Black Panther Claws Records…and Expectations

It’s safe to say at this point that Disney’s 200 million gamble on Marvel Comics “Black Panther” has more than paid off as the film continues to gouge records both at the box office and in reviews. In a down year for box office gross The Panther is a beacon of hope that Netflix and Amazon haven’t completely taken over yet. So far this year the film has grossed over 610 million domestically and 330 abroad as the film pushes the 1 Billion dollar mark.

In regards to straight box office sales the numbers are staggering. Among numbers were:

  • Biggest Monday Box Office of all time
  • 2nd Biggest Opening Weekend behind Star Wars Force Awakens
  • Top film overseas grossing 185 million before it even aired in Japan, China, or Russia

And the numbers were only second to the reviews:

  • 5 out of 5 stars highest critics score ever for a super hero film
  • 97% recommended rotten tomatoes
  • 4/4 from Roger Ebert
  • 88% approval from Metacritic

I finally saw the film this week, feeling like I was the last of my friends and family to do so. I didn’t see it in an IMAX theatre but a high quality theatre with great sound. I’ll tell ya, despite what I read and was told I was expecting a ton of CGC and not a whole lot of script behind it. I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t predictable and kept my interest throughout it’s longer than average duration. Yes there were a ton of computer generated graphics but the film didn’t go out of its way to shove them down your throat or override the story. Obviously the elephant in the room was the nearly entirely African-American cast, which you really can’t use because there were almost even amounts of British actors as well, but it was not your typical cast but that was one of the most intriguing aspects of it. The writing, the plot, the finally, where not what you would expect, and at the end I was thinking “that was a good film” not that was a good super hero, fantasy, or alternative cast film. The characters were engaging and likeable with a nice mix of humor that kept you riveted throughout. Yes, it had the action but was a bonus and don’t be surprised if the longevity of Black Panther’s audience far exceeds even the optimist expectations, it’s surprised all of us before.

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