While Marvel Studios was certainly expecting to make a fair amount of money from their latest solo movie Black Panther, I don't think anyone expected it to become as huge and groundbreaking as it is today. Since its release back in February, Black Panther has had an amazing run at the box office, breaking records that haven't been broken since Avatar in 2009.
This week, Black Panther made the leap that very few saw coming, when the superhero film managed to break into the top 10 most successful movies of all time. This slot was previously held by Disney's animated phenomenon Frozen. Black Panther passed Frozen by earning $1.276 billion at the box office, and it still doesn't look like those numbers are ready to stop going up.
This is Marvel's third movie on the top 10 list, with The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron holding the number 5 and number 7 slots. Iron Man 3 was previously on the Top 10 board as well, but it has been slowly knocked down over the years, and is now resting in the number 14 slot.
Black Panther sits a few million behind the number 9 slot, which is currently held by Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It's safe to say that Disney is doing very well financially, considering that half of the movies on the Top 10 board are Disney-owned movies from the past 6 years, both before and after Black Panther overtook Frozen.
The most surprising part about Black Panther breaking into the Top 10 films is that they managed to do it with little support from China. China has a huge movie market, which is why movies like Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean regularly make so much profit, even if they aren't received the best at the domestic box office. However, in the case of Black Panther, the Chinese market was not much help, as many critics in China shunned the movie, many of them for racial reasons.
The biggest part in Black Panther's success was how well it did at the domestic / United States box office. In the United States alone, Black Panther has managed to earn over $650 million, and counting. This has made it the fourth highest grossing movie at the domestic box office, standing only behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Avatar, and Titanic. It just recently passed Jurassic World in this market, which is also a monstrous feat.
Black Panther's success domestically is most likely due to two huge factors in its content. The first being its impartial look at African culture, which is an aspect that many movies today do not show. The other factor is its beautifully well told plot. The entire plot is based around fear of the outside world and how Africans have always been pushed around in the past. Black Panther touched on this view of racism in a careful and sensitive way, making sure not to offend, but still managing to open the eyes of everyone in the theater. This is why people came back to see it a second time.
All in all, Black Panther's success is extremely noteworthy. It has surpassed all expectations at the box office, becoming the only solo superhero film to currently hold a spot on the Top 10 highest grossing movies list. Of course, this may all change with the release of Avengers: Infinity War at the end of this month. This story was first reported on over at Forbes.