Marvel’s Black Panther is breaking records left and right, but it’s worth pointing out that the film has already surpassed a handful of other major superhero films at the domestic box office as well, such as DC’s Justice League. Creed‘s Ryan Coogler directed the film – starring Chadwick Boseman as the eponymous superhero – based on a script he co-wrote with screenwriter Joe Robert Cole. Together, they were finally able to bring T’Challa’s story onto the silver screen after the project spent 24 years stuck in development hell.
Black Panther opened to a whopping $201.8 million at the domestic box office (topping Deadpool‘s February opening record as well as becoming the fifth highest-grossing opening weekend of all-time), with an additional $169 million being pulled in from overseas markets. In total, Black Panther earned approximately $371 million globally in its opening weekend. That positions it as the 15th highest-grossing worldwide opening ever, behind 2013’s Iron Man 3 ($372.5 million) and ahead of 2017’s Beauty and the Beast ($357 million). The thing is, Black Panther‘s 4-day gross is topping even more movies.
Black Panther is pegged to earn an estimated $235 million (if not more) over its first four days, thus putting it in third place on the all-time chart, behind only Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($288 million) and Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($241.5 million). But even more impressive – that number places it above 2017’s Justice League, which earned only $228.6 million at the domestic box office throughout its entire theatrical run (via Box Office Mojo).
It’s also worth noting Black Panther has already surpassed six of Marvel’s 17 other MCU films so far: 2008’s The Incredible Hulk ($134.8 million), 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger ($176.6 million), 2015’s Ant-Man ($180.2 million), 2011’s Thor ($181 million), 2013’s Thor: The Dark World ($206.3 million), and 2016’s Doctor Strange ($232.6 million). If Black Panther continues earning big bucks throughout the week, it will also pass 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($259.76 million) long before its second weekend arrives.
Again, Black Panther spent more than two decades in development, with multiple studios trying their hands at adapting T’Challa’s story. All of that time building and discussing a Black Panther film, as well as the continuous expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, helped the blockbuster movie achieve its success today. Of course, Black Panther being so highly rated, in addition to the character first being introduced in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, significantly increased interest in the film as well – but no one could’ve expected Black Panther to perform as well as it is right now… which is astounding.