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Nearly six months after it first opened in theaters, Ryan Coogler’s groundbreaking superhero movie is crossing the $700 million mark in North America, Disney and Marvel announced Saturday.
Only two other films have ever crossed the $700 million threshold: 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($936.7 million) and 2009’s Avatar ($760.5 million), not adjusted for inflation.
In recent weeks, Disney and Marvel slightly tweaked Black Panther‘s theater count in order to achieve the feat without an official rerelease. The film’s longevity in theaters is unusual in an age when most films are gone within three to four months.
Black Panther — which has grossed north of $1.346 billion globally — had already broken numerous records. The pic is the top earner of the year to date in North America and the top-grossing superhero movie of all time domestically, not adjusted for inflation.
In terms of its standing among 2018 titles in North America, Black Panther is followed by fellow Disney/Marvel superhero pic Avengers: Infinity War ($677.7 million), Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2 ($575.7 million), Universal’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ($399.8 million) and Fox’s Deadpool 2 ($317.8 million). (All grosses are through July 31.)
Globally, Coogler’s film is among four 2018 releases to gross $1 billion or more in worldwide ticket sales. Black Panther ranks second behind Infinity War ($2.044 billion). Fallen Kingdom ($1.240 billion) and Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2 ($1.002 billion) follow.
Earlier this summer, Disney was able to propel Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time past the $100 million mark domestically by pairing the film with Incredibles 2 at drive-in theaters across the country. It is the first time in history that a movie directed by an African-American woman has cleared $100 million, even though the film underperformed overall.
Conversely, Black Panther generated enormous profits. The event pic was a bold move on the part of Disney and Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige. The film — unprecedented in being a big-budget studio tentpole featuring a virtually all-black cast — stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther alongside Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker and Andy Serkis.
The story, described as a tale of black power and pride in addition to its superhero themes, follows T’Challa as he is sworn in as king of Wakanda, a cloaked, technologically advanced nation in Africa that is home to the exotic metal vibranium, the source of Black Panther’s powers.
Following the film’s release in February, a number of characters from Black Panther appeared in Infinity War, which kicked off the summer season at the box office.
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