Less than a month after hitting theaters, Black Panther has officially made over $1 billion at the global box office. It is now the fifth Marvel film in history to cross that mark, after The Avengers,Iron Man 3,The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Captain America: Winter Soldier. It’s also the first film of 2018 to hit $1 billion worldwide.
The cultural juggernaut, Marvel’s first major adaptation about the king of Wakanda, made history on Sunday, when the final numbers rolled in, landing a boost from markets like China, where the film has only been in theaters for a handful of days. (There, Black Panther earned $66.5 million in its first weekend.) The movie, which opened on February 16, was expected to be a massive hit considering the year-long hype that preceded its release. In its opening weekend, Black Panther grossed a little over $242 million, crushing expectations and ushering in the first major box-office weekend of the year.
The blockbuster has also broken various records: it notched the fifth-highest-opening weekend in movie history, the third-highest gross in history for a film released over a four-day weekend (in this case, over the Presidents’ Day holiday), and the highest opening ever for a film released in February. Its $25.2 million haul in Thursday-night previews also set a record, making it the second-highest Marvel movie to rack up that much in previews. (Black Panther was edged out by Avengers: Age of Ultron, which earned $27.6 million.)
Black Panther is a true Hollywood rarity—a major comic-book movie with a majority black cast. The excitement for the film, as a result, was enormous—and huge enough to propel it into the exclusive $1 billion club. With each new casting announcement (Lupita Nyong’o! Angela Bassett!), a new round of hype would erupt; by the time the first teaser-trailer was released last June, it was deafening. Original projections for the film—which stars Chadwick Boseman as the titular hero, and Michael B. Jordan as lead villain Erik Killmonger—was set at around $120-$150 million. As the release date crept closer and closer, the projection climbed higher and higher. In its full four-day opening weekend, Black Panther’s actual gross was an astonishing $242 million domestically, and $427 million worldwide.
Marvel chief Kevin Feige has already spoken openly about the inevitable Black Panther sequel, saying “there are many, many stories to tell” about these characters considering how long the Black Panther comics have been around. He’s also said that he “absolutely” hopes Ryan Coogler will return to direct the second film. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, he added that the studio has “a pretty solid direction on where we want to head with the second one.” Fingers crossed we get even more M’Baku this time around.
Get Vanity Fair’s HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Full ScreenPhotos:The Must-See Looks from the Black Panther Red CarpetYohana DestaYohana Desta is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com.