Including box office sales for this weekend, The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and its Buena Vista Studios will claim two of the three highest grossing films ever released in the United States. The new entry is, of course, “Black Panther,” which is set to surpass Paramount’s “Titanic.”
At the beginning of the weekend “Titanic” had posted an all-time domestic gross of $659.36 million while “Black Panther” had chalked up $659.26 million in domestic ticket sales. That the new film will supplant number 2 all-time — Fox’s “Avatar” — is doubtful. The 2009 blockbuster is ahead by about $100 million.
The entire movie industry should be giving thanks to the “Black Panther.” According to Boxofficemojo.com, domestic ticket sales in March were down 24% year over year and full quarter ticket sales were down 2%. “Black Panther” is the difference.
The Disney film was released in mid-February and in the two weeks it ran during that month “Black Panther” racked up about $430 million in box office sales. The film accounted for nearly 23% of all ticket sales in the first quarter.
And the film isn’t finished yet. By Sunday, according to Boxofficemojo, “Black Panther” will have reached 52 consecutive days in a row grossing at least $1 million, tying for the tenth longest streak of all-time alongside “The Avengers,” “The Hangover,” and “Shrek.” A million-dollar day Monday would give the film sole possession of tenth place.
Globally “Black Panther” ranks 10th all time with $1.29 billion in gross receipts. The film trails ninth-place “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” by about $40 million. Five of the top-ten highest grossing films of all-time have come from Disney’s Buena Vista studios as have 8 of the top 15.