Superhero movies were once a niche genre with a few standouts and a whole ton of false starts. Now, superhero movies are big business, and Black Panther is the biggest. Marvel’s Black Panther is now the highest-grossing superhero film of all time in North America (not accounting for inflation).
King T’Challa took his throne this weekend when the movie’s total pull rose to $630.9 million. The crown belonged previously to The Avengers, which held onto the spot for a month short of six years with a $623.4 million gross following its 2012 release. Though Pacific Rim: Uprising took the top spot this weekend, Black Panther also became the first movie since Avatar to spend five consecutive weeks at #1 in the US.
This also puts Black Panther into the top five highest-grossing domestic releases of all time. Only Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Avatar, Titanic, and Jurassic World sit ahead of it. Worldwide, the movie’s $1.237 billion gross makes it the 12th highest grossing movie of all time and the third-highest superhero movie. If it can make it up to $1.277 billion, that will kick Disney’s own Frozen out of the top 10.
How long the movie can actually hold onto its top spot, though, is in question. Both Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2 are hitting theaters this spring. While it seems unlikely that Deadpool will be able to oust Black Panther, it was also a breakout hit that has garnered a lot of positive word of mouth since the original’s record-breaking release. Infinity War, though, has a real shot at it. Marvel’s self-proclaimed “most ambitious crossover in history” has the star power and marketing budget to make it a megahit that puts it above not only Black Panther but either of its predecessors. Either way, that only leaves one Transformers movie in the top 20.
Whether the coming Infinity War can take the king down is anyone’s guess, but we’ll have a better idea when Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on April 27.