Black Panther smashes box office records, despite racist fake news attacks

Black Panther has broken a number of box office records over the weekend, despite online attacks from racist trolls.

In its first three days, the Marvel film hauled in US$361 million (NZ$489 million) internationally, according to Box Office Mojo.

The North American total alone is estimated to be US$192 million - the highest debut ever for a February film and the fifth highest of all time.

Being the first major superhero movie with a black director, black lead star and predominantly black cast has been celebrated by many - but some have tried to ruin the fun.

Numerous fake reports of non-black cinemagoers being violently attacked were published, usually with a photo of a badly beaten person. Reverse-image searching the images quickly proves them to copies.

There were also fears that white supremacist terrorists would attack movie theatres. Violence by radicalised white males in the US has seen a huge upsurge in recent years, with last week's horrific school mass shooting in Florida just the latest.

Fortunately, it appears the weekend has passed without violence at an American cinema. The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed there have been zero calls about disturbances at movie theatres over the weekend.

Critically, Black Panther is also faring exceedingly well. It has a Metacritic score of 88 and a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 97.

Despite efforts from the alt-right to bring down the movie's audience-voted scores, it's currently boasting a Rotten Tomatoes audience score of 76 and an IMDb rating of 7.9.

With the more accurate US CinemaScore, which only counts people who have actually seen the film, Black Panther is enjoying an A+ rating - the only Marvel film to have done so besides 2012's The Avengers.


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