Will Black Panther 2 beat Top Gun Maverick at the box office?

Tom Cruise in Top Gun Maverick and Black Panther from Black Panther 2Paramount Pictures/Marvel Studios

Black Panther 2 is about to hit cinemas – but will Wakanda Forever topple Top Gun: Maverick at the box office? Here’s what the experts’ predictions say.

Top Gun: Maverick is 2022’s biggest movie… for now, at least. It’s sitting comfortably on the list of the highest-grossing movies of all time after a remarkable theatrical stretch earlier this year.

Nothing has come particularly close: Jurassic World Dominion topped $1 billion, only just; Doctor Strange 2 and Minions: The Rise of Gru failed to break into the billion-dollar club; and the next nearest hauls are in the $700 million range.

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It finally has a serious competitor with Black Panther 2, one of the most anticipated movies of the year – but will Wakanda Forever beat Top Gun: Maverick at the box office?

Black Panther 2 box office predictions

Black Panther 2 is expected to make $365 million in its opening weekend, according to box office predictions from Variety and Box Office Pro.

In the US alone, the sequel is predicted to rake in between $185 million and $200 million, with Box Office Pro betting on a $192 million haul over the three-day weekend.

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With a further $180 million abroad, give or take $20 million, Black Panther 2 would have the third-largest opening since global restrictions, coming after Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opened to $568 million and $429 million, respectively.

It would also beat Top Gun: Maverick’s opening weekend of $248 million worldwide – but what about its total worldwide gross? 2018’s Black Panther finished on a whopping $1.3 billion, but does it have the mileage to beat its own record?

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The potential is there. It’s undoubtedly the biggest Marvel release of the year, both in terms of its impact on the MCU and the culture at large, and its trajectory could mirror Fast and Furious 7, also released following the death of one of its lead stars.

However, there is a titan on the horizon: Avatar: The Way of Water, the sequel to James Cameron’s box office king of the world, still the highest-grossing movie to date. Black Panther 2 also doesn’t have a release date in China, while Avatar famously dominated China’s box office.

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Will Black Panther 2 beat Top Gun: Maverick?

The honest answer: maybe, but it’s unlikely.

Black Panther 2 will cross the billion-dollar mark, but the chances of it reaching its predecessor’s box office heights are already slim – and to beat Top Gun: Maverick, it’d need another $150 million.

It’s worth bearing in mind the original Black Panther hit cinemas at a less competitive time of year, releasing in February 2018. This time, Marvel is targeting the holiday season, already crowded with award season contenders in the US and Avatar 2.

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Black Panther 2 will likely nab the highest-grossing domestic weekend of the year, but it remains to be seen whether it’ll take the 2022 crown for its worldwide gross.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits cinemas on November 11. You can read our review here and check out the rest of our coverage here.