Marvel's "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" dethroned DC's "Black Adam" at the domestic box office this weekend, amassing $180 million in ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore.
The highly anticipated sequel to Disney and Marvel Studios' 2018 blockbuster "Black Panther" shattered the domestic opening weekend record for the month of November, easily surpassing 2013's "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" ($158.1 million). Internationally, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" has racked up $150 million for a global cumulative of $330 million.
Thus far, the superhero epic has performed in line with early box-office projections, which placed the film in the $175 million to $200 million range domestically. The original "Black Panther" launched at $202 million in North America.
According to Disney, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" boasts the third-highest domestic opening of the pandemic era and the second-highest domestic launch of 2022, behind Marvel's "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" ($185 million). The four-quadrant movie also posted the eighth biggest domestic debut of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as the 13th biggest domestic opening of all time.
Rounding out the top three this weekend at the domestic box office are Warner Bros. Pictures' "Black Adam," which grossed $8.6 million in its fourth weekend for a North American cumulative of $151.1 million, and Universal Pictures' "Ticket to Paradise," which added $6.1 million in its fourth weekend for a North American cumulative of $56.5 million.
Helmed by returning director Ryan Coogler, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," sees Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Danai Gurira and Florence Kasumba reprise their roles as warriors and leaders of the fictional, technologically advanced kingdom of Wakanda. The cast also includes franchise newcomers Michaela Coel, Dominique Thorne and Tenoch Huerta.
The action flick has received a strong 84% fresh rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, as well as an A grade from audiences polled by CinemaScore. In his review, Times film critic Justin Chang reflected on how "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" extends the legacy of Chadwick Boseman, who originated the title role on the big screen before he died of colon cancer at age 43 in 2020.
"One of the reasons Boseman was such a marvelous actor was his genius for self-effacement, his ability to hold the spotlight without dominating it," Chang writes.
"His generosity toward his fellow actors was particularly well suited to T’Challa, a character who wasn’t — and didn’t have to be — the most interesting thing about the world he came from. Happily, you see more of that world in 'Wakanda Forever.'"
Opening in wide release next weekend are United Artists Releasing's "Thirteen Lives" and Universal Pictures' "She Said."
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.