Black Panther has reached a milestone only four other Marvel Studios titles have achieved so far. The film, starring Chadwick Boseman as newly crowned King T’Challa, has joined the $1 billion club at the global box office — all in just 26 days in theaters.
The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man 3, and Captain America: Civil War are the other films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe to unlock this achievement. Black Panther is now the 33rd film, the 16th Walt Disney film, and the fifth Marvel Studios film to gross $1 billion.
By Saturday morning, the film grossed $521 million domestically and is expected to surpass Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight ($535 million) as the second highest-grossing superhero film of all time in the U.S. by the end of the weekend.
Internationally, Black Panther will cross $500 million this weekend, after it hit Chinese theaters on March 9 with an estimated opening of $22 million.
With all this success, the story of T’Challa, the Dora Milaje, and the highly advanced nation of Wakanda seems destined for a sequel. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige told EW there’s “nothing specific to reveal” at this time, “other than to say we absolutely will do that.”
“One of the favorite pastimes at Marvel Studios is sitting around on a Part One and talking and dreaming about what we would do in a Part Two,” he continued. “There have been plenty of those conversations as we were putting together the first Black Panther. We have ideas and a pretty solid direction on where we want to head with the second one.”
Directed by Ryan Coogler, Black Panther saw T’Challa assuming the Wakandan throne as Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) emerged from the shadows to challenge him. The film has become a cultural phenomenon, boosted by a cast that includes Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Martin Freeman, Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, Forest Whitaker, and Winston Duke.
“As Panther has so loudly declared, [representation] can only help you, can only help you tell unique stories, can only help you do things in a new, and unique, and fresh, and exciting way,” Feige said. “If you do that, audiences will notice it, and appreciate it, and support it.”