'Black Panther' tops $1 billion at box office, joins Marvel elite

All hail the king: In just 26 days, the Marvel superhero film has joined the box office billion-dollar club.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper

All hail the king! "Black Panther" has earned more than a billion dollars in worldwide box office receipts, Variety reported on Saturday. The film, which has been out for just 26 days, was helped over the milestone by a Friday opening in China, where it earned roughly $20 million.

Four other Marvel films have passed the billion dollar mark: "The Avengers," "Avengers: Age of Ultron," "Iron Man 3" and "Captain America: Civil War."

The film stars Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther/T'Challa, the superpowered leader of the African nation of Wakanda. The movie also stars Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright. 

It's been breaking records pretty much since its Feb. 16 opening, and enjoyed the second-biggest opening weekend for a Marvel Studios film, trailing only 2012's "The Avengers." It's also only the fourth film to top $100 million in each of its first two weekends.

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