Let’s be real. Nobody expected “Black Panther” to bomb. Still, it’s crazy how early box office projections ended up being so damn wrong. A couple of weeks ago, box office experts predicted that this Ryan Coogler film would gross around US$ 110-120 million opening weekend in the US.
Well, the 18th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe didn’t just surpass box office projections, it took a giant dump all over it. “Black Panther” is a monster hit!
The finalised opening weekend numbers are in. “Black Panther” grossed US$ 201.8 million Fri-Sun weekend (making it only the fifth movie to have grossed more than US$ 200 opening weekend) and is estimated to have grossed US$ 235 million over the Fri-Mon holiday weekend. Note that estimates usually end up being lower than the actual numbers.
What’s interesting about these numbers, besides the fact that Disney executives have removed the water from their hot tubs and filled it heaps of cash, is the fact that “Black Panther”, in merely FOUR DAYS has already outgrossed the entire run of “Justice League” in North America. At the end of its run, “Justice League” grossed US$ 228.6 million in North America (and US$ 657.4 million worldwide).
Look, I’m not trying to piss off DCEU fans. I myself am a huge fan of DC characters and I had fun with “Justice League”. But the numbers don’t lie. Prior to his introduction in “Captain America: Civil War”, Black Panther was an unknown character, almost similar to the likes of Star-Lord and the rest of Guardians of the Galaxy.
Comparatively, the likes of Batman, Superman (and maybe even The Flash) have unparalleled mainstream popularity. Logic dictates that movies like “Batman V Superman” and “Justice League” are supposed to destroy “Black Panther” at the box office. But such isn’t the case.
The question is: why?
DCEU fans should stop pointing fingers. This isn’t a conspiracy. Enough with the fans vs critics bullshit. Nobody is getting their dicks sucked by Marvel/Disney. It simply boils down to quality.
You may love or hate “Justice League”, but most would agree that the movie is nothing but substanceless spectacle with fun characters. Whereas the likes of “Black Panther” and even “Wonder Woman” offer something different and something deeper. These are movies that push the envelope and tell stories that transcend the comic book genre itself.
The importance of “Black Panther” cannot be understated. It doesn’t just succeed as an entertainment vehicle, it is also a cultural milestone. “Black Panther” has engraved itself in the history books. In the new era of comic book movies kickstarted by “Batman Begins”, this is the first time, we get to see a comic book movie centered around a black character. It is also DIRECTED by a black man and WRITTEN by black men, which means even the very voice of the film is something unique; something we must pay attention to.
And the numbers prove that this is a voice that people have been clamouring for. In just FOUR days, “Black Panther” has already outgrossed the complete North American run of “Justice League”, “Logan”, every X-Men movie besides “Deadpool”, “Batman Begins”, “Doctor Strange”, both “Thor” movies, “Ant-Man”, “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “The Incredible Hulk”.
“Black Panther” is also doing big numbers in Asian countries. According to Variety, “Black Panther” opening weekend has already exceeded the entire run of “Guardians of the Galaxy” in Hong Kong, India, Korea, Malaysia, The Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand. The film is yet to be released in China.
Source: Box Office Mojo