Black Panther is the highest grossing superhero movie domestically!
That is admittedly a fairly narrow criterion to be excited about, but I am excited! So far, Black Panther spent 5 weeks at the #1 spot! And it is the 5th biggest domestic release, with more weeks to go to move up that rank list. I’m hopeful it will keep accruing impressive stats and making history. Sure, the total profits are more exciting to the executives and studios, but those numbers have also been really high! There isn’t really a metric by which this movie isn’t doing well, and that is almost as great as the movie was itself.
All those wonderful statistics aside, this narrow number of how much money it has made here, in the US, is the most important number in my opinion. Why? Because it means that a lot of Americans paid a lot of money to go see a movie about a black foreigner with a lot of black women for back up. This hugely international movie that is absolutely saturated with people of color, women, and social commentary made so much money! That is inherently exciting, but it also made a lot of money in America, where conventional wisdom says everything about this movie was doomed. From its largely brown and female cast to its progressive story, even its genre has stigma according to movie execs.
In spite of that “wisdom”, Black Panther made a big splash, and even more money. That’s amazing on so many levels! Maybe it isn’t a herald of a changing society or a proven sign that Americans are rapidly progressing in terms of racial and gender discrimination, but it at least means there is a better chance that in the future, there might be an uptick in the representation of people with dark skin and ovaries and men who aren’t toxically masculine. A little hope goes a long way, and a little representation helps that hope go further.
So, if you haven’t seen Black Panther yet, go see it. Go buy some tickets and go see this movie. Yes, it really is that good. Plus, the sooner you go see it, the better the box office totals are, so please go support the movie and all the people who are counting on this singular moment of representation to inspire a media shift. It isn’t often that you can do a good thing and have quite this much fun.