PANTHER KING OF CINEMAS
Marvel’s latest action-packed superhero film smashes the competition to notch up the fifth-biggest opening weekend ever
ALREADY a much-celebrated pop-culture milestone, Black
Panther is now a record-setting smash at the box office, too.
The Marvel superhero film blew past expectations, with $192 million in ticket sales in North America in its first weekend, according to studio estimates. That makes Black
Panther the fifth-biggest opening weekend ever, not accounting for inflation.
The only films with a higher grossing opening weekend are Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Jurassic World and The Avengers.
It’s also the highest-grossing February opening weekend.
“All hail the King of Wakanda!” declared the Walt Disney Co while reporting the weekend estimates.
The studio forecasts a fourday holiday weekend of $218 million in the US and Canada, and a global debut of $361 million. Though the film’s international footprint doesn’t include several of the largest markets – China, Russia, Japan – it still ranks among the top 15 global debuts ever.
Ryan Coogler’s film, which cost about $200 million to make, is the most big budget, largely black ensemble film in years and among the few to be centred on a black superhero. The strong opening suggests Black Panther will easily set a box-office record for films directed by a black filmmaker.
Chadwick Boseman stars as T’Challa/Black Panther in the first stand-alone film for the superhero created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1966. The cast also features Michael B Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya and Letitia Wright. According to comScore, 37 per cent of moviegoers were African-American.
Chadwick Boseman in a scene from Marvel’s Black Panther, which is shaping as a massive box office hit.