Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has overtaken female-led superhero films, Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman, to become the highest-grossing movie with a female superhero as the lead at the United States box office.
According to Box Office Mojo, the film pulled in $431.5 million domestically since its premiere, surpassing Wonder Woman ($412.8 million) and Captain Marvel ($426.8 million). It's also one of the highest-grossing films of last year with over $810 million grossed at the global box office. However, Wakanda Forever is still behind Wonder Woman ($822.8 million) and Captain Marvel ($1.28 billion) in overall box office earnings, although it is expected to overtake the former before it stops showing in theaters.
Wakanda Forever is the third Marvel Studios film to feature a female lead, following Captain Marvel and Black Widow. Since its debut, the film has enjoyed great success, despite the fall in box office earnings post pandemic. However, the film’s success is, in large part, the result of the studio’s massive efforts, which include an enormous budget. Wakanda Forever has a budget of $250 million makes it the most expensive Black-led film in history. Fortunately, Marvel’s gamble paid off given the film’s critical and commercial acclaim, including a shortlisting for five Oscar nominations.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is the sequel to the era-defining Black Panther film that premiered in 2018, both of which are based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. The sequel follows T’Challa’s sister and mother, Shuri and Ramonda, as they pick up the pieces of a mourning kingdom of Wakanda following the death of king and protector, T'Challa. However, the kingdom is soon beset with threats from the underwater kingdom of Talokan as well as the wider world. As a result, they have to sheathe their grief and protect themselves from their enemies.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is, in part, a tribute to the series’s late star Chadwick Boseman with director Ryan Coogler writing in a letter following the film’s launch, "And our film deals with the inescapable human emotion of grief. Thank you for opening yourself up to the emotional journey of this film. We made something to honor our friend, who was a giant in our industry, and we also made something to be enjoyed in theatrical setting with friends, family, and strangers."
By the way, Coogler recently revealed he had other ideas for Wakanda Forever, which he had to change following Boseman’s death. The Creed director also expressed his desire to direct a third installment of the series in a recent interview. And with the success the film enjoyed at the box office, there is a high possibility he might just get his wish.