Interestingly, Marvel’s rave of the moment movie, Black Panther has reportedly earned yet another $27 million in its third domestic weekend, topping the weekend box office for the fifth-straight weekend. That gives the movie the fourth-biggest fifth weekend of all time, behind only Frozen ($28.5m in 2014), Titanic ($30m in 1998) and Avatar ($42m in 2010). It also makes Black Panther the first movie since Avatar to top the weekend charts for five straight weekends (and only the fourth in 20 years after Titanic, The Sixth Sense and Avatar).
That brings the film’s 31-day domestic total to $605.4 million, making it the seventh film (sans inflation) to cross the $600m mark. It now sits behind only Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($619m), The Avengers ($623m), Jurassic World ($652m), Titanic ($658m), Avatar ($760m) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($937m). It is now the second-fastest grossing movie of all time, behind only The Force Awakens which made $840m in its first month.
This means that the Chadwick Boseman flick will surpass the $623 million domestic total of The Avengers sometime by the end of next weekend, making it the fifth-biggest domestic grosser and the biggest superhero movie of all time. The only superhero movie that has a shot in hell of even touching that figure would be next month’s Avengers: Infinity War, which now gets a boost from being a glorified sequel to Black Panther. No wonder the film broke pre-sale records for a superhero movie in a matter of hours on Friday.
At this rate, Black Panther may end up the third-biggest domestic grosser of all time, behind only Avatar and The Force Awakens. Black Panther is now the 47th biggest grosser when adjusted for inflation, ahead of Batman ($577 million adjusted) and soon to be ahead of Goldfinger ($608m adjusted). At a glance, a $655m domestic total would put it between Ghostbusters ($229m domestic/$653m adjusted) and Sleeping Beauty ($52m domestic/$667m adjusted) at 34th place for “tickets sold.”
The film sank like a stone in China, but it has already earned $96 million in ten days (from a $67m debut weekend), which is already on par with Wonder Woman and Batman v Superman. Moreover, at the end of the day, it still had a bigger opening in China ($67m) than any other territory aside from North America. Whether or not it was rejected post-debut because it played like just another superhero movie or some less flattering reasons (or maybe because it played like a distinctly American movie), it still made a decent chunk-of-change there.
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When you’ve earned $1.182.5 billion worldwide, whether you make $105m or $135m in China is almost irrelevant. Black Panther has passed Captain America: Civil War to become the fourth-biggest superhero movie ever, behind Iron Man 3 ($1.215b in 2013), Avengers: Age of Ultron ($1.4b in 2015) and The Avengers ($1.5b in 2012). It should be able to pass the global gross of the third Iron Man movie, making Chadwick Boseman Earth’s Mightiest Hero (cue “Fight As One”), but the totals of the last two outright Avengers movies are likely a bridge too far.
The $1.33 billion gross of Star Wars: The Last Jedi may also be too high a mountain, but I don’t think anyone will complain. Again, “at a glance,” we may be looking at a global total between Frozen ($1.275b) and The Last Jedi ($1.33b) to be the tenth-biggest global grosser of all time. That is, until next month when Avengers: Infinity War attempts to be the third Avengers movie to top $1.4b.