The Marvel Studios smash stood at $940.7m worldwide as of Friday including the unverified China gross.
Reports that Black Panther has grossed more than $10m from its first morning in China (March 9) have assuaged fears that a film with predominantly black cast and black themes might not fare well in the territory.
It has amassed $424m internationally and $516.6m in North America and will cross $1bn by the end of Sunday – on the authority of none other than Disney chief Bob Iger, who made the box office predication in a call to shareholders on Thursday morning.
China was always going to play a big part in the film’s final gross if it connected with audiences and on the basis of this early evidence it may well do so, in which case the film’s international box office has a shot of overtaking its North America gross by the end of its run.
Without any comparisons it has been hard to predict what Black Panther can achieve. There are no data points and the evolving nature of the Chinese audience itself has made the task even more challenging. This is a test case.
There is no denying the release has been a smash in the UK, where it has taken more than $51m, followed by South Korea on $41.8m, and Brazil $26.7m.
Disney’s other hit factory, Pixar, continues to deliver results with Coco, which could receive a boost this weekend after its Oscar best animation feature win. The Mexico-set tale stands at $534.3m.
Speaking of Oscar winners, Fox International’s The Shape Of Water took home four awards including best picture and director and is poised on $72.9m as it ventures into a handful of Middle Eastern markets. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri won two acting trophies for Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell and stands at $81.5m.
Universal Pictures International’s Phantom Thread – an Oscar winner for best costume design – has reached $19.1m, while Fifty Shades Freed is strong internationally on $255.9m in contrast to its North American fortunes.
Darkest Hour starring Oscar winner Gary Oldman has grossed $85.2m, Lady Bird has delivered $13m and The Post $26.5m from Universal markets.
From Sony Pictures Releasing International, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle stands at $537.7m, and Peter Rabbit $21.5m.