We knew it was going to happen, and now it has: This weekend, Black Panther will cement its place as the top-earning superhero movie of all time at the U.S. box office.
The current Friday-Sunday estimate of $16.6 million for Black Panther will bring its cumulative domestic total up to $630.9 million (h/t Deadline). That gives it a small-yet-not-insignificant lead over The Avengers, which ended its May-September, 2012 run with a domestic take of $623.3 million.
But there’s little chance of the current estimate falling by the $7 million it would take to leave Marvel’s latest in second place for one more day.
Black Panther‘s box office success is all the more noteworthy in the context of the Marvel blockbuster it is poised to unseat. The Avengers was Marvel’s first major superhero ensemble effort, and it arrived at precisely the moment the Marvel Cinematic Universe reached peak popularity.