Two and a half weeks before the release of Black Panther, excitement for the film is palpable. The title character, who leads the fictional African nation of Wakanda as King T’Challa and doubles as his realm’s superhero protector, was first introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, but his roots stretch back through decades of comics. Whether fans are inspired by the new films or longtime readers, they’re clearly ready to come out in droves for their hero: Fandango announced Wednesday that advance ticket sales for Black Panther have eclipsed every other superhero movie ever at the same point in the sales cycle.
Earlier this month, Black Panther broke Civil War’s record for first-day advance ticket sales among MCU movies. Now that the film has officially premiered, with fans and celebrities alike gushing about it on social media, advance sales for Black Panther have surpassed even Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the previous presale champ.
Dawn of Justice was not a well-received movie, but it had the advantage of bringing two of the the world’s most famous superheroes together on the big screen for the first time. But Black Panther is also a trailblazer. When the character debuted in 1966, he was Marvel’s first black superhero, and his solo film will be the first MCU movie with a majority-black cast. Fandango surveyed Black Panther ticket buyers about the reasons for their excitement, and more than 90 percent of respondents said they’re “looking forward to a different kind of superhero movie” and “looking forward to the film’s positive messages.”
Black Panther hits theaters Feb. 16. Check out EW’s interview with the film’s costume designer, Ruth Carter, and stay tuned for more coverage.