Black Panther isn’t just a terrific movie — it’s also proved to be a record-crushing machine. Here’s a quick roundup of its success thus far:
It had the fifth-largest opening weekend in history.
It crushed overseas sales projections and challenged the industry notion that “black films don’t travel.”
It passed Titanic to become the third highest-grossing movie of all time in the US, behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Avatar.
That means it’s now the highest-grossing film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — as well as the biggest superhero movie of all time.
And now it’s en route to another huge milestone. On Thursday, the movie topped $676 million in the US, a number that surpasses the total theatrical grosses of Iron Man ($318 million), Thor ($181 million), and the first Captain America ($177 million) film — combined.
Of course, box office is only a measure of commercial success, and it can be dangerous to equate box office haul with cinematic greatness. But in the case of Black Panther, it’s well earned. It’s a terrific film, one that shatters stereotypes about race and gender in tentpole blockbusters, explores important ideas about black culture and Afrofuturism, and is a genuinely fun, well-made movie to boot.
The movie’s been out for nine weeks, which means it’s likely slowing down. But T’Challa and co. are part of the force that will likely propel next week’s Avengers: Infinity War into the box office stratosphere and their popularity with moviegoers means they’re not going away any time soon. At this rate, Wakanda will, indeed, be with us forever.