‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ notches record opening for November

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CNN Business

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” had the big challenge of following “Black Panther,” one of the most popular of all time, and had to do it without star Chadwick Boseman, who died in 2020.

Despite all the challenges, “Wakanda Forever” marked a significant box office opening this weekend. The Marvel film opened to an estimated $180 million in North America, according to the film’s studio, Disney.

The opening represents one of the best debuts of the year and makes the superhero film the highest-grossing November debut of all time. The original record belonged to “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” which made $158 million in November 2013. The box office collection is coming in around where most in Hollywood predicted.

The film is done $330 million worldwide so far.

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It’s no wonder why “Wakanda Forever” did so well this weekend.

The film, which stars Letitia Wright and Angela Bassett as the princess and queen of the African country of Wakanda, comes from Marvel Studios – the most profitable brand in all of Hollywood – and is a sequel to one of the most popular films ever. .

When “Black Panther” hit theaters in February 2018, it opened to a stellar $202 million weekend. It then went on to make $1.3 billion worldwide and received several Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. The film is considered one of the best of the comic book genre and one of Marvel’s best.

Apparently audiences also bought a ticket to “Wakanda Forever” to see how the film and director Ryan Coogler would deal with Boseman’s death. In an interview with Empire magazine in September, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige said, “It felt like it was way too soon” to recast the late actor. Boseman died at the age of 43 from colon cancer.

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In terms of its critical reception, “Wakanda Forever” scored an 84% score on review site Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences also gave the film an “A” on CinemaScore.

“‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ faced an inexorable degree of difficulty in dealing with the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman,” CNN media critic Brian Lowry wrote in his review. “The fact that the film manages to strike that serious chord and still present it as Marvel-style entertainment is a great achievement.”

The film’s solid opening comes at a good time for theaters and Disney.

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For theaters, the industry needed a blockbuster hit to help boost numbers as new, notable films have been hard to come by in recent months.

As for Disney, shares of the media giant sank 13% on Wednesday after the company reported that its streaming business lost $1.4 billion last quarter, despite growing its subscriber base.

The debut of “Wakanda Forever” is unlikely to affect Disney stock as investors remain heavily focused on the company’s streaming efforts. But a strong box office performance is helping Disney end a bad week on a high note.

It could also help build momentum for theaters with another Disney blockbuster on the horizon next month: “Avatar: The Way of Water.”


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