In fact, one of the reasons this movie is set to break records and usher in a new type of superhero (and other non-white male main characters in Hollywood) is what some are observing as a watershed moment in cinematic history. The Black Panther, Marvel’s first movie directed by an African-American, earned an estimated $201.8 million in its North America opening weekend with sites like Fandago.com, reporting sales surpassing any other superhero movie from this franchise, which is no easy feat since the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise topped $12 billion dollars last July, according to a report by Forbes magazine.
It is worth noting that this movie debuts during a terribly volatile time in America when accusations of police brutality, disproportionate incarceration of African-Americans, and insufficient representation of people of color, and women, are consistently making national headlines. When Disney’s Marvel Studios announced their plans to make the Black Panther movie in 2014, there was no way they could have known that the 45th president of the United States would usher in a racist and sexist climate frighteningly reminiscent of times we desperately hoped had been relegated to the dark corners of America’s history. The timeliness of Black Panther’s stark contrast of today’s racially charged and gender biased reality is poignant. Whatever the case, the Black Panther movie is a must-see for any superhero, action junkie, regardless of race or gender because it is just that good!
“Black Panther” makes history behind the camera, too. The movie’s director is 31-year-old African American and Oakland, California native, Ryan Coogler, who’s first feature film was Fruitvale Station, which won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. He also co-wrote and directed Creed, the seventh film of the Rocky franchise.
Kendrick Lamar also released an album featuring music from and inspired by the film.
Although I wrote this article with no spoiler alerts, I will say, there are two end scene credits, and the second, is a must-see if you follow the MCU franchise.