With $426 million at the world box office, and with a world-wide tally at approximately $600 million, Ryan Coogler’s ‘Black Panther’, has successfully smashed expectations, and is well on its way to becoming the most successful MCU movie to date, and in doing soon cruising up the board as one of the most successful movie in recent years. A race appropriate cast, with next to none examples of any white washing, Coogler’s hit movie has given black movie fans something that they had been previously starved of, a black super hero that looks like, thinks like them, and a major hero that millions of children can relate too. Come this Sunday, Coogler’s acclaimed hit will have amassed $330 – 350 million in domestic theatres. Lets’ take a look into why ‘Black Panther’ has revolutionised the MCU.
Coogler set out to do something with the modern black super hero that all previous iterations have failed short of doing, making respectful, imaginative and powerful characters. The Afropunk and Afrofuturistic aesthetics, unapologetic black swagger, the miniscule appearance from non-black actors are everything that the huge black audience has been looking for. In a vast majority of movies being released, black characters are used to strengthen the plots for white characters, or used solely to introduce other white characters. But Coogler flips those tables. With Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis, the only relevant white characters, there sole purpose in the movie is to help strengthen the narratives of the main cast.
Obviously, with anything that speaks out, and challenges the norm, there will always be a back lash, and people have taken to voice their concerns about the movie. Regardless, the ‘Black Panther’ is an incredible social commentary about race, colonialism and justice, and everyone involved should feel extremely proud that they have made a movie about what it is to be African. T’challa isn’t being played for laughs. He’s not a side kick or born out of dire circumstances, he is an African King. A proud, strong character, and a good man.
With a movie such as this, the public’s reactions have been incredible. People have turned up to cinemas across America in traditional African clothing, and when watching the movie, it is clear to see that the black audience thoroughly enjoyed having an super hero, and a main cast that they can relate to, rather than a group of rich white heroes saving the day.
Ryan Coogler, Chadwick Boseman and everyone involved should take great solace in the fact that thousands of kids will be able to look at what they have done with ‘The Black Panther’, and know that they have created a role model for them. In a time when positive role models are hugely influential to impressionable young people, the team behind the movie should be pleased that they have created such powerful and positive ones.
Chadwick Boseman sadly passed away in 2020. He will live long in the memory of Marvel fans and many around the world. #WakandaForever