*The “Black Panther” watch continues. And there’s good reason why. The Marvel movie has captured the attention of industry watchers like no film ever before it seems. One of them is Scott Mendelson, who covers the economics around films (aka the box office) for Forbes and has filed his latest report on how the “Black Panther” phenomenon continues to grow and rake in even more at the box office
In raw dollars, Black Panther is stuck in fourth place on the all-timers list at least until Monday, when it’ll pass Jurassic World ($652 million in 2015) to sit behind only Titanic ($658m including reissues), Avatar ($760m in 2009/2010) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($937m in 2015/2016). By the way, when that happens then Black Panther will be the biggest grossing movie ever to A) not released on that pre-Christmas weekend and B) make all its money in a single calendar year. That may be arbitrary, but it should be noted that inflation notwithstanding, it did this without the benefit of the Christmas-to-New Years stretch and without any summer season advantages.
Speaking of which, it crossed the $640 million mark at the domestic box office yesterday and now sits with $643.5m. It should near $650m by Sunday night. That means, when adjusted for inflation, that the Ryan Coogler-directed MCU flick has essentially sold more tickets than any comic book movie aside from The Dark Knight ($534m in 2008/$684m adjusted for inflation) and The Avengers ($623m in 2012/$705m adjusted). Yes, it has now sold more tickets in North America, give-or-take 3D bumps and various IMAX/PLF/D-Box upcharges, than Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man ($403m in 2002/$638m adjusted) to be the third-biggest “tickets-sold” superhero movie ever.
The bottom line is “Black Panther” has clobbered the competition in 2018. Mendelson concludes with this assessment:
The next two biggest 2018 grossers are both Chinese blockbusters, Operation Red Sea ($568 million) and Detective Chinatown 2 ($531m). The next-biggest Hollywood release, Fifty Shades Freed, has earned $370m, or around 29% of what the Chadwick Boseman flick has earned worldwide. While it’s possible (emphasis on “possible”) that Ready Player One, Pacific Rim: Uprising or Rampage may score relatively big, it’s also possible that we’ll end the month of May where the only four $400m+ Hollywood releases in 2018 are the two MCU movies, the Marvel/Fox flick and the Star Wars prequel.