“Black Panther” mania isn’t just confined to the U.S. — it has transcended cultural barriers and has become a global hit. Even though Marvel’s latest hasn’t come out in Russia, Japan or China yet — the latter because of Chinese New Year — it has smashed the loftiest expectations of trackers with an estimated $169 million overseas, putting it in the top 15 overseas starts of all-time and a global start of $361 million, $387 million if Monday’s estimate is included.
Films with black-majority casts in the past have gotten more than 60 percent of their global cume from domestic audiences, but only 53 percent of this global start can be attributed to “Black Panther”‘s record. On IMAX, “Black Panther” made $30 million so far, contributing to the premium format company’s second-best-ever $52 million weekend total worldwide. “Black Panther” is expected to add another $4 million in IMAX tickets on Monday, earning the film the best February opening in IMAX history and the second best for a Marvel film after “Captain America: Civil War.”.
Meanwhile, Korea and the U.K. have posted excellent returns, with Korea leading the way with $25.3 million — fifth-highest western release in that market — closely followed by the British Isles with $24.8 million, a total that has already passed the entire runs of “Justice League,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Iron Man” and “Ant-Man” in those markets.
Earlier this week, TheWrap took a closer look at the international marketing and potential performance of “Black Panther,” as it tried to disprove the notion in Hollywood that films with black casts don’t perform as well internationally as they do domestically. But the unrivaled allure of the Marvel brand has come through once again, which is what comScore analyst Paul Dergarabedian predicted when interviewed prior to the film’s release.
“Certain African-American films have a cultural resonance that American audiences really respond to, but not so much in other countries,” Dergarabedian said. “But I don’t think ‘Black Panther’ is going to have this problem, because it has so many great action sequences and universal themes that it really feels like a movie that can entertain anyone no matter where they’re from.”
“Black Panther” is also setting records in major markets in Africa, including the biggest opening weekend of all-time in Nigeria and Kenya and the biggest Saturday of all-time in South Africa. In whole, “Black Panther” has set a new record for February openings in every market this weekend except Australia and Taiwan. It will open in Russia next weekend, followed by Japan on March 1 and China on March 9.