Mon | Feb 24, 2020

'Black Panther' breaks the box office - Now second-biggest opening ever for a Marvel Studios film

Published:Sunday | February 25, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Chadwick Boseman in a scene from Marvel Studios' "Black Panther."
Danai Gurira (left), Lupita Nyong'o (second left) and Florence Kasumba in 'Black Panther'.
In this Feb. 14, 2018 photo, actor Chadwick Boseman poses for a portrait in New York to promote his film, "Black Panther."

MUCH EXCITEMENT has surrounded the release of Black Panther, from the dazzling red carpet premieres which took place in LA, South Korea, London, and New York to the many fundraising campaigns to get underprivileged kids to watch the film and numerous social media hashtags celebrating the importance of the predominately black cast.

With all the promotion and hype surrounding the flick did it live up to expectations when we look at the numbers?

Turns out that Black Panther, Marvel's first film directed by an African-American - the formidable Ryan Coogler - brought in an estimated US$192 million for its three-day debut in North America this weekend. That's the fifth biggest opening of all time.

Disney estimates that the film will bring in US$218 million domestically for the four-day holiday weekend, while the film brought in an opening of US$361 million around the world.

Black Panther also shattered the record for an opening in February, which belonged to Deadpool, which brought in US$132 million when it opened in 2016.

CNN reports that it is the second-biggest opening for a Marvel Studios film behind 2012's The Avengers surpassing Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, and Iron Man 3.

Black Panther: The Album also earned the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart, launching with 154,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending February 15. The last soundtrack to score a larger week was Suicide Squad: The Album, which bowed atop the August 27, 2016-dated list with 182,000 units earned.


Who Is The Black Panther?


New York-based marketing executive, Frederick Joseph, opened a GoFundMe page aimed specifically at providing 300 children from underprivileged households in the city's Harlem neighbourhood with the opportunity to visit the cinema to see the much-heralded Marvel/Disney superhero movie Black Panther.

The excitement surrounding the release of this film is almost unprecedented; many claim that director Ryan Coogler's tale of the

super-powered king of an ultra-modern African nation - which had never been colonised being feted and honoured in the United States and western Europe provided the defining stamp of the imaginative genius of Panther co-creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Lee himself has bombastically claimed that T'Challa stands among the most compelling characters he has ever crafted, and has stated that he anticipates the release of the forthcoming movie beyond any previous interpretation of his celebrated Marvel Comics Universe, which includes the likes of Spiderman, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and The Avengers.

High praise indeed, but one might question how much of the T'Challa character actually sprung directly from the doubtless fertile creativity of Kirby and Lee, as opposed to being based on incidents or circumstances that took place in the real world.

Throughout the incarnations of the T'Challa character, promulgated by writers who succeeded Lee, such as Don McGregor, Christopher Priest, Reginald Hudlin and, most recently, TaNehesi Coates, there has been consistent metamorphosis to reflect the modes of the successive decades, but the essential stoical nature of T'Challa's per- sonality has remained consistent.

Chadwick Boesman, the actor appointed by Coogler to play the greatly coveted lead role, cites Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama and Patrice Lumumba among his influences for his portrayal and T'Challa is cited by several aficionados, such as movie analyst Andrew Muhammed (aka The Investigator), as being based on a plethora of celebrities, ranging from Sydney Poitier to Sean 'P Diddy' Combs.