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"Black Panther" breaks box office records

 This past weekend, a movie that has been promoted heavily by Disney, Marvel's parent company, has made good on the investment: Black Panther has broken  box office records on its first weekend in release. It is a superhero movie with an African central character, T'Challa (played by Chadwick Boseman),  and an advanced African culture, Wakanda, as the moral center.


The North American box office total for President's Day weekend, $235 million, surpassed the $152 million earned by Deadpool two years ago.  In terms of all-time domestic opening weekends, Black Panther is fifth, behind: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (2015); "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" (2017); "Jurassic World" (2012); and "Marvel's The Avengers" (2012). 


In addition, Black Panther earned $169 million in the international market--and it has not even opened yet in China, Japan, and Russia. Mistakenly, observers previously believed that a film featuring black actors could not do well in the international market.  Incidentally, Black Panther was helmed and written by two black men. The film was directed by Ryan Coogler and co-written by Coogler and  Joe Robert Cole.  


It will be interesting to see how well the film does in the coming weeks. The audience support as well as the critics' support on Rotten Tomatoes bode well for its success. I saw the movie on Sunday. It delivered everything a super-hero movie should: heart, action, a solid moral center, and characters to care about. 


Source: "How Massive is 'Black Panther' at the Box Office? A record-shattering $235 million," by Deborah Vankin, Los Angeles Times, February 19, 2019. 

Follow up

  • What were the box office predictions for Black Panther? How did it do with respect to the predictions? Why is this remarkable? What marketing and market factors contributed to its success?
  • Read some of the other stories about the reaction to the film, specifically the reactions of  7th graders and black Americans. What might this indicate for product development in the film industry?