Black Panther has officially vaulted pasted Titanic to become the third-highest grossing film of all time at the US box office, surpassing US$659 million domestically. It’s a pretty staggering result for a film that has been ping-ponging around the backchannels of Hollywood since 1992, and a testament to the behemoth franchise Marvel has created.
Titanic held the throne as the highest-grossing film in the United States for 12 years until it was usurped by another James Cameron film: Avatar. It then fell to third place upon the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which now occupies the top spot at a monstrous $936 million. Now it gracefully descends to fourth place.
The massive success for Black Panther, which kneecapped the commonly-held Hollywood wisdom that ‘black’ movies don’t travel, is almost certain to radically change how the industry works around blockbuster films.
It leaves to be seen whether Avengers: Infinity War will shake up the rankings once again. (It absolutely will.)
Worth remembering that this is only US domestic box office, which is still the dominant standard given how much money Americans tend to spend on the cinema. Globally? Black Panther only clocks in at number 10. What are number 1 and 2? Why, it’s Avatar and Titanic, of course.