‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Takes Box Office Crown With $180 Million Opening

Box office champion Black Panther: Wakanda Forever cast includes (L-R): Florence Kasumba as Ayo, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Danai Gurira as Okoye Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever conquered the box office with an estimated $180 million weekend opening, according to Comscore.

The sequel to Marvel’s 2018 blockbuster set a domestic record for movies opening in November, surpassing the previous title held by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which opened with $158.07 million in 2013.

Wakanda Forever played in 4,396 locations, bringing crowds back to cinemas and ringing up an impressive $40,946 per theater average.

The film earned another $150 million overseas, bringing its global total to $330 million.

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The follow-up reunites much of the original creative team, including director Ryan Coogler, and features returning stars Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Danai Gurira, and Martin Freeman. They’re joined by new cast members Tenoch Huerta as Namor and Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams/Ironheart.

Across social media fans praised Bassett and Huerta for delivering “incredible” performances.

Critics embraced the film, giving it an 84 percent positive score on Rotten Tomatoes, and audiences gave it a “A” CinemaScore.

The long-awaited sequel provided a thoughtful goodbye to King T’Challa after the death of franchise star Chadwick Boseman in 2020.

Without T’Challa, the residents of Wakanda fight to save their homeland from the undersea people of Talokan, leading to an epic battle scene near the end of the film.

Wakanda Forever’
s massive domestic debut was in line with pre-release projections, which had the film opening in the $170 million-$200 million range. Yet it didn’t quite match up to the original Black Panther which debuted with an eye-popping $202 million.

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Elsewhere at the weekend box office, Black Adam was second with $8.6 million in its fourth week.

The Julia Roberts-George Clooney romantic comedy Ticket to Paradise was third with $6.1 million, in its fourth week in theaters.

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile took fourth place with $3.2 million, and Smile rounded out the top five with $2.3 million in its seventh week.