“Black Panther” Breaks Box Office Records

Zachary Liddle

Illustration / Zachary Liddle

“The Black Panther” starring Chadwick Boseman as the title character and directed by Ryan Coogler was released on February 16th, 2018. Opening weekend, the film made roughly 242 million dollars. “The Black Panther” broke numerous box office records such as “biggest non-sequel opening weekend,” “biggest February opening weekend,” as well as the astonishing “biggest solo superhero launch of all time.”
The box office records are based on the money made in ticket sales, not on how popular the film is. It seems as though this movie made most of its money off of the anticipation since “Captain America: Civil War” where Black Panther was first introduced. The movie trailers for “Black Panther” only really showed the few fight scenes to excite us.
To those who have not seen “Black Panther,” here is a basic plot summary without spoilers. The film is set directly after “Captain America: Civil War” and follows T’challa as he becomes king and official Black Panther and protector of Wakanda. He is later unseated from power by a man named Erik Killmonger. This film follows his claim back to power as well as learning how to help his country and learn what it means to be king.
“Personally, I thought it was successful because it empowered a different culture, while still making it sci-fi. Plus, the technology being super-advanced, and I just love that personally,” said junior Lily Fulbright.
Wakanda’s primary source of finance and what the economy is completely based upon, is called Vibranium. It is an extremely strong metal that hit earth as an asteroid long ago , which has allowed them to advance in technology further than any other country.
Now we can also ask “Why is the Black Panther the most successful black superhero film”? When you think of an African American superhero film, you probably don’t think of Shaquille O’Neal’s “Steel” or Eddie Murphy’s “Meteor Man.” In fact, there have been multiple people posting on social media saying that Black Panther is the first black superhero. The difference between these movies are that films like “Meteor Man” are heavily comedic and rarely have tense moments.
In my own experience, a large majority of viewers opening weekend were black families. So the fact that it was a primarily black cast could also have a huge effect on sales. Also, the main antagonist “Killmonger,” played by Michael B. Jordan, definitely used the history of slavery and black oppression as his motivation throughout the film. Jordan shows this in lines about slavery as well as using the oppression of black culture as his motive in the film. A well-educated guess would be that the success of the flim was largely based on its message about black culture and the history of slavery.
“I think it was successful because of the previous exposure in the recent ‘Avengers’ movie. A wide fan base likes those movies already and, having that, I think boosted the overall rating,” said junior Baker Conley. “It was a way for the character [Black Panther] to come to light in a very positive way.”
It’s possible that due to the films being produced many years ago, people forgot about movies like “Hancock” or “Men in Black,” both starring actor and former rapper Will Smith.
“‘Black Panther’ was so successful because Marvel finally showcased a long awaited hero, the Black Panther. Along with the new hero, the supporting cast was amazing, Forest Whitaker and Michael B. Jordan to name a few,” said fan, junior Roy Britney.
“Black Panther” was subpar as far as superhero movies go. As a superhero who is well known for primarily martial arts, I expected more intense fight scenes. They didn’t do much to show his powers like super-strength. I also felt that the story was a bit thrown together to follow up the previous Captain America film.