Wakanda Forever: Black Panther shatters box office records with $242 million opening weekend

The standalone MCU film surpasses Star Wars: The Last Jedi as the 2nd-biggest 4-day domestic debut of all time

Black Panther movie
Black Panther (Marvel Studios)

In news that seems to have confounded industry forecasters and Hollywood executives alike, Black Panther’s final four-day premiere gross has been revealed, and it’s laid waste to a number of US box office records.

As recently as last month, the film was expected to open with a box office of around $125 million. In actuality, Black Panther grossed an astounding $242 million across 4,020 theaters. That makes it not only Marvel’s biggest four-day debut ever, but the second highest of all time behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($288.1 million from 4,134 theaters). It also achieved the biggest February debut ever ($201.8 million), the best debut for a President’s Day weekend release (smashing Deadpool’s $152.2 million), and the highest box office Monday gross ever ($40.2 million). The $201.8 million the film took in over its first three days makes it the fifth largest domestic opening weekend of all time behind The Avengers ($207.4 million).

(Read: A Complete Guide to Comic Book Movies in 2018)

Black Panther has become one of those movies that are so rare now in a Hollywood rife with franchise hopefuls and mega-budget sequels. The blockbuster is a God’s-honest cultural event at this point, and even more importantly, the kind of movie that people are a) seeing multiple times in the theaters and b) encouraging everyone they know to see it on the big screen. Its record-shattering debut has not only set it apace to be one of 2018’s highest-grossing films at the end of the year, but struck what will hopefully be a fatal blow to the long-held myths about who goes to the movies, and who the movies are “for.”

Overseas, Black Panther opened to another $184.6 million, putting the film’s worldwide take to an unbelievable $426.6 million. In just four days.

Meanwhile, the Kendrick Lamar-curated soundtrack, Black Panther: The Album, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart with 154,000 equivalent album units earned in its first week of release.