‘Black Panther’ Surpasses $1 Billion in Sales After China Debut

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Walt Disney Co.’s “Black Panther” has collected more than $1 billion at cinemas worldwide, making it the company’s 16th movie to reach that milestone.

The Marvel superhero film, which has been setting sales records, broke into 10 figures after a strong debut in China on Friday. Its $521 million in U.S. sales puts it among the 10 highest-grossing releases domestically, and international sales are expected to surpass $500 million this weekend, Disney said in an emailed statement.

The first blockbuster with a black superhero in the leading role, “Black Panther” has become a symbol for promoting diversity in the movie industry. African-Americans have been drawn to the big screen debut of an African protagonist and a story line that tackles race and colonization. Issues like inclusion and sexual harassment in the entertainment industry were also in the spotlight March 4 at the Academy Awards in Hollywood.

China, the largest movie market after the U.S., has become a lucrative outpost for Disney and Marvel. “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” a 2015 release, pulled in sales of $240 million there, while the 2016 hit “Captain America: Civil War” produced $181 million.

Heading into the weekend, “Black Panther” had tallied $940.3 million in worldwide sales since opening in the U.S. on Feb. 16.

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Godwin Okafor is a financial journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and the Founder Naija247news Media Ltd He has over 16 experiences in journalism, which cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career in Business Day, Where he was a senior editorial graphic artist, before he left to start Naija247news, An Online Financial Newspaper in 2010. He has won series of awards and he is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.com and also sits on the board of Students In Business Awards, (SIBA).

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