"Black Panther" earns estimated $25.2 million from Thursday screenings

Anticipation builds for "Black Panther" movie

LOS ANGELES -- All the buzz for "Black Panther" has put the Marvel film on track to break records this weekend at the North American box office. The Walt Disney Co. estimates Friday that the superhero movie earned $25.2 million from its Thursday preview screenings. It's the second biggest for a Marvel Studios film behind "Avengers: Age of Ultron," which earned $27.6 million in previews, and the best for the month of February.

Preview screenings typically begin with 7 p.m. Thursday showings.

"Black Panther" is now pacing to earn over $165 million across the four-day holiday weekend, and surpass the previous February record held by "Deadpool" which took in $152.2 million in 2016.

Internationally, the film has grossed $47 million in its first three days with strong showings in the U.K. and Korea.

It's not the first record "Black Panther" has broken. In addition to boasting a primarily black cast, the film also scored 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes -- the highest rating ever for a Marvel or DC film. It might even end up beating the highest rating for a superhero movie on Rotten Tomatoes ever, as "The Incredibles" also has a 97 percent rating. Ratings frequently move a few percentage points as more reviews come in. 

"Black Panther" fans took to social media to share photos of themselves at the early showings of the film, wearing African clothes to celebrate the movie.