It had the second-biggest four-day domestic debut of all time and set a new record for Monday box office numbers, surpassing The Force Awakens ($40.11 million) with $40.167 million.
Last weekend, Black Panther became this latest chapter of this larger story.
For the record, Star Wars: The Force Awakens still holds the all-time Tuesday record with $37.3 million, but make no mistake, Black Panther is a force to be reckoned with. It already has a worldwide total of $462.3 million.
The film with the nearly all-black cast was expected to do well, but its four-day holiday weekend opening haul of $242 million in the U.S. and $427 million worldwide was better than expected. It's notched an A+ Cinemascore - becoming only the second Marvel film to do so - and is a must-see cultural phenomenon.
Further, M'Baku sort of helped save the day in Black Panther after the king's court hatched a plot to overthrow Erik Killmonger, and his barking Jabari warriors hatched one of Marvel's high-powered battle scenes that had fans on the edge of their seat. Black Panther now sits at $263.2M domestically and is poised to hit $300M by this weekend.
With a stellar domestic start and a solid global launch so far, it's quite probable that "Black Panther" will join the 32 films with $1 billion in worldwide earnings by the end of its run.
The tentpole, starring Chadwick Boseman and directed by Ryan Coogler, has blown past its original tracking. Its success has given the USA box office a major lift, with 2018 grosses up 7.3% to $1.64 billion as of February 19, according to comScore.