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  • A general view of the entrance for the premiere of "Black Panther" in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 29, 2018.

    A general view of the entrance for the premiere of "Black Panther" in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 29, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 18 February 2018

The film, from Disney-owned Marvel Studios, features a star-studded, almost entirely black cast led by Chadwick Boseman as the first non-white superhero to get his own stand-alone movie in the franchise.

Disney's "Black Panther" got off to a superhero start in the U.S. box office, rocketing to the top spot with estimated earnings of US$218 million, data showed Sunday.

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According to figures from industry tracker Exhibitor Relations, the highly-anticipated 18th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe earned US$192 million over Friday, Saturday and Sunday — exceeding predictions of US$170 million.

Thanks to Presidents' Day in the US on Monday, "Black Panther's" estimated earnings were boosted to a stratospheric US$218 million — crushing "Deadpool's" 2016 Presidents' Day record of US$152.1 million.

Starring alongside Michael B Jordan and Lupita Nyong'o, Boseman plays the titular superhero also known as T'Challa, king and protector of the technologically advanced fictional African nation of Wakanda, an affluent, never-colonized utopia.

In at second was family-friendly "Peter Rabbit," based on Beatrix Potter's classic children's book. Mixing live actors with computer-generated animation, it brought in an estimated US$22.1 million over the holiday weekend for total earnings of US$53.1 million.

James Corden voices the lead bunny which feuds with garden owner Domhnall Gleeson for the affections of sweet-hearted neighbor Rose Byrne.

Dropping to third was last week's box office champion, Universal's "Fifty Shades Freed," with takings of US$19 million, down from US$38.6 million the previous week.


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