Why ‘Black Panther’ is smashing all the records
Disney-Marvel's mammoth new superhero movie Black Panther has turned out to be a game-changer for the film industry flipping the assumed narrative that superhero movies are just the domain of geeky teen fan boys.
When the trailer for Black Panther dropped last year it generated 89 million views in the first 24 hours. A jaw-dropping number for any well-established film franchise let alone a standalone story about a fairly unknown (until now) comic book hero. And the records have continued to get smashed.
When it opened over the weekend, according to Box Office Mojo, Black Panther took out the best February opening weekend of all time with a domestic US opening of $201 million USD. Its estimated total worldwide gross from Friday through to Monday is currently sitting at a monster $404 million USD. It's also the number one weekend opener for winter (in the US), and best movie opening over the US four-day President's Day public holiday weekend ever.
And, according to The New York Times it's the highest, "...grossing movie in history by a black director (Ryan Coogler) and featuring a largely black cast."
All this for a movie no one thought would resonate globally because firstly, it's a superhero movie (only fan boys watch those right?), secondly who even knew there was a superhero called the Black Panther? Thirdly this movie is a celebration of black culture, so outside of the US, would anyone be interested?
The answer to all those questions is writ large in the box office numbers. Fan boys are not the only group interested in superheroes - everyone likes a good versus evil tale whether it involves superheroes or just regular every day characters (the success of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is also testament to that).
Plus apparently everyone was ready for a superhero they knew nothing about - it's fresh, new and exciting. And lastly, the whole world is interested in black culture - the music (the soundtrack debuted at number on Billboard 200 Chart according to billboard.com), the fashion (the costume design on Black Panther is incredible) and the lexicon.
At the end of the day Black Panther is a great movie with terrific, interesting characters (even the bad guy Erik Killmonger played by a very ripped Michael B. Jordan, is worth rooting for), exceptional visual effects and a gripping narrative. Not to totally fan geek out but... Wakanda forever!
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