by G. Brown
“Black Panther” beats “Captain America”—you’d have to be a Marvel comic nerd to get the impact of that sentence. So let’s add some context for you to truly appreciate the impact.
Marvel’s next superhero to hit theaters next month is “Black Panther” which launched advanced ticket sales Monday night. According to Variety.com “Black Panther” tickets sales “have set a new record for Fandango as the top seller among Marvel Cinematic Universe movies in the first 24 hours, topping “Captain America: Civil War.” Not bad for a superhero that most non-nerds never even heard of before his introduction in “Civil War”.
“Black Panther” hype has been otherwordly with its first trailer clawing to shreds records by other block buster franchises like “Star Wars”. In its first 24 hours of release, the King of Wakanda racked up a very impressive 89 million views. That wasn’t enough to beat his fellow “Avengers” Thor (Ragnarok had 136 million views), but he was closing in on Cap’s Civil War with 94 million views in the same time span.
The momentum behind the movie has been multifarious. Some dedicated movie fans are all in for anything Marvel. Others are true comic book nerds who have been waiting decades for the fictionalized T’Challa to leap from the comic book pages onto the big screen. But perhaps one of the biggest reasons behind anticipation for this movie is its triumphant toppling of Hollywood stereotypes and real world racist views.
As the first Black superhero feature film, “Black Panther” has a predominantly Black cast with A-list actors like Chadwick Boseman, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker and Lupita Nyong’o in lead roles. One of the writers of the iconic movie says, “Black Panther is a historic opportunity to be a part of something important and special, particularly at a time when African Americans are affirming their identities while dealing with vilification and dehumanization.”
The timing of this movie couldn’t be better. With the racial hostility manifesting itself through police shootings and brutality, continued disproportionate divides in employment, justice, incarceration and opportunity, Marvel’s “Black Panther” is poised to provide some much needed positivism on Black culture. But whenever there’s a positive, expect a negative to rear its head.
A few weeks ago, actor Michael B. Jordan was the target of a hate campaign attempt when people began tweeting that he is dating a woman who isn’t Black. All the bad blood was hitched to a fake story that Jordan said he didn’t date Black women(the actor actually said the worst rumor he ever heard about himself was that he didn’t date Black women). Rumor or no, some jumped on the boycott wagon…
And then there are those who are hating on the movie because…well, you know…”Black Panther”.
I agree. White people should boycott Black Panther. No white people should spend their money to see it. Will surely b a box office hit then.
— Pinochet was right! (@ExemptMeNow) June 10, 2017
— Morning News USA (@MorningNewsUSA) May 17, 2016
>When I first saw Black Panther in Civil War:”I’m interested”
>When the Black Panther movie is gonna b BLM&anti white crap:”lost interest”
— maria ☩🇵🇹 (@mcarolinalbaII) June 11, 2017
The smear campaign against Jordan sounds a lot like trolls trying to kill the momentum of this movie. This movie isn’t about the dating preferences of Jordan or any of the actors so let’s hope people won’t be gas-lighted into falling for that smear campaign. Personally, I refuse to let social media, social commentary, trends, critics and certainly not a few hateful, over inflated and self-entitled racists goad me into not seeing the movie.
“Black Panther” lands in theaters nationwide February 16th. Here’s the latest and final trailer drop from the MCU for “Black Panther”…