Feb 20, 2018

Social hype foreshadowed Black Panther's record-breaking success

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:
Expand chart
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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Updated 28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 6,325,303 — Total deaths: 377,460 — Total recoveries — 2,727,679Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,820,523 — Total deaths: 105,644 — Total recoveries: 458,231 — Total tested: 17,340,682Map.
  3. Public health: Protests against police brutality threaten coronavirus response — Controlling the virus in nursing homes won't be easy.
  4. Business: More than 1 in 6 black workers lost jobs between February and April.
  5. Climate: The alarm over climate financial risk gets louder because of coronavirus.
  6. Media: Interest in the George Floyd protests has soared past the coronavirus.

Updates: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued across the U.S., inciting a federal response from President Trump, the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: Immigration agents have been deployed to assist federal, state and local law enforcement. The U.S. Secret Service closed the streets immediately on all four sides of the White House Tuesday, until "riots become peaceful, or stop."

NASA passes the torch

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

With the historic crewed SpaceX launch last weekend, NASA passed the torch to private companies that will need to step up to build the economy the space agency envisions in orbit.

Why it matters: This new era of spaceflight will likely be marked by new conflicts — possibly including product placement (like the Tesla that drove the astronauts to the pad on Saturday), safety concerns and cultural differences between companies, the space agencies and people they serve.