Black Panther Is The Highest-Grossing Superhero Film Of All Time In US
Five weeks ago, Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther opened in theaters. The 18th film in the Marvel universe is breaking records that go well beyond its comic company. This weekend, the film starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, and Lupita Nyong’o, earned a distinguished place as the highest-grossing superhero film of all time in the United States. That statistic does not account for inflation. However, it sends a strong message to the ticket-buyers, studios, and theaters, about a film with toughed a journey which began development more than 25 years ago, with people like Wesley Snipes making early inroads.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, on Saturday (March 24), Black Panther passed fellow Marvel film, The Avengers for the all-time gross. Coogler’s film does so after a little over a month in theaters. The previous US title holder, directed by Jess Wheadon, stars Robert Downey, Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Ruffalo, and Scarlett Johansson. In 2012, it drew $623.4 million gross.
Black Panther is also one of seven comic-book adaptation films all time to pass the $600 million mark, domestically. Worldwide, the Marvel/Disney film is past the $1.2 billion mark, roughly $300 million behind the all-time best (The Avengers). THR estimates that after today (March 25), Coogler’s film will pass Iron Man 3 to be in third place overall (Avengers: Age Of Ultron is in #2, at $1.4 billion).
“The mere existence of Black Panther was a fundamental re-alignment of what audiences could expect from a film. From the moment that the all-star Black cast took the stage with writer/director Ryan Coogler at the  Comic-Con, all preconceived notions of the ingredients necessary to make a Hollywood superhero blockbuster were shattered. It wasn’t just that there was no White male lead—the mythical necessity of which was debunked with 2017’s Wonder Woman—it was that there was no White person, period on that stage. The enormity of the visual was not lost to anyone looking on, especially anyone of color. But, that moment could have easily been a Pyrrhic victory,” Ambrosia For Heads‘ founder Reggie Williams wrote in an editorial published days after the film opened. “It wasn’t until the views of the trailers and the pre-sale tallies began to roll in that the gravity of just how enormous the film’s impact could be took hold, and it galvanized people into action.”
Ahead of its marketing campaign, Black Panther cost $200 million to create. Entertainment Weekly reported that as of late 2011, The Avengers cost approximately $20 million more to make.
The February “Food For Thought” piece concluded, “At the center of why Black Panther grew from a movie to a movement, is hope. For many African-Americans, it represents hope for being depicted as heroes rather than criminals, and the beginning of an era in which such depictions are commonplace. For others, it symbolizes hope that we can once again be a world filled with real-life heroes. And, for others, including two boys who were unable to hold on long enough to see the film, it may have simply represented hope for a cool superhero story that offered thrills and a temporary escape. No matter how it is sliced, the movement that is Black Panther is bigger than the numbers, and something that will continue to unfold for years to come.”