Black Panther smashes US box-office weekend record

Disney-Marvel's Black Panther saw a super-heroic US$218 million (S$286 million) debut over President's Day long weekend in the US, estimates showed Sunday.

That number means that Black Panther, starring Chadwick Boseman and directed by Ryan Coogler, has doubled its original tracking in less than a month.

The film, which carries an estimated US$200 million production cost, had been tracking to bring in between an impressive US$100 and US$120 million when first estimates emerged on Jan 25.

Since then, Black Panther has become a must-see movie for many movie-goers.

The film's estimated three-day gross of US$192 million is the highest debut ever for a February film and the fifth highest of all time.

Combined with an estimated international debut of US$169 million from 69 per cent of the international market, the estimated global debut stands at US$361 million through Sunday.

Black Panther also demolished the record for the largest President's Day weekend, blowing past Deadpool's 2016 mark of US$152 million.

Overall North American movie-going for the four-day holiday should hit US$300 million - far above the US$278 million mark in 2016, according to comScore.

"This is proof that the big screen experience may arguably be the most powerful platform of change in our society," said Mr Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore.

"The emotional, communal, immersive and bigger than life theatrical experience has an impact that virtually no other medium can match."

Comscore's PostTrak survey of the audience showed outstanding numbers with 77 per cent rating Black Panther as"excellent" and another 18 per cent as "very good". - REUTERS