The superhero sequel opened to a huge $180 million at the domestic box office to hunt down the biggest November opening of all time and the second-biggest launch of 2022 so far behind fellow Marvel Studios’ pic Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($187.4 million). And it easily wrested the weekend crown from DC superhero pic Black Adam, now in its fourth weekend.
The sequel demolished the record for a November opening in North America, soaring past the previous high-water mark of $158 million set by 2013’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” Globally, the superhero adventure netted a spectacular $330 million with $150 million of that figure coming from 55 overseas markets.
Its success has a bittersweet undercurrent, however. That’s because the filmmakers behind the sequel faced a shocking off-screen tragedy before production even commenced when Chadwick Boseman, the actor who had given 2018’s “Black Panther” so much of its soul, died in 2020 of cancer. He was only 43 years old. In response, Ryan Coogler, the film’s director and co-writer, re-fashioned “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” into a tribute for the late actor. In the movie, the kingdom of Wakanda is grappling with the death of King T’Challa — an art imitates life situation that gave the film greater emotional resonance.
During a press tour Lupita appeared on Good Morning America, where she discussed the death of her late costar.
Remembering Boseman, who played T’Challa in the first movie, she said: ‘When someone like that passes away, it has an effect on everyone around them, uh, and so we see how different characters are dealing in different ways.
The Mexican-born actress described being on set without Chadwick as ‘hollow.’
She noted, ‘It was very evident that he was missing, and we were all feeling it but also, we had each other.’
The original “Black Panther,” starring Chadwick Boseman as King T’Challa, broke ground as the first superhero movie with a predominantly Black cast. The film took in $1.3 billion at worldwide box offices over its run and became the only superhero movie ever nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards.