Following a devastating box office decline, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, from Marvel Studios and Disney, gave Hollywood — as well as theatre owners — a much-needed pre-Thanksgiving feast.

Despite having to proceed without Chadwick Boseman, who played the title character in 2018’s Black Panther, after the actor passed away from cancer in August 2020, Wakanda Forever, directed by Ryan Coogler, opened to a record $180 million domestically over the Nov. 11–13 weekend and $330 million globally.

“The movie had a great opening weekend and connected with viewers of all demographics. Tony Chambers, Disney’s head of theatrical distribution, said Marvel and Ryan Coogler “did a wonderful job addressing the sad loss of Chadwick Boseman, and we’ve seen a tremendous response from fans as to how it appropriately honoured his legacy.”

As the first Hollywood studio tentpole in 2018 with a predominately Black cast, Black Panther quickly became a cultural sensation and earned more than $1.34 billion at the global box office.

Along with Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Danai Gurira, Florence Kasumba, and Martin Freeman, Wakanda Forever’s ensemble also features Dominique Thorne as the superhero Riri Williams and Tenoch Huerta as Namor, a newbie to Marvel.

With the release of Wakanda Forever, nine of the top 15 opening weekends ever, not accounting for inflation, have now been accounted for by MCU films, including Spider-Man: No Way Home, which was produced in collaboration with Sony. Seven of the top 15 pandemic-era openers are included in that list, with No Way Home ($260 million) coming in the first place, followed by Wakanda Forever ($187 million), and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

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