‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ scores second biggest opening of 2022

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The highly-anticipated release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever smashed box office records over the weekend, the Associated Press reports.

The Black Panther sequel grossed $180 million in box office sales from theatres across the U.S. and Canada, according to estimates from the Walt Disney Co. as of Sunday (November 13), making it the second biggest opening weekend of the year.

Internationally, the film raked in an additional $150 million from 50 territories, with a worldwide total of $330 million.

Though Wakanda Forever didn’t surpass the first film’s opening at $202 million, film experts say its debut is a win for the industry, which has been weathering a slow spell since the end of the summer movie season.

“Some may have hoped for $200 million like the first film, but this is solid,” Paul Dergarabedian, Comscore’s senior media analyst, told AP. “This is the type of movie that theaters really need to drive audiences.”

A Black Panther sequel was inevitable after the 2018 film went on to earn over $1.4 billion worldwide, making it one of the highest-grossing films of all time and a cultural phenomenon.

Plans for a second film changed, however, after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the unexpected death of Chadwick Boseman in August 2020.

Wakanda Forever transformed into a film about the death of Boseman’s King T’Challa/Black Panther and the grieving kingdom left behind with Ryan Coogler again in the director’s chair. Returning cast members include Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, and Danai Gurira.

The sequel is the first movie to open at over $100 million since Thor in July. Coming in behind Wakanda Forever over the weekend was the DC superhero film Black Adam with $8.6 million, as no other production dared to premiere the same weekend as the Marvel blockbuster.

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