More than just a movie: the cultural impact of Black Panther

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Marvel Studios’ Black Panther has been smashing records worldwide since it opened on Feb. 15.

It grossed $242 million at US box offices during its opening weekend.

It hit $400 million in sales in just 10 days, putting it just under Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Jurassic World.

It also beat out Deadpool for the biggest February opening of all time. Black Panther was projected to only make $100 million in its opening weekend.

It’s not losing any momentum either. It earned $108 million at US box offices on its second weekend, giving it the highest second weekend of all Marvel comic book films.

It also had the biggest Monday take of any movie ever.

On top of these numbers, it is surpassing the second installment in the new Star Wars trilogy, The Last Jedi, as well as being the most successful film directed by a black person of all time.

People who aren’t even comic book fans are going to see this movie, and people are going to see it more than once.

It’s not just getting lots of money either.

It’s getting incredible reviews from critics all across the board, scoring a whopping 97 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the best-performing comic book film of all time.

This sounds like it should be surprising, but it isn’t.

Black Panther is the first comic book film led by a person of colour since the Blade films.

Besides Andy Serkis and Martin Freeman, the entire cast of the film is made up of people of colour.

This is something that we almost never see in our modern, white Hollywood.

People from all over the world are flocking to see this film because it’s so refreshing.

For black people to see themselves represented positively on screen after many years of barely seeing themselves at all is something very special.

I did not realize just how much white culture is shoved down our throats by Hollywood until I saw this film.

Much of Black Panther’s aesthetic and story pulls from African culture and history.

Twitter user @diasporicblues tweeted an entire thread about what the costume designers of the film took from African culture for the film.

Some examples from her thread include Mursi and Surma lip plates, Basotho blankets and agbada robes.

More examples can be found on her twitter account.

A futuristic aesthetic that isn’t made up entirely of blank spaces, small shapes and pastel colours is so different from what we’ve seen in film. Wakanda is so full of colours, big shapes and brightness, that it is an entirely unique take on what the future might look like.

Black Panther is like a palette cleanse for what we are used to in media.

Entirely unique in the way that people of colour are represented in the story, it opens the door for more stories like this to do well in the world.

The film is not just a special event for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but a milestone in all of film history.

People who see this film are positively affected by the aesthetic, story and characters.

People of all races, sexualities, ages and interests are seeing it and enjoying it.

It’s a beautiful film in every aspect and incredibly enjoyable for anyone who goes to see it.

It’s important to look at the cultural effect that the film has had and will have, but it’s also wonderful to just look at the film itself. The special effects, costumes and characters are all highlights, as well as the humour and the cinematography.

It is emotional and exciting. Black Panther is not just a film; it is an experience.

To see oneself represented in media positively is a privilege that many white people take for granted, we are everywhere in media.

For black people to see themselves represented positively on screen after many years of barely seeing themselves at all is something very special.

It’s unfortunate that it took this long for us to see a movie like this. It took 10 years for Marvel’s Cinematic Universe to have a lead of colour.

The film is worth the wait, but we shouldnt have had to wait so long for it.

I can’t wait for the Marvel Cinematic Universe — and Hollywood in general — to tell more beautiful stories about people that aren’t white.

 

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