The official numbers are in, and 'Black Panther' soared past the latest 'Star Wars' for a historic $242 million opening weekend

Disney‘Black Panther.’
  • The official box office numbers are in and “Black Panther” had the second-best four-day opening weekend of all time with $US242 million domestically.
  • That beats the opening by “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” ($US241.5 million).

The official box office numbers are in, and “Black Panther” performed well beyond any industry projections.

The final numbers for the Presidents’ Day holiday weekend came out Tuesday and the latest Marvel movie took in $US242 million over the four days at the domestic box office, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

That puts the movie in second place for best-ever four-day openings at the box office, passing “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” ($US241.5 million).

“Black Panther” also dethroned “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” to claim the biggest Monday earner on record with $US40.2 million, surpassing the $US40.1 million mark from “The Force Awakens.”

The movie’s three-day gross of $US201.7 million places it as the fifth best all time, beating out “Avengers: Age of Ultron” ($US191.2 million).

Director Ryan Coogler’s long-awaited adaptation of the legendary Marvel character is shattering box office records in a time of year when it’s thought nobody goes to the movies. Industry insiders tell Business Insider that’s all going to change now, as the success of this movie and “Deadpool” in 2016 proves that the early months of the year are fertile ground for big business.

But the success of “Black Panther” also proves that diverse audiences have a hunger to see stories told by them for them. According to comScore (via THR), 37 per cent “Black Panther” ticket buyers were African-American. They made up on average 15% of the audience for superhero movies.

The movie also broke the record for biggest February opening of all-time (beating “Deadpool”) and is the biggest opening ever for a black filmmaker (F. Gary Grey, “The Fate of the Furious”).

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