Black Panther has annihilated its opening weekend box office projections, and is now expected to amass an astonishing USD $218 million over the four-day President’s Day weekend.
Its Friday-Saturday-Sunday takings alone are thought to have reached USD $192 million – enough to secure the Marvel movie’s claim to the fifth-largest opening of all time.
The film, which stars Chadwick Boseman as the titular hero and prince of the hyper-advanced nation of Wakanda, stands only behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Jurassic World, and The Avengers in terms of opening weekend US box office takings.
Black Panther’s takings have nearly doubled January’s initial estimates, when it was projected to take between USD $100 million and $120 million at the domestic box office.
Those numbers also mean Black Panther has become Marvel’s most instantly-successful stand-alone superhero film, besting the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and even Spider-Man: Homecoming.
It’s also notched the highest takings of any film released in February, and has wrested the President’s Day weekend box office record from 2016’s Deadpool. Jesus Christ, just imagine that fight.
Director Ryan Coogler’s film has been praised for showcasing a predominantly black cast in the superhero genre, a corner of pop culture not exactly known for its diversity. The film’s socio-political overtones have also lent the flick an added layer of relevance to an audience otherwise jaded by big-budget blockbusters.
Black Panther is in Aussie cinemas right now.