Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Crushes Box Office

By: James Flippin · November 15, 2022 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Second-Best Debut of the Year

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hit theaters this weekend and the numbers are officially in.

In its first weekend, the Marvel Studios (DIS) superhero film grossed $180 million in North America and $150 million overseas. This opening weekend ranks the film as the second-highest debut of the year – just behind the $187.5 million raked in by another Marvel sequel, the second Doctor Strange. It’s also the 13th-highest box office debut of all time.

But Wakanda Forever still did not top the first Black Panther’s opening weekend, which grossed $202 million domestically.

Disney’s Hero

The record-breaking release comes at a much-needed time for Disney, as the entertainment giant is still uncharacteristically struggling.

Most notably — despite its popularity — Disney+ has no Scrooge-McDuck-style vault. In fact, the company has lost so much money on Disney+ that execs no longer expect the streaming service to be profitable by its previous estimate of September 2024. Since Disney+ was supposed to be a huge growth driver for the legacy media company, this news comes as a big blow.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s record opening weekend is a silver lining to round out a tough year. And Disney isn’t the only one that the Black Panther is saving, either.

Saving Theaters

Most major theater chains are still on life support from the pandemic.

Although theaters have reopened and enjoyed some small wins, their overall future still looks bleak, with chains like AMC (AMC) still posting losses despite increases in revenue. The rise of streaming has made it more difficult for movie theaters to entice moviegoers to leave their homes for the big screen.

With this in mind, movie theaters are grateful to have blockbusters like Wakanda Forever debuting. After horror movies, superhero movies are one of the few other genres moviegoers tend to prefer to see in theaters. Although there are no more major superhero movies slated for release in 2022, consumers can look forward to 2023 releases like sequels to Ant Man, Shazam!, and Guardians of the Galaxy. You’ll be in good company – both Disney and movie theater chains are surely looking forward to them, too.

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