Marvel's Black Panther opened in U.S. theaters for preview night screenings on Thursday night to an estimated $25 million.
Earlier on Thursday night, analysts were predicting the film would land in the $22 million to $24 million range but is now looking to have surpassed the quarter-century mark. Such a number will make Black Panther the second largest opening of any Marvel Studios film to date, behind only Avengers: Age of Ultron's opening night haul of $27.6 million, and ahead of Captain America: Civil War's $25 million.
Black Panther is flirting with double the Thursday numbers which Deadpool saw in its opening weekend on February 12 of 2016: $12.7. Deadpool would go on to pull in $152.1 million that weekend. It's looking like T'Challa and his Wakandan nation will enjoy more riches, as the film could earn as much as $200 million over the weekend and is expected to land above $180 million.
In its first two days open overseas, Black Panther earned $23.2 million in 17 box office markets. More specifically, Black Panther garnered $4.7 million in Korea, marking the market's second largest opening of any Marvel Studios title. In the United Kingdom, the film has earned $7.2 million, topping Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, Wonder Woman, and Deadpool.
Speaking to ComicBook.com, director Ryan Coogler opened up about the process which helped him land the Black Panther director job. "It's weird because it wasn't a pitch as much as I got a call from Nate Moore, who produced on [Captain America: The Winter Soldier] and [Captain America: Civil War]," Coogler said. "He was kind of [Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige]'s right hand on all he projects and I got a call from him. He had been shepherding the film along at the studio for a number of years now. So I got a call from him, talked to to him about what they were trying to do, trying to figure out how the studio worked because I didn't really know how they worked intimately. I was curious."
From there, Coogler heard the vision of the project from Marvel Studios' executives before continuing with his own work. "I sat with that, and I had to process," Coogler says. "I watched Civil War which hadn't been out yet. I had to process what I would do and I came back to them and I talked to them. I thought that I wanted to make it but only if I got to explore this certain things."
Watch ComicBook.com's interview with Coogler in the video above and head over to ComicBook.com Originals' YouTube channel for more exclusive interviews with the film's cast!
Black Panther hits theaters on February 16, 2018. Advanced tickets are on sale now wherever tickets are sold. Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include; Avengers: Infinity War on May 4th, Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6th, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.