Disney's Black Panther blew past industry expectations with a roughly $235 million debut over the four-day Presidents Day weekend, Variety reports. And that number could push even higher as The Hollywood Reporter's Pamela McClintock reports that the "history-making" film might have had the highest-grossing Monday of all time, surpassing 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Why it matters: The movie is making history for its overnight success. It's blown past industry expectations after a year of reckoning around issues of race.

  • Its success is reminiscent of Wonder Woman's premiere last year, which brought a different type of superhero protagonist to the mainstream.
  • A look at social engagement data from Shareablee shows that hype around Black Panther's launch surpassed Wonder Woman for months, dramatically spiking in the final month:
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Data: Shareablee; Chart: Axios Visuals
  • As of last week, Black Panther was the most-tweeted about movie of the year.

Note: Data describes engagement (or total actions) with the official pages promoting Black Panther and Wonder Woman.

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How overhyping became an election meddling tool

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

As online platforms and intelligence officials get more sophisticated about detecting and stamping out election meddling campaigns, bad actors are increasingly seeing the appeal of instead exaggerating their own interference capabilities to shake Americans' confidence in democracy.

Why it matters: It doesn't take a sophisticated operation to sow seeds of doubt in an already fractious and factionalized U.S. Russia proved that in 2016, and fresh schemes aimed at the 2020 election may already be proving it anew.