Calling Black Panther a huge success is something of an understatement. It’s been king of the box office for over a month, but even if it doesn’t come out on top this weekend, it has become king in an even bigger way. After counting the receipts for Friday and Saturday, Black Panther has officially become the highest grossing superhero movie ever in North America. It surpasses The Avengers which set the record in 2012.
The Avengers was an “event” movie if there ever was one. The culmination of the experiment that was the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the movie brought together several major Marvel heroes in a single movie. It’s not surprising that it set records. It was something the world had never seen before. People didn’t want to miss it. However, the massive team up is now second fiddle to a single hero. Apparently, it doesn’t take a major event to be number one as, according to The Hollywood Reporter, T’Challa has done it all by himself.
Marvel movies are always expected to do well at the box office, but needless to say, nobody was expecting Black Panther to do quite this well. The character wasn’t a household name before he appeared in Captain America: Civil War. The movie was being released in February, an untested point on the calendar for Marvel, and it was coming out in the same year as the movie that was supposed to be the big event for the year. Avengers: Infinity War. However, it seemed that it was greatly underestimated just how badly people were waiting for a superhero that looked more like them on the big screen. This, combined with the fact that Ryan Coogler’s movie is just plain excellent, has lead to Black Panther slowly becoming the biggest movie in the biggest genre on the planet today.
Now, we’ll have to wait and see if even Avengers: Infinity War will be capable of unseating the King of Wakanda. It’s an even bigger movie with even more heroes in it than either of the two previous Avengers movies, and it will include the return of Black Panther as well as several of the film’s popular supporting characters. If everybody who made Black Panther number one returns, and the team-up draws in some that didn’t visit Wakanda, it could get the job done, but considering the competition is getting stiffer at the box office, it seems unlikely that Infinity War will be able to put up six weeks of numbers like what Black Panther has been able to do. It will need to do much more business a lot faster to have a chance.
To Marvel, it probably doesn’t even matter. They still have the biggest movie in the genre, and Infinity War ‘s box office numbers will be gravy on top of what Black Panther has been able to accomplish.