'Black Panther' Becomes Top-Grossing Superhero Film in North America
T'Challa's box office streak is over, but he's still breaking records.
The king of Wakanda may have lost the box office this weekend, but Black Panther is taking home the title for the highest-grossing superhero movie in North America.
The Hollywood Reporter announced that Black Panther will surpass The Avengers Saturday to make it the top-grossing superhero movie of all time domestically. Adding that amount to the film’s $614 million domestic gross, it will pass both The Avengers and Star Wars: The Last Jedi to be the fifth highest-grossing film in North America without adjusting for inflation. It will, however, lose the weekend to newly released Pacific Rim Uprising.
Box office estimates put Pacific Rim Uprising at approximately $26 million for the weekend. The giant robot sequel starring John Boyega hasn’t won over critics with its 47 percent at Rotten Tomatoes, but is expected to do well domestically and overseas, making an estimated $50 million in China by Sunday.
Black Panther will take second place this weekend with approximately $16-17 million in ticket sales. Globally, the film sold $1.2 billion in ticket sales prior to this weekend and will overtake 2013’s Iron Man 3 by Sunday, which took in $1.214 at the box office. To take on on the top superhero movie in the world, it will have to catch up to both The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, which sold $1.5 billion and $1.4 billion respectively.
Next week, the box office will see a new contender come into the mix as Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, based on the 2011 Ernest Cline novel, will make its debut. The film is already a hit with critics and audience members at SXSW.
The story of the Wakanda superhero has been a financial and cultural hit. Black Panther broke pre-sale ticket records before its release, was the top movie for five weekends in a row, and brought to the forefront Afrofuturism, a genre of speculative fiction that highlights what sci-fi can’t.