Top Gun: Maverick is 2022’s highest-grossing movie, and will likely remain that way. But there are two films that could top it: Avatar: The Way of Water and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. It’s unclear how James Cameron’s sequel to the biggest hit in Hollywood history will do (probably $well!), but Black Panther 2 is off to a good start.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is expected to debut with $175 million, which would be the year’s second highest opening weekend after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($187.4 million). Variety reports that “rival studio executives believe that figure could grow after reviews hit and word-of-mouth builds. Disney and Marvel still haven’t released the bulk of their marketing materials, which could also goose ticket sales.”
The original Black Panther opened to $202 million in 2018, ultimately grossing $700.4 million domestically and $1.3 billion globally. Advance ticket sales are already strong, and the initial word among the select few who have seen rough cuts of the movie is that the sequel delivers the goods.
If Rihanna does indeed do the end-credits song, that’s another $10 million right there.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which stars Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Dominique Thorne, Florence Kasumba, Michaela Coel, Tenoch Huerta, Martin Freeman, and Angela Bassett, opens on November 11.