Black Panther has moved into the top five highest-grossing superhero movies worldwide. The film has hauled in $1.094B at the global box office, passing The Dark Knight Rises ($1.085B) yesterday. The four films ahead of Black Panther were also produced by Marvel Studios, meaning the studio now owns every slot in the top five.
The Ryan Coogler-directed film now only trails Captain America: Civil War ($1.15B), Iron Man 3 ($1.22B), Avengers: Age of Ultron ($1.41B), and The Avengers ($1.52B). Black Panther should be able to top Iron Man 3 as the highest-grossing standalone superhero movie before taking a possible run at the Avengers films.
Catching either Avengers movie may prove difficult. Though Black Panther ($565.7M) remains on pace to pass The Avengers ($623.4M) for the top superhero spot domestically, it will need to win by a large margin in North America to compensate for those team-up films’ international totals.
Black Panther opened with a very strong $66.5M in China last weekend and has increased that total to $72.3M, according to China Box Office. There is some concern, however, that low user ratings could prevent the film from reaching the $100M mark in the Middle Kingdom.
Even if it gets to $100M in China, it won’t go very far over that milestone. Avengers: Age of Ultron ($240.1M), meanwhile, more than doubled that mark. The Avengers, however, only picked up $86.3M in China, when the market was much smaller than it was in 2015 for Ultron and it is today for Panther.
For more on Black Panther‘s reception in China, here is a great piece from The Outline.
Black Panther may be outpacing The Avengers in China, but there is still a big gap between the two films in terms of total international box office. The Avengers ended its run with $895.5M internationally while Black Panther currently sits at $528M. That’s too much ground to cover for me to say that Black Panther will definitely pass The Avengers, or even Avengers: Age of Ultron ($946.4M international) worldwide.
It is possible, though, especially if the film can maintain its powerful domestic pace. Regardless, at this point we’re only talking about how much icing is going on the cake. Black Panther is a huge success beyond even the wildest box office predictions.
We have never seen a superhero franchise debut this strong, and we may never again. Marvel Studios has to be ecstatic about the film’s performance and they’re probably happy to have the top five spots at the superhero box office all to themselves.
They’ll own the top six in just a couple months when Avengers: Infinity War (out April 27) is in the middle of its run.