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While some expected Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to earn $70 million or more in its second weekend, the sequel nevertheless held better than any Marvel Cinematic Universe title released in the COVID-19 pandemic era in terms of its percentage drop.
Wakanda Forever, from Marvel Studios and Disney, grossed an estimated $67.3 million domestically over the Nov. 18-20 frame, a 63 percent decline from its opening weekend haul of $181 million. (One major difference between the sequel and the first film — it runs two hours and 41 minutes, roughly 30 minutes longer than the 2018 pic.)
Among the 30 MCU titles released in theaters over the past two decades — including Sony’s Spider-Man pics, which are produced in conjunction with Marvel — 10 have dropped 60 percent or more, according to Comscore. Sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ranks No. 5 on the overall list of second-weekend drops.
No. 1 on the list of biggest drops is Black Widow, which was released during the heart of the COVID-19 crisis in July 2021. The film, which was also made available simultaneously on Disney+ Premiere at a rental price of $30, grossed $80.4 million during its opening weekend at the domestic box office, and then fell off by 67.8 percent.
Thor: Love and Thunder, the fourth title in the stand-alone series, opened to $144.2 million in early July 2022. It fell off 67.7 percent to $46.6 million in its sophomore weekend, putting it at No. 2 on the list of biggest MCU drops.
Spider-Man: No Way home debuted to an astounding $260.1 million in December 2021, marking a pivotal turning point in the box office recovery. It fell off 67.5 percent to $84.5 million in its second weekend.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, opening in early May 2022, fell off 67.1 percent to $61.8 million in its sophomore frame after opening to $187.1 million.
Overall, 16 MCU films have declined between 59 percent and 50 percent in their second outings, including behemoth Avengers: Endgame, which debuted to a record $357.1 million and then fell off 58.7 percent the following weekend.
Only four MCU films have dropped 49 percent or less.
In May 2008, Iron Man opened to $102.1 million and then dropped 49.9 percent. The first Doctor Strange, released in November 2016, declined 42.9 percent, while 2016’s Thor saw a second-weekend decline of 47.2 percent.
The first Back Panther, likewise directed by Coogler, retains the crown for the lowest drop. The picture, debuting to $202 million in February 2018, fell off 44.7 percent in its second weekend.
The verdict is out on whether Wakanda Forever can begin to match the $1.4 billion earned globally by 2018’s Black Panther, but the sequel is counting on remaining a powerhouse over the Thanksgiving holidays. Its global total is presently $546 million, including $288 million domestically.
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