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In a defining moment for Hollywood, Disney and Marvel Studios' Black Panther exploded at the Presidents Day box office, bounding to a record-shattering $192 million for the three-day weekend and a projected $218 million-plus for the four-day holiday.
The Ryan Coogler-directed movie — unprecedented in being a big-budget studio tentpole featuring a virtually all-black cast — secured one of the top domestic openings of all time, and the best of any superhero film behind fellow Marvel title The Avengers, which earned $207.4 million in its first three days, not accounting for inflation. It's still possible that Black Panther could best Avengers' four-day gross of $226.3 million if Sunday and Monday estimates prove conservative (some rival studios show a four-day total of $222 million-$225 million).
Records - Opening - Director - Superhero - Film
Other records broken include the biggest opening for an African-American director, the top-scoring superhero film on Rotten Tomatoes (97 percent) and biggest February bow, supplanting previous champ Deadpool, which took in $152.2 million over the four-day Presidents Day weekend in 2016.
Playing in 4,020 theaters, Black Panther was fueled by a diverse audience. According to comScore, 37 percent of ticket buyers were African-American. Caucasians made up the next largest group (35 percent), followed by Hispanics (18 percent). That sort of demo breakdown is unheard of for a marquee superhero tentpole. On average, African-Americans make up about 15 percent of the audience for such fare.
Black - Panther - Marketing - Move - Part
Black Panther, costing $200 million to make before marketing, was a bold move on the part of Disney and Marvel's Kevin Feige. Now, it has become yet another victory for both.
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