“Black Panther” was expected to be a box office blockbuster, but even by those standards its Presidents Day weekend performance was a blowout. It raked in an estimated $192 million from Friday to Sunday and is projected to rake in $218 million total after Monday’s holiday receipts are counted. That gives it the fifth biggest three-day opening weekend ever, the biggest Presidents Day weekend ever and the biggest February opening ever.
The only four films that opened bigger were all released within the last six years. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015) is on top with $247 million in its first three days, followed by “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (2017) with $220 million, “Jurassic World” (2015) with $208 million and “The Avengers” (2012) with $207 million. All four of those films finished their box office runs with domestic grosses over $600 million — “The Force Awakens” blew that away with a record total of $936 million (not accounting for inflation). And they all made well over $1 billion globally — over $2 billion for “Force Awakens.”
In another noteworthy achievement, “Black Panther” is the biggest opening for a film with a black director (Ryan Coogler). And it’s the latest in a string of box office hits that indicate a large, under-served audience for films with black subjects, like “Creed” ($173 million grossed worldwide, 2015), “Straight Outta Compton” ($201 million, 2015), “Hidden Figures” ($235 million, 2016), “Get Out” ($255 million, 2017) and “Girls Trip” ($140 million, 2017).
“Black Panther” is also distinguished as the best reviewed film out of the 18 released in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It has a score of 88 on MetaCritic based on 53 reviews and 97% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes based on almost 300 reviews as of this writing. That MetaCritic score in particular not only places it above other Marvel films but also over acclaimed Oscar contenders like “The Shape of Water,” “The Post” and “Darkest Hour.”
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