The Marvel superhero film “Black Panther” was a box office behemoth when it opened, earning over $235 million domestically over the Presidents Day weekend. But its success didn’t stop at the multiplex. The soundtrack also ruled the Billboard 200 albums chart with a number-one debut.
“Black Panther” came out on top with 154,000 equivalent album units, which are based on a combination of traditional sales, individual track sales and online streams. This is the biggest week for a soundtrack on the Billboard charts since another superhero film’s album bowed in 2016: “Suicide Squad.”
The “Black Panther” collection features music by artists including SZA, Schoolboy Q, 2 Chainz, Khalid, Anderson Paak and of course Kendrick Lamar, who co-wrote all 14 tracks. Before its release it had already produced three hits on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, including the top-10 hit “Pray for Me” by Lamar and The Weeknd.
Lamar is already a 12-time Grammy winner, but this soundtrack could break him into visual-media categories for the first time next year. It’s early yet, but he might be tough to beat for Best Visual Media Compilation and perhaps also Best Visual Media Song.
And of course it could give Lamar an Oscars breakthrough too. Three hip-hop compositions have already won Best Original Song from the academy — Eminem‘s “Lose Yourself” from “8 Mile” (2002), Three 6 Mafia‘s “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” from “Hustle and Flow” (2005) and Common and John Legend‘s “Glory” from “Selma” (2014). “Pray for Me” might be the best as co-performer and co-writer The Weeknd is already an Oscar nominee for the song “Earned It” from “Fifty Shades of Grey” (2015).
Have you listened to the “Black Panther” soundtrack? Do you think it will be a Grammy and Oscar winner?