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Will Black Panther 2's Box Office Break The $1 Billion Barrier?

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever's box office is trailing slightly behind the original movie, so will it break the $1 billion barrier for Marvel?

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever's box office is one of Marvel's best in Phase 4, and it could give the Marvel Cinematic Universe another $1 billion movie. The box office hauls for Marvel Studios' Phase 4 films have been a bit underwhelming in comparison to what came before. However, Black Panther 2's opening weekend gave Ryan Coogler's sequel a strong start, setting the film up for a very lucrative box office run. Expectations are high considering 2018's Black Panther made $1.3 billion and became one of the MCU's highest-grossing movies ever. That is why all eyes are now looking to see if Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will make $1 billion.

Through the first week of its release, Black Panther 2's box office performance has seen the movie match expectations. After receiving mostly positive reviews (84% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes), audiences responded well in the opening weekend. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever set a November opening record domestically with $181 million, bringing its worldwide total to $331M after one weekend. This means Marvel Studios is already a third of the way to seeing Black Panther 2 make $1 billion at the box office. But, Marvel has only hit that mark once in Phase 4, leaving the Black Panther sequel's financial prospects in question.

Why Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Probably Will Make $1 Billion

The potential for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to make $1 billion at the box office is there, but a few factors are working against the film. First, the sequel is already trailing behind the original film thanks to a slightly smaller opening weekend. Secondly, the movie is not expected to release in China, where Black Panther's box office accumulated over $100M of its $1.3B total. That leaves the sequel with not a lot of wiggle room to match the original film. It's also worth noting that Spider-Man: No Way Home is the only MCU Phase 4 movie to reach those heights, as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness fell just shy of becoming a $1 billion MCU movie.

That said, the hope for Black Panther 2 to make over one billion dollars comes from the current theatrical and Marvel landscape. There are not any other major blockbusters coming out in the next few weeks, meaning the sequel should remain the biggest movie out in theaters. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever's Disney+ release is still at least over a month away too, and there is currently no other MCU content coming this year besides The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. Without any major competition theatrically, ongoing MCU content on Disney+, and more positive reviews compared to the other 2022 Marvel movies, there is hope for Black Panther 2 making $1 billion.

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How Much Does It Matter If Wakanda Forever Doesn't Make $1 Billion?

If Black Panther: Wakanda Forever does not make $1 billion at the box office, the good news is that it can still be a success for Marvel. The sequel reportedly has a budget near $250 million, so the general rule that a film needs to make two or three times its budget to become profitable provides the roadmap. Marvel Studios will likely at least break even with the movie if it makes $500M worldwide. Should it surpass $750M and triple its budget, Black Panther 2's box office success will be guaranteed. Considering the movie is nearly halfway there and that total is half of the first film's box office, this should be achieved.

Although Black Panther 2 can still be a success for Marvel Studios without making $1 billion, how far short it falls of that mark could potentially be concerning. Even as Phase 4's box office results have struggled at times, two of the three previously released sequels outearned their predecessor. Thor: Love and Thunder made nearly $100M less than Thor: Ragnarok, but Black Panther: Wakanda Forever would have to endure a much larger drop not to outgross the original and fail to make $1 billion. The sequel making over $300M less than the original could leave Marvel to reconsider the franchise's future.

What Other Upcoming MCU Movies Could Break The $1 Billion Barrier?

Looking ahead to the Marvel movies releasing after Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, there are several candidates to break the $1 billion barrier. There is no doubt that Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars will exceed this mark when they release in 2025 and 2026. It would also not be a surprise if highly anticipated sequels like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Deadpool 3 made $1 billion. Expectations will likely be high for Captain America: New World Order, The Marvels, and Fantastic 4 too. As the box office continues to rebound, more $1 billion MCU movies should come after Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

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