Now there's no question that 2018 will forever be known as the year of the Black Panther. Many other films have come and gone since the film's February release, but hasn't stopped it from the hero popping up in conversation as it continues to shatter records. Black Panther will now pass $700 million today, sitting comfortably at its throne as the most successful Marvel film, also biggest solo-superhero film to ever grace the silver screen and one of the highest grossing films of all time. You heard that right -- neither Batman nor an Avengers team-up film have anything on T'Challa.
The projection comes after some unexpected theater earnings on Thursday and Friday, according to a report from Forbes. This is unheard of as the movie enters its 170th day of release, and only two other films have topped the $700 million mark, with Avatar and Star Wars: The Force Awakens respectively at the top two. Avengers: Infinity War follows closely behind Black Panther as the 4th highest grossing movie domestically, with $678 million of earnings. The movie was a culmination of a decade worth of Marvel films and also featured Black Panther and his world of Wakanda.
Comic book films have always drawn big crowds and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is no stranger to breaking records with their big-budget superhero series. In 2008, Iron Man began the beautiful relationship between the MCU and box office numbers when it performed just under the success of The Dark Knight as the second highest grossing movie of the year. These Iron Man numbers are almost modest in 2018, as nine other Marvel films have since topped the movie earnings.
Prior to the release of Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther wasn't a widely-known hero, so the success of the film was an astonishing achievement. The release was considered a cultural phenomenon, with an outcome that rivaled any other film of its kind made before it. The depiction of black superheroes and actors in Black Panther, along with Killmonger's story-arc, were praised by advocates and moviegoers alike. A huge stride for proper representation, the film's cultural significance also contributed to its mass triumph at the box office.
While these numbers continue to be an epic triumph for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Disney, it should and will be remembered as a film that was a welcomed shake-up for representation in Hollywood. Talented director, Ryan Coogler was given a voice and opportunity to tell a story that included his Oakland roots through the lens of a beautiful and energizing hero origin story whereas his films like Fruitvale Station and Creed would never received this much attention.