It’s awesome to see so many people so pumped about the Black Panther movie.
When I saw the preview a month or so ago, it stuck with me. And rightly so, it’s a stunning nearly all-black cast that is Afrocentric themed, coming from Disney-Marvel and directed by Ryan Coogler of Fruitvale Station fame. There is something so intensely powerful about this blockbuster – especially now – in our political climate.
The movie has already raked in $361 million as of Sunday, February 18, according to comScore. It’s the 15th highest global opening weekend of all-time.
The Disney-Marvel movie ‘Black Panther,’ which finds the superheroic T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returning to his remote African kingdom to assume the throne, roared into theaters over the weekend as a full-blown cultural event, breaking box office records and shattering a myth about the overseas viability of movies rooted in black culture.
The overwhelming response from people around the world – via Internet – is that WE WANT MORE.
The narrative that films with black leads do not travel overseas will no longer be accepted after this weekend. This movie, as well as ‘A Wrinkle in Time,’ which stars a biracial girl and is the highest budgeted film directed by an African American woman, Ava DuVernay, opens on March 9. These films are both game-changers for an industry that is so desperate for an update.
This is not just a movie about a black superhero; it’s very much a black movie. It carries a weight that neither Thor nor Captain America could lift: serving a black audience that has long gone underrepresented. For so long, films that depict a reality where whiteness isn’t the default have been ghettoized, marketed largely to audiences of color as niche entertainment, instead of as part of the mainstream.
I’m not going to write a review of this movie because there are so many out there who can articulate it way better than me. But know this: the story, the feminist perspective and philosophy, the exploration of good and bad, the aesthetic, the warrior/hero struggle, the dialogue and humor, the pride, the intelligence, the respect of ancestry and importance of family, has struck a chord.
Representation is everything.