That’s right: “Black Panther” is such a cultural and commercial milestone that the only bigger box-office event in its domestic debut was the massively anticipated return of a four-decade-old pop culture phenomenon.
Opening on more than 4,000 North American screens, the superhero movie grossed $242 million in its first four days, reports Variety — edging “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and trailing only “The Force Awakens” ($288.1 million). Both the Star Wars and Marvel franchises are owned by Disney.
“Black Panther” also set the record for biggest Monday ever, grossing $40.2 million domestically to squeeze past “Force Awakens” ($40.1 million), Variety says.
Surpassing all projections, “Black Panther” has also grossed $184.6 million overseas for a global tally of $426.6 million — or, more than $100 million a day. (The film’s Thursday-night domestic preview take was $25.2 million.)
To appreciate how high “Black Panther” is soaring, here are more comps for context:
• If “Black Panther” were a 2017 release, its four-day domestic total would already make it one of the top 10 films of the year.
• “Black Panther” has already grossed more domestically in four days than WB/DC’s “Justice League” ($228.6 million) did during its entire run.
• “Black Panther” has already cracked the Top 125 films ever in domestic box office, before adjusting for inflation, according to Box Office Mojo.
• “Black Panther” has already grossed more domestically than every individual “X-Men” team-up film.
And one last fun fact: Counting “Black Panther,” the Oscar-winning Lupita Nyong’o’s seven feature films have collectively grossed more than $5.2 billion worldwide.