Black Panther has utterly dominated the box office in its opening weekend - breaking several few records and ranking high against the opening weekends of the seventeen other movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Early box office projections in December 2017 estimated that Black Panther's first solo outing would have a $90 million opening weekend. Now, the movie has blown all those expectations away with a staggering $201 million in its three-day opening weekend, and $243 million over the four-day Presidents Day weekend. That's the biggest opening weekend for any solo superhero movie - MCU or otherwise.
This achievement marks Black Panther's opening weekend as the fifth biggest of all time (not accounting for inflation) - just ahead of Avengers: Age of Ultron and just behind The Avengers. That means that Black Panther has the second biggest box office opening out of all the MCU movies.
Black Panther's early numbers also bode extremely well for the movie's prospects long-term. It had an excellent 2.66x weekend multiplier, and will have very little competition at the box office until Disney's A Wrinkle in Time releases on March 9th. All things considered, Black Panther stands a good chance of spending three weekends at the #1 spot. Here's a rundown of how it compares to other top MCU opening weekends, when adjusted for inflation (via IGN).
#1 Marvel's The Avengers - $220.27 million
#2 Black Panther - $201.8 million
#3 Avengers: Age of Ultron - $196.75 million
#4 Iron Man 3 - $182.25 million
#5 Captain America: Civil War - $181.97 million
In terms of total domestic gross, Black Panther has already surpassed six other MCU movies after just a few days: Doctor Strange, Thor: The Dark World, Thor, Ant-Man, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Incredible Hulk. It will most likely overtake Thor: Ragnarok, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Iron Man 2 by the end of this week. There's little doubt that it will become the highest-grossing MCU solo debut of all time, and if it can pass Iron Man 3's $1.214 billion gross, it will become the highest-grossing MCU solo movie in the franchise's decade-long history.
Assuming that Black Panther holds strong in its second weekend, it has a good chance of breaking $1 billion at the box office by the end of its run, becoming the fifth MCU movie to do so. This summer's Avengers: Infinity War probably doesn't need much help at the box office, but it definitely won't hurt that Black Panther and the Wakandans will play a pivotal role.
All told, Marvel has an astoundingly successful new franchise on its hands - not to mention a great movie. We're looking forward to seeing King T'Challa (and his friends) return to the big screen this summer.