Black Panther is finally in cinemas, and fans and critics alike are loving it. Disney/Marvel have another huge hit on their hands, and Variety is reporting that it's likely to shatter box office records for February. After breaking the 2018 U.K. box office record for most tickets sold in a day, updated forecasts from Disney see the film potentially raking in anywhere from $172-$198 million across North America during the four-day Presidents Day weekend.
Early estimates for the debut had the Feb. 16-19 period estimated to rake in $100-$120, but now Disney has readjusted their forecast because of how well audiences are reacting to the film. Black Panther will absolutely have no issue topping the previous President's Day weekend record, which Deadpool previously held with $152 million.
Preview showings for Black Panther must have filled Disney with a lot of confidence, because it managed to earn $25.2 million on Thursday night alone. That's around double what Deadpool set with its preview showings in 2016. The only film from Marvel to have done better with its preview showings is Avengers: Age of Ultron, which managed to earn $27.6 million.
If Panther hits the low end of its projection this weekend it'll land at No. 5 for the Marvel Cinematic Universe's all-time best openers, just behind Iron Man 3, which bowed with $174 million in 2013. From there it's a quick trip to climb all the way past Avengers: Age of Ultron ($191.3 million in '15) to face off against the MCU's No. 1 all-time opener, The Avengers, which premiered to $207.4 million.
Black Panther still hasn't started screening in a number of international markets including Russia, Japan, and China, but considering how well it's performed in the U.S. and the U.K. so far, it's likely it'll outperform Disney-Marvel's targets overseas, too.