"Black Panther" has proven its staying power after breaking records during its North American debut last weekend. The film's $40.2 million haul on Monday was the biggest Monday at the U.S. box office ever. Since then, "Black Panther" has posted the best Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday performance for any movie in Marvel Studios' series of 18 interconnected films.
Audiences have packed multiplexes to experience the first big-budget superhero movie to feature a majority black cast, set its story in an African locale and tackle the legacy of slavery and themes of black identity.
High praise from critics and positive word of mouth have helped to sustain the buzz around "Black Panther," which set social media on fire ahead of its premiere.
The film boasts a 97 percent "fresh" rating on movie review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the best score for any Marvel Studios movie.
Nearly 90 percent of moviegoers said they would definitely recommend "Black Panther," according to surveys conducted by comScore and Screen Engine.
Heading into the weekend, Box Office Mojo speculates that "Black Panther" could become only the fourth movie in history to earn $100 million in its second weekend in U.S. theaters, before adjusting for inflation. The other films to achieve that feat are "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," "Jurassic World" and "Marvel's Avengers."
Disney projects "Black Panther" could earn $83 million to $95 million this weekend if it follows trends for comparable Marvel Studios films.
Meanwhile, foreign audiences have chipped in $228.1 million since the movie debuted in international markets on Feb. 13, according to Disney. The top overseas markets to date are the United Kingdom, South Korea and Brazil.
"Black Panther" is debuting in the key Russian market this weekend and will premiere next week in Japan, another critical location.
The following weekend, it opens in China, where Marvel Studios movies have recently drummed up more than $100 million in total domestic box office sales.