Black Panther tops Titanic as US's third-biggest box office hit

The success of Marvel's Black Panther, both critically and financially, continues to grow, with the movie's latest milestone falling into the latter category. The latest superhero epic has beaten the once mighty Titanic in highest-grossing theatrical release of all time, taking the US's #3 spot.

For many years, James Cameron's Titanic was the most successful movie in US history, holding the title for 12 years following its 1997 release. It was Cameron's own Avatar that finally bested the box office record in 2009, and then Star Wars: The Force Awakens stole the title in 2015.

Black Panther has earned roughly $660 million at the domestic box office as of Friday, putting it just ahead of Titanic's $659.4 million. This came just a few days after the movie took the #4 position from Jurassic Park. However, it's unlikely Black Panther will be able to earn another $100 million that's needed to reach Avatar's $760.5 million record, especially since it's been in theaters for eight weeks already, not to mention Avengers: Infinity War's release is less than three weeks away.

Speaking of Infinity War, Marvel's "ultimate crossover" movie is currently expected to see an opening weekend of between $175 million and $200 million, according to Variety, bringing it very close to Black Panther's $202 million opening. But regardless if the next big superhero movie meets or even tops Black Panther, the latter's greatest achievement will be in showing the entertainment industry just how successful a diverse story and cast of color can be.