Friday, April 19, 2024

Why Wakanda Forever Matters to Theaters

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Wakanda Forever matters to Theaters

At the point When “Black Panther” hit theaters in February 2018, it immediately turned into a cultural phenomenon. The Marvel superhero flick opened to an eye-popping $202 million weekend before going on to make $1.3 billion worldwide and garnering multiple Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.

Read More: Wakanda Forever aims to reproduce blockbuster magic

Why does it matter how “Wakanda Forever” does this weekend? Because after a strong showing this summer, the domestic box office has hit a wall because of a lack of new, notable films.

There have been a few surprise hits in recent weeks — Paramount’s “Smile,” Universal’s “Ticket to Paradise” and Sony’s “The Woman King” — but overall the North American box office is down 34% compared to pre-pandemic 2019. That’s a ton of ground to makeup and not much time left to do it.

There is a bunch of justification for why ticket sales are tracking behind pre-pandemic levels, but one major factor is that widely distributed film releases are down 38% compared to the same time in 2019.

Theaters need “Wakanda Forever” at the present time for a similar explanation they required “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and “The Batman” earlier this year. It’s unlikely that the box office makes up the deficit from 2019, but if “Wakanda Forever” fires up the ticket booth this weekend then that could cut down the difference and lead to strong momentum heading into 2023.

Films like “Wakanda Forever” not just assist with acquiring ticket sales, but they pull in audiences who may have forgotten what it was like to go to the movies. That benefits not just Marvel’s bottom line, but the entire ecosystem of the film industry, including theaters.

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