Disney and Marvel Studios' Black Panther has blasted off overseas with a promising $23.2 million from its first foreign markets.
Black Panther opened in the U.K., Taiwan and Hong Kong on Tuesday, followed by 14 additional markets on Wednesday. So far it is pacing ahead of fellow Marvel pics Doctor Strange, Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy in most markets, although it is too early to draw hard conclusions.
The superhero film debuted to $3.7 million in the U.K., the biggest single-day gross of the year to date. Its two-day total in the U.K. is $7.2 million, ahead of Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, Wonder Woman and Deadpool. And on Wednesday, Black Panther debuted to $4.7 million in South Korea, the biggest February start in history and the No. 2 showing for a Marvel title behind Avengers: Age of Ultron.
France — where Black Panther was the top title in Paris — turned in $1.6 million, the biggest opening day of 2018 to date.
Directed by Ryan Coogler, Black Panther is unprecedented in being a big-budget studio tentpole featuring a virtually all-black cast. In the film, Chadwick Boseman stars as T'Challa/Black Panther alongside Lupita Nyong'o, Michael B. Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker and Andy Serkis.
Amid much anticipation, Black Panther begins rolling out Thursday night in North America on the eve of the long Presidents Day weekend. Tracking shows the movie opening to a massive $165 million-plus, although some box-office observers put that number higher. Either way, it is expected to score the top showing ever for both the holiday and the month of February, snatching the record from Deadpool, which took in $152.2 million over Presidents Day weekend in 2016.
Black Panther could also land one of the top five or six domestic openings ever for a superhero film, not accounting for inflation.
Internationally, box-office pundits put Black Panther's opening in the $80 million-$120 million range. The tentpole rolls out in about 70 percent of the international marketplace. Major territories where it doesn't open until later include Russia (Feb. 22), Japan (March 1) and China (March 9).
In terms of other original Marvel superhero pics, Doctor Strange debuted to $114 million internationally, while Guardians of the Galaxy took in $80 million.
Black Panther currently boasts a stellar 97 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, the best of any title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the rival DC Extended Universe.