Marvel’s Black Panther movie taken more than a billion US dollars (£794m) at cinemas worldwide.

It is the fifth movie based in Disney’s Marvel Universe to hit the milestone.

The film stars Chadwick Boseman as the crime-fighting ruler of Wakanda, a fictional African nation with the most advanced technology on earth.

Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B Jordan and Daniel Kaluuya play key roles, with The Hobbit star Martin Freeman as CIA agent Everett Ross.

The film has been widely praised as game-changing – including by Michelle Obama – for having a largely black cast and a black director, Ryan Coogler.

Box office analyst Jeff Bock told the New York Times: “I think about it like a wall crumbling. In terms of Black Panther, no studio can say again, ‘Oh, black movies don’t travel, overseas interest will be minimal.'”

Other prominent people such as the former First Lady of the United States; Michelle Obama congratulated the whole movie crew for their hard work. In a twitter post last month, she wrote “Congrats to the entire #blackpanther team! Because of you, young people will finally see superheroes that look like them on the big screen. I loved this movie and I know it will inspire people of all backgrounds to dig deep and find the courage to be heroes of their own stories.”

Based on Disney’s estimate of ticket sales, the film passed the $1bn mark on the 26th day of its release.

Film information site IMDB says 32 movies have scored a box office billion, including 2012 James Bond offering Skyfall, the 2017 Beauty and the Beast reboot starring Emma Watson, and modern children’s classic Frozen.

Earlier this week UK figures showed Black Panther was out-selling fellow superhero outings Iron Man, Thor and Captain America, after grossing £35.4m in three weeks.

Of the 18 Marvel films released to date, only two had made more money in the UK at a comparable stage – 2015’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron (£40.4m) and 2012’s The Avengers (£40.3m).

Signs of the film’s success were good from the start – Black Panther more than doubled the amount it was predicted to take in the US and Canada over its opening weekend.

Last month, director Mr Coogler wrote a heartfelt letter thanking fans their support.
“I am struggling to find the words to express my gratitude at this moment.” he wrote.

“Never in a million years did we imagine that you all would come out this strong.

“Thank you for giving our team of filmmakers the greatest gift: The opportunity to share this film, that we poured our hearts and souls into, with you.”

Patty Jenkins, the director who smashed records herself with 2017’s Wonder Woman, also shared her delight at Black Panther’s “incredibly meaningful success”. In a twitter post she wrote “Huge congrats #BlackPanther on the staggering weekend. So happy for your incredibly meaningful success. Wonder Woman posse can’t wait for break in schedule to see it! You’re changing the world. What a wonderful thing! Congrats to you all @theblackpanther #RyanCoogler.”

Source: BBC News

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