Black Panther has now surpassed The Avengers to become the highest-grossing superhero movie all-time in the U.S. Ryan Coogler’s latest put together an incredible commercial run since opening in mid-February, rewriting the record books thanks to its stellar word-of-mouth. Due to the response and weak competition over the past month, Black Panther steadily rose up the charts, quickly working its way into the top 10 domestically. Most expected the film to do well at the box office (most Marvel movies do), but few predicted this kind of performance.
Not even Marvel’s other team-up events like Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War could match the numbers posted by the original Avengers. Before Panther came out, it would have been reasonable to think this summer’s Infinity War could be the only realistic challenger for the title. However, with still a month remaining until Thanos takes on Earth’s Mightiest, T’Challa has emerged as the franchise’s king.
Per Box Office Mojo, Black Panther earned $16.6 million in its sixth weekend, raising its domestic total to $630.9 million. That not only takes it past The Last Jedi on the U.S. charts, but also The Avengers‘ $623.3 million. As projected, Pacific Rim Uprising won the weekend with $28 million (slightly higher than some estimates), but Panther is once again the story. It currently stands as the fifth-highest grossing film ever.
It will be interesting to see how much higher Black Panther can go. It’s only $22 million behind Jurassic World ($652.2 million) and might even pass Titanic ($659.3 million). This will obviously depend on how strong Panther‘s legs stay over the next few weeks. Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One opens on Thursday, March 29 and the first week of April sees SXSW hits A Quiet Place and Blockers debut. All three have generated positive buzz following their festival screenings and should be sizable draws with general audiences. Of course, Black Panther is still attracting crowds, so it’s reasonable to suspect it isn’t done surpassing other box office titans.
As for Pacific Rim, its muted victory in America was buoyed by a stronger showing overseas. Its global total stands at $150.5 million, matching its production budget after one weekend. Whether or not Universal continues the burgeoning franchise will be determined by its final tally. Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 original was a modest success at $411 million worldwide, so Uprising will likely have to pass that figure in order to warrant more followups. Steven S. DeKnight has some ideas in his head already, and maybe he’ll get to see them come to fruition.