All Hail King T'Challa

$218 million dollars in three days. That’s the amount of money Black Panther raked in over its three-day opening weekend. Making it the fifth biggest movie opening of all time. Breaking seemingly all the records and myths, Black Panther also broke records for the biggest opening for an African-American director, in Ryan Coogler, previously belonging to F. Gary Gary of the The Fast and the Furious which generated $98 million. And with just ten days out from its premiere date being February 16, Black Panther has crossed the half a billion mark, raking in $704 million dollars. How do you describe the records broken by this film? Crushed is too soft, demolished? annihilated? Eviscerated? Is there a word in the English language to describe it? I honestly think not.

Though it’s hard to believe anyone is unaware of why this is such a big deal, let me explain: For one, historically speaking, February isn’t the month for blockbuster films, especially those of the action/superhero genre, those movies are traditionally saved for the summer when generated revenue actually exceeds the budget it costs to make the film. Yet, Black Panther eradicated that myth, beating out Deadpool, in which previously held the record for biggest opening in February at $132 million in 2016. Secondly, Black Panther is brought to you by a majority black/brown ensemble: the cast is Black, the producer, writers, costume designers, set designers are Black or other people of color. The story follows a Black character in which does not find itself in the traditional bounds of slavery or climbing its way out of poverty. This movie is about a Black superhero, of African origins, while also expanding beyond Africa to include the diaspora with it’s “villain”, Erik Killmonger ( in my opinion he’s not a villain, but an antagonist).

This film shattered every expectation in which was placed on it, and in the wake of its success, hopefully Hollywood gets the picture. As an audience, film goers are tired of seeing the same tale told over and over again with lack of representation. With the success of this movie, there should be a call for an influx of black and brown writers, producers, actors, costumes designers and etc. Whose ideas in which spawn off into some of the most amazing, breathtaking, eye opening content that is a breath of fresh air to the overwhelmingly mediocre flicks we get by the same, predominantly white creatures.This isn’t an off the wall statement, of the movie goers that made up ticket sales for Black Panther’s opening weekend, Black women made up 45%. Why?  Positive representation matters, and Black Panther definitely did that with the Black women in this movie. Yes this film is about Black Panther, but the manner in which the Black women of the film are portrayed: strong, smart, with their own arches completely void of the usual need of a man to save them or to pick them up and “rebuild” them. Being able to look the screen and see women, Black women portrayed like this is inspiring, beautiful, and long overdue. This should be the standard for women, who are fully realized human beings with or without a man.

Black Panther is a creation among itself, I hope that the success of this movie creates a domino affect in which will give the world more like it. I hope this movie not only allows Ryan Coogler to direct and write anything he wants (cause he should, if we’re being honest), I hope that young creatives of color are able to go up to execs and pitch ideas that get picked up and funded. The world need to see more creativity, more representation of Black and brown people that allows for the multiplicity of us as human beings. Black Panther, fictional or not did that, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. All Hail The King.