LOS ANGELES, Ca. (FNN NEWS) – Disney and Marvel Studios’ Black Panther has been making history since before its domestic release on February 16 this year (the advanced ticket purchases were so high, even Lupita Nyong’o couldn’t get a ticket), and the film achieved yet another milestone Saturday: the film’s total box office gross has finally surpassed James Cameron’s epic romance Titanic to become the third highest grossing film of all time in North America. Titanic grossed $659.5 million domestically, which Black Panther was already skirting Friday with $659.3 million domestically, and easily passed that Saturday.
It’s not doing too badly internationally either. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Black Panther is now the 10th highest globally grossing film of all time with its $1.29 billion global box office gross.
Black Panther follows protagonist and heir to the throne T’Challa literally one week after the events of Captain America: Civil War, and introduces us to the fictional African nation of Wakanda, which is not only the wealthiest and most technologically advanced nation on the planet, but is also an African nation which was never colonized by anyone due to its strong isolationist policies to prevent vibranium, the compound that has been their source of health and prosperity for millenia, from falling into the wrong hands.
The film was a history-maker from the start, being the first-ever film with a $100 million-plus budget boasting a nearly all-black all-star cast, including Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Daniel Kaluuya, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Sterling K. Brown, Winston Duke and Florence Kasumba (who we first met as T’Challa’s personal bodyguard in Captain America: Civil War).
In addition, thanks to director Ryan Coogler’s in-depth research and respect for the true African cultures he incorporated into the film to create the world of Wakanda, Black Panther grew into a Pan-African movement of sorts, inspiring black Americans and Africans alike to attend the film in droves, proudly donning African clothing–something no other film in the Marvel cinematic universe has ever inspired for other cultures.
In various interviews, stars Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia) and Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther) also shared that during the South Korea premiere, the film inspired the media members to attend the press panel in their own native garb as well, noting that the film not only inspired black people to be proud of who they are and their ancestry, but for people of all cultures to be proud of who they are and where they come from.
With the apocalyptic Avengers: Infinity War releasing April 27 in the U.S., Black Panther‘s reign at #3 may be short-lived, but its cinematic and cultural impression is indelible and worth celebrating for the time being.
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org