Nov 25, 2022 - Economy

"Wakanda Forever" at the head of the table for Thanksgiving weekend

Data: Box Office Mojo; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios
Data: Box Office Mojo; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is expected to top the box office through the Thanksgiving weekend, keeping it on pace to be one of the highest-earning films of the year.

Why it matters: Disney's latest Marvel movie is not only a box office juggernaut, but also represents the Marvel Cinematic Universe's shift toward reflecting the diversity of the real world.

  • "Wakanda Forever" — the first MCU film with a Black woman as the main character — is already the third-highest earning MCU film led by a character from an underrepresented community, trailing only "Captain Marvel" and the original "Black Panther."

By the numbers: “Black Panther” is expected to top the Thanksgiving box office this holiday weekend with $40 million in earnings, per Deadline.

  • The movie has already toppled 2022's other big hitters, "Spider-Man: No Way Home" (which came out in December 2021) and "Black Adam" (which dropped in October).
  • “Wakanda Forever” has made about $550 million worldwide and is expected to eventually topple "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" ($955 million), to become the No. 3 movie worldwide
  • And don't forget that "Wakanda Forever" already holds the all-time record for the biggest opening weekend in November.

Yes, but: Another blockbuster, James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of Water,” is due out on December 16, which could disrupt the “Black Panther” reign.

What we're watching: The success of "Black Panther" is coming after a summer slowdown at the box office and is a welcome sign for Disney, which is dealing with its own turmoil.

Go deeper:

How the MCU is addressing its messy history with diversity

"Wakanda Forever" reimagines an untold future

Black Panther sequel brings momentum back to the box office

Marvel promoted "Wakanda Forever" on its own

Go deeper