After ruling movie empire, Black Panther dominates merchandising world

After its third straight box office success in a row, Black Panther is on top of the movie empire, earning a whopping USD 501.7 million domestic and an additional USD 403.4 million from international markets, for a worldwide total of USD 1.08 billion.

However, the Walt Disney’s box office juggernaut “Black Panther” isn’t on the road to just ticket-sale riches. According to The Licensing Letter, the super-hero movie could also generate approx. USD 250 million in licensed merchandise sales in 2018.

The USD 250 million estimate doesn’t include products that Disney sells itself, or unofficial products that others are selling on sites like Etsy.

Black Panther deals with the story of a fictional African country called Wakanda and has won kudos from critics and moviegoers alike. The film has earned 97 percent rating on the closely watched review site Rotten Tomatoes.

The success of Black Panther even makes popular toy maker Hasbro increased its estimates for Black Panther merchandise revenue.

In a recent note to clients, Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink raised her estimates for Hasbro’s 2018 Black Panther merchandise sales from USD 60 million to as much as USD100 million because retailers are aggressively chasing inventory.

“Interestingly, Hasbro was one of the only licensees that had deep consumer insights that pointed to a breakout success,” Wissink added further.

Merchandising Methods:

Other Black Panther licensees include Lego, which is selling two “Black Panther”-themed sets, and Funko, a maker of “pop culture merchandise” such as bobbleheads. Fifth Sun has the license for “Black Panther” T-shirts, which are eight of the company’s top 10 sellers.

The Toyota (TMC) luxury brand last year unveiled a custom concept coupe named the “The Black Panther Inspired LC,” which Lexus promoted during the Super Bowl. The vehicle is currently arriving in dealerships.

A graphic novel, Black Panther: Soul of a Machine, was released in December 2017 from writers Fabian Nicieza, Geoffrey Thorne and Chuck Brown, with cover illustrations by Scott “Rahzzah” Wilson and Szymon Kudranski, in which Black Panther defeats a villain with the help of the Lexus LC 500.

According to RelishMix, the Lexus commercial had 4.3 million views on social media after it aired in the Super Bowl. Marvel also partnered with British shoe manufacturer Clarks to create a variant of their Originals’ Trigenic Evo shoe, inspired by the film.

When we are talking about movie merchandising, how can we forget about the social media. Twitter also launched a custom emoji for the film, that appears when the hashtag #BlackPanther is used.

In addition, Brisk created an interactive Black Panther installation at the 2018 NBA All-Star Game weekend, which showcased nine Brisk labels created by emerging artists to promote the Creators Class program.

Beauty brand Lancôme also highlighted a line of makeup that Lupita Nyong’o and Letitia Wright used at the premiere of the film.

“Merchandise sales can noticeably contribute to profitability, but it depends. It plays some role in thinking about sequels, but in this case, the success is large enough that a sequel will be made regardless of how much merchandise is sold. It’s not a swing factor,” Hal Vogel, chief executive of Vogel Capital Management, who tracks the entertainment sector was quoted as saying.

Till now, Black Panther had the most expansive advertising budget and biggest line of merchandise of any Marvel non-sequel

As box-office receipts continue to weaken, merchandising industry is becoming increasingly important to measure a film’s success.

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