and in real terms, perhaps just half of what the original Black Panther made ($1.6-$1.7 billion in 2022 dollars).

As is usually the case in such matters the entertainment press will look on the bright side — but it is still a far from overwhelming response to the first sequel to Marvel’s big event movie of just a few years ago, and to the close of Marvel’s “Phase 4.” Indeed, with the profitability of the film possibly in doubt (even allowing for all the ambiguities in these matters one can only be sure if a movie makes five times its production budget, which $800-$900 million is not in this case) whether the movie was a hit or a flop is doubtless already the cause of the usual ferocious arguments among the culture warriors (on both sides of the line) who seem to think their arguments about (usually) mediocre, forgettable movies, the most important issue of an epoch of pandemic, war, economic catastrophe and ecological collapse — while adding immensely to the anxieties of Disney’s shareholders, board and executives as, on top of the other troubles beleaguering the once unstoppable-seeming Disney machine, flop is piled atop flop piled atop flop. (Indeed, looking beyond the aforementioned Marvel-based disappointments, Black Panther 2 scarcely had a chance to let the company’s “leadership” down before the megabuck autumn release Strange World crashed and burned, just months after Lightyear underperformed, while in America, at least, the $175 million Turning Red was sent straight to video, where, as Warner Bros’ recent conduct reminds everyone, nothing that pricey can really make enough to cover its cost, even with the benefit of a far friendlier reception than it got.)

What, if anything, the management will do about the situation is another matter entirely.

Originally published at https://raritania.blogspot.com.

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Nader Elhefnawy

Nader Elhefnawy is the author of the thriller The Shadows of Olympus. Besides Medium, you can find him online at his personal blog, Raritania.