“Black Panther” heading with stunning $235 million debut over holiday weekend

FILE PHOTO: Actor Chadwick Boseman arrives at the premiere of the new Marvel superhero film 'Black Panther' in London, Britain February 8, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Vastavam web: Disney-Marvel’s “Black Panther” is heading for a stunning $235 million debut over the four-day President’s Day weekend at 4,020 North American locations, estimates showed Monday.“Black Panther,” starring Chadwick Boseman and directed by Ryan Coogler, has blown away its original tracking in less than a month. The film, which carries an estimated $200 million production cost, had been tracking to bring in between an impressive $100 and $120 million when first estimates emerged on Jan. 25.

Since then, “Black Panther” has become far more than just a popular tentpole title. Instead, it’s become a must-see event as it veers into record-setting territory. Thursday previews brought in $25.2 million, the largest Thursday night preview gross for a February opener and the second-largest preview gross for a Marvel film. The film has continued to shatter all projections since then.With 73% of schools closed, “Black Panther” business should decline 45% from Sunday for a $33 million Monday and $235 million four-day debut.

“Black Panther” has demolished the record for the largest President’s Day weekend, blowing past “Deadpool‘s” 2016 mark of $152 million. Overall North American moviegoing for the four-day period should hit an eye-popping $340 million — far above the $278 million mark in 2016, according to comScore.Boseman portrays T‘Challa, the ruler of Wakanda, a technologically advanced society, who conflicts with Michael B. Jordan’s Eric Killmonger, who intends to take over the throne. Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong‘o, Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira, and Daniel Kaluuya also star.Sony’s second weekend of family comedy “Peter Rabbit” is finishing a distant second with about $23 million at 3,725 sites for an 11-day total of $54 million, followed by Universal’s second session of “Fifty Shades Freed” with $19.4 million at 3,768 venues. The finale of the erotic trilogy has taken in $78.6 million domestically so far.

Sony’s ninth weekend of its action-comedy “Jumanji: Welcome to Jungle” finished fourth with $10 million at 2,800 venues. The 62-day domestic total has hit $380 million, just behind 2005’s “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” for 32nd spot on the all-time list. “Jumanji” declined only 21% from the eighth weekend and its ninth weekend is the ninth highest of all time.