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We're halfway through 2018, but Marvel Studios has already released two movies that haven't just been met with critical praise, but have also cemented themselves as some of the highest-grossing movies of all time. Black Panther kicked off Marvel's year in February, Avengers: Infinity War followed two months later, and now both movies have both crossed the $1 billion mark. However, while Infinity War has well surpassed Black Panther's box office total globally, as far as North America goes, it looks like the latter will retain the lead over the former.
We're nearing the two month anniversary of Avengers: Infinity War's release, which means that the blockbuster is wrapping up its time in theaters. Overall, the movie has collected over $2 billion worldwide, currently making it the fourth highest-grossing movie ever. Domestically speaking, Box Office Mojo shows that Infinity War earned $5.3 million this past weekend, bringing its North American total to $664.2 million. While that does surpass what 1997's Titanic and 2005's Jurassic World brought in, it's doubtful Infinity War will surpass Black Panther's domestic total of $699 million. Globally, Black Panther ranks at ninth place on the highest-grossing movie chart with $1.3 billion. However you want to look at these numbers, one thing is certain: Marvel is rolling around in a lot of freshly-procured cash.
In the years leading up to both Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War's release, the latter was definitely advertised as the biggest Marvel movie yet, and those who have seen it know that it delivered on that promise. But Black Panther has been a big deal for other reasons, particularly because it's the first MCU movie to be lead by a black hero. Just like Wonder Woman last year, Black Panther has grown past being a normal blockbuster and turned into a frequent topic of cultural discussion, be it for its representation, the technologically-advanced nation of Wakanda, the list goes on. So it's hardly surprising to hear that the movie has done so well stateside.
Warning: SPOILERS for Avengers: Infinity War are ahead!
Of course, I'd be remiss in saying that T'Challa himself, who made his MCU debut in Captain America: Civil War, has had the best of both worlds in 2018. Along with leading Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman was also one of the many participants in Avengers: Infinity War, with Wakanda being one of the primary battlegrounds between the MCU heroes and Thanos' forces. Unfortunately, by the time Infinity War was over, T'Challa faded away post-Thanos snap, though his allies Okoye and M'Baku made it out intact. Given how successful Black Panther was, one can reasonably assume that this won't be the last we see of T'Challa in the MCU, but until Avengers 4 arrives next year, we'll have to keep speculating about he might return.