Marvel and Walt Disney’s “Black Panther” topped $900m worldwide (and $400m overseas) on Monday, and it is estimated to pass the $1 billion mark if opens huge in China starting on Friday.
According to Deadline, advance ticket sales have now topped those for “Spider-Man: Homecoming by 30%. The industry sees BP‘s opening around $50M-$60M, and possibly higher.
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.
“Last year, Boseman was voted the “Most Popular U.S. Actor in China” at the 13th annual Chinese American Film Festival, and his 2017 drama “Marshall” was partly financed by a Chinese company, though it did not release on the mainland,” according to the report.
“The themes of most films with largely Black casts will still not be of interest to Chinese audiences,” USC professor and China specialist Stanley Rosen told Deadline ahead of the BP’s initial release. “This is more about superhero films where the characters happen to be Black, but not about African-American films more generally.”
Today, Rosen adds, “The advance ticket sales have been quite good, and there is certainly a lot of interest based on how well it’s done elsewhere and among those who enjoy Marvel films. It should open strongly and then it will depend on word of mouth.”
Another source says, “There is a lot of buzz in China around the film, and due to the Marvel branding fans will probably help open it pretty nicely.” This person expects it to “drop quickly since mainstream audiences will most likely not come to theaters after opening weekend, keeping it from having the legs it deserves.”
On Monday, “Black Panther” passed “Beauty and the Beast” ($503 million in 2017) to become the ninth-biggest domestic grosser of all time, and it should pass “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” ($532m in 2016/2017) and “The Dark Knight” ($534m in 2008) early this weekend. Once that happens, it will be the second-biggest comic book superhero flick in North America behind “The Avengers” ($623m in 2012), per Forbes.
Now, the big question is whether any other 2018 release (“Avengers: Infinity War”, “Incredibles 2,” “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” “Teen Titans Go to the Movies,” etc.) can catch up with “Black Panther.”