Black Panther, ruler of Wakanda and the rightful heir to T’Chaka, has conquered just about every box office market on the planet since his theatrical debut, but up until this week, there was one that remained, and it was arguably one of the most crucial.
We are, of course, referring to China, which has been a notoriously difficult territory to crack for most major Western blockbusters – particularly those with a predominantly African-American cast. But similar to how Ryan Coogler’s standalone epic has blazed its own path straight into the history books, Black Panther has proven its doubters wrong and managed to resonate with the Chinese audience, bringing in $22.7 million yesterday.
That number only pushed its worldwide haul even higher and today, Forbes estimates that the pic has now passed the elusive $1 billion mark. Final numbers aren’t in just yet, of course, but the outlet predicts that by the end of the weekend, it’ll be sitting at $561 million domestically and $442 million internationally, which would indeed put it over $1 billion.
That’s a tremendous achievement and is all the more impressive when you consider Panther is now only the 33rd movie to hit that mark in unadjusted global grosses and the fifth film in the MCU to achieve such an honor – alongside The Avengers, Age of Ultron, Iron Man 3 and Captain America: Civil War. Not only that, but given that Coogler’s spinoff hasn’t even been in theaters for a month yet, it’s still got some legs and could pass a few of the genre’s heaviest hitters.
By the end of this week or next, Black Panther may be sitting ahead of The Dark Knight ($1 billion), The Dark Knight Rises ($1.085b) and even Civil War ($1.153b). From there, it’ll only have Iron Man 3 ($1.215b), Age of Ultron ($1.4b) and The Avengers ($1.51b) ahead of it. While it likely won’t pass those three, a finish just above $1 billion would still be wildly impressive and spells a very, very bright future for T’Challa and all things Wakanda.