It was a feat very few imagined Black Panther would be capable of achieving just by looking at its trailers or even around the time of its release. But now Black Panther has done something a very few movies have the honor of accomplishing. It has beaten James Cameron’s Titanic at the North American box office and now sits as the third highest-grossing movie of all time in the United States. It’s $665 million domestic haul inches past the $659 million earned by Titanic and it does look like the Marvel Studios movie will rake in a few more million dollars before it winds up its box-office run.
That Black Panther has had an amazing box office now seems like an understatement. After opening to a historic $240 million over the extended President’s Day weekend, the movie quickly went on to cross the $500 million mark worldwide within a week, gradually surpassing $700 million and eventually $1 billion. At the United States, it has beaten several of its contemporaries including The Avengers and Iron Man 3 to stand as Marvel Studios’ highest grossing movie of all time. Sailing past Titanic is a monumental achievement since that movie has been sitting at the top of the US box office for almost two decades. Aside from Black Panther, the only film that has been successful in dethroning Cameron’s epic is Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a movie that was the rekindling of a 40 year old franchise. Also worth noting is that Titanic made its money over multiple releases including a later on 3-D re-release; Black Panther would’ve passed it sooner were it not the case.
The next milestone for Black Panther to crack would be Avatar with its $760 million domestic haul. That looks like a difficult thing to reach though given the onset of the summer movie season and how crowded the release slate is for the next few weeks. The season has already begun with heavyweights like Pacific Rim: Uprising and Ready Player One with Rampage releasing next week and the Godfather of all movies, Avengers: Infinity War following two weeks later on April 27. Even so, Black Panther has already exceeded the wildest expectations anyone had from that movie and by all accounts, it can be regarded as a gigantic success.
Black Panther is still running in theaters and should stay there for a week or two more. In case you wish to catch it one last time before Infinity War premieres, be sure to rush to your nearby theater.