by Julia Vaccarella ’20
Marvel Cinematic Universe fans around the globe are raving at the theatrical release of the newest addition to the franchise, Black Panther.
According to the Huffington Post, the movie grossed $242 million in the box office over the course of its opening during President’s Day Weekend. Black Panther is the 18th film to be released by Marvel, which is now owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
Jack Kirby and Stan Lee created the Black Panther comic back in 1966. The first issue appeared in Fantastic Four #52 and there have been others released since then. According to an article from a recent issue of Entertainment Weekly, this film brings together the work of three Black Panther comic writers: Don McGregor, Reginald Hudlin, and Christopher Priest.
The film has been applauded for its predominantly black cast and crew, including director Ryan Coolger, Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, and Lupita Nyong’o are among others featured in the movie. The film takes place in Wakanda, a fictional nation in Africa, and due to a meteorite that hit the city many years before, the capital is secretly more technologically advanced than the rest of the world.
Critics on Rotten Tomatoes say, “Black Panther elevates superhero cinema to thrilling new heights while telling one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most absorbing stories—and introducing some of its most fully realized characters.” and gave Black Panther a rating of 97 percent.
Rapper Kendrick Lamar worked with Coogler and Top Dog Entertainment CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith as well to curated the album entitled Black Panther: The Album Music From and Inspired By. This album highlights artists of color from R&B singer SZA, to Khalid, ScHoolboy Q, and The Weeknd, among many others.
The film comes at a time where race relations are tense in the U.S., but Black Panther has nonetheless illustrated that a motion picture with a Black cast has the capability to reach a large audience and thus making a big hit at the box office.
Black Panther has also incorporated strong female characters. The Washington Post says that it is “a post-gender film for depicting the women of Wakanda as savvy warriors who are conscious of their power and know how to use it.” The ideology that women are dependent upon men is absent in Black Panther.
Black Panther is currently being show in theaters in over sixty countries. As of Feb. 25, the movie has grossed over $700 billion dollars globally. Movie critics have speculated that the movie will reach $1 billion in the coming weeks. Many viewers have also appreciated the release of Black Panther in alignment with Black History Month and has inspired individuals all over the United States.