In the month before its premiere on November 11th, demand for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is tracking between where Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Thor: Love and Thunder were at the same point in the lead up to their premieres. Both Thor and Doctor Strange were incredibly successful (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the third highest grossing film globally so far this year). If demand for Wakanda Forever is on track to end up somewhere between these movies Disney will be very happy.
The Marvel film that captured the most audience attention in the past year has been Spider-Man: No Way Home which peaked at 371 times the demand of the average movie in its first week. Thor: Love and Thunder had a more modest, but still exceptional, demand peak at 311x and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness peaked at 181x. In the lead up to their premieres, the pre-release demand for all these movies was a good indicator of how they would ultimately rank in terms of demand after premiering.
One of the key questions surrounding Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is how it will move the franchise forward without Chadwick Boseman. Following the actor’s tragic death in 2020, plans for the second Black Panther film were completely reworked to include the death of T‘Challa rather than recasting Boseman. The new plot centers on T’Challa’s sister and mother (played by Letitia Wright and Angela Bassett) dealing with the character’s death.
Of the film’s leading cast, Lupita Nyong’o and Angela Bassett have had the highest demand so far this year. In October Lupita Nyong’o had 29 times the average talent demand while Angela Bassett had 22x demand. The star power of these two actresses should help draw in audiences and anchor a cast missing its former lead. While Letitia Wright’s demand was 6x in October, her leading role in the film could be an inflection point, growing her fanbase and helping to propel her to higher levels of demand.