March 05, 2018
6:45am PT

Patrick Brzeski Black Panther has most of the world at its feet. Only one country has yet to submit to Ryan Coogler’s afro-futuristic box-office sensation: China.

The Disney-Marvel tentpole finally opens March 9 in the world’s second-largest film market, the last international outing for Panther following rollouts in Russia on Feb. 26 and Japan on March 1.

The film has earned $501 million stateside, putting the all-time domestic record for a superhero title (The Avengers’ $623.4 million) within reach. Offshore — its international tally stands at just under $400 million — Panther has performed strongly, if not quite at the same record-setting pace.

Just where Black Panther lands on the all-time global box-office charts will depend to a large part on China, where comparable Marvel titles have regularly earned $100 million-plus. As it’s prowled the globe, Panther has tracked down and slain Hollywood’s conventional “wisdom” that movies led by black casts don’t sell well overseas.

Following a strong $12.9 million first week in Russia, it opened way ahead of Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy in Japan with $4.2 million, while also adding to hefty totals in South Korea ($36 million) and most of Southeast Asia. But before its high-stakes China bow, some analysts are still wondering if race could play a role in Panther’s performance in the Middle Kingdom. Read more from…

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