Black Panther got pushed to a record-setting $192m debut in the U.S. and Canada theatres, firmly establishing the superhero sensation as a box-office landmark.
The Marvel film from the Walt Disney Co. blew past expectations to become the fifth-highest-grossing debut ever following only Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Jurassic World and The Avengers.
"All hail the King of Wakanda!" Disney declared, referring to the movie's mythical and highly advanced African nation. Ryan Coogler's film, which cost about $200m to make, is the most expensive movie with a largely black ensemble and among the few to be centred on a black superhero. Black Panther set pre-sale records and saw lines around theatres over the weekend, including some who came costumed for the event.
"This is the very definition of a blockbuster: People lining up around the block to see a great movie," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore. "A movie like Black Panther is a cultural event that nothing on the small screen can really match in that way."
The movie has been hugely acclaimed, with a 97 percent fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences agreed, giving it an A-plus CinemaScore. The film especially resonated among African-Americans, who made up 37 percent of moviegoers, according to comScore.