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Nakia, T'Challa and Shuri in Black Panther

Marvel is capturing a lot of attention today by releasing the new Avengers: Infinity War trailer, but let's not forget that there's already a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie currently playing in theaters. Black Panther is entering its fifth weekend, but it continues to be a powerhouse at the box office. Last week, Black Panther joined the exclusive group of movies to cross the $1 billion mark globally, but it gets even better, because T'Challa's standalone adventure is now officially one of the top 20 highest-grossing movies of all time.

At the time of this writing, and as revealed by Box Office Mojo, Black Panther's haul of approximately $1.122 billion worldwide has made it the 18th highest grossing movie ever, soaring past Transformers: Age of Extinction and Skyfall, and sitting just below The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Just to be clear, this is not factoring in inflation. If it did, I suspect that Black Panther would be lower down on the list and not part of the Top 20. Regardless, this an impressive achievement, but the fun might not stop there. Even with the release of fellow blockbuster Tomb Raider and A Wrinkle in Time entering its second weekend, Black Panther expected to continue performing strongly this weekend, and by the time Black Panther's theatrical run is ultimately finished, there's a distinct chance it could move higher up on the list, pushing past Return of the King and maybe even Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Ever since it was announced as part of the MCU's Phase 3 slate back in 2014, Black Panther was one of Marvel's most anticipated movies, especially after T'Challa debuted in Captain America: Civil War. Fast-forward to now, not only has Black Panther proven itself to be a critical success, but also one of Marvel's greatest commercial successes, as it is the studio's highest grossing origin story movie, second-highest grossing non-ensemble movie (Iron Man 3 being #1) and fifth-highest grossing movie overall. But Black Panther can now also be remembered as one of Hollywood's best performing movies of all time, though like any of the other lower entries in the Top 20, don't rule out the possibility that someday an even bigger movie might come along that might push Black Panther's ranking down.

One thing Black Panther also has going for it is its effect on general pop culture. Besides having significant cultural impact for its nearly all-black main cast (a first for a superhero movie), the movie's main setting, Wakanda, has also captivated audiences, to the point that numerous people have prank called Wacounda, Illinois and searched on hotel websites for Wakanda, only to be disappointed that it doesn't actually exist. Black Panther may just be the newest chapter of the continually-growing MCU, but it's safe to say that it will be remembered as one of the franchise's more unique entries.

Don't forget to read CinemaBlend's review and To 3D guide for Black Panther. While Black Panther 2 hasn't been officially announced yet, you won't have to wait long to reunite with T'Challa and select members of his supporting cast, as Wakanda will be an important location in Avengers: Infinity War, which opens April 27.

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