Black Panther is poised to blow the lid off the President’s Day holiday record, which is currently owned by Deadpool. Got your attention now? Good. Variety reports that Marvel’s latest origin film is expected to crest $150 million during its opening weekend — possibly challenging Deadpool‘s $152 million record from 2016. This shouldn’t shock anybody.
Consider what Black Panther has going for it: a stellar cast, director, and writer — most of whom are black, which could expand the film’s audience; it’s Marvel’s first MCU film with an African-American lead, and it’s debuting during Black History Month; plus, there’s the additional backdrop of racism, hatred, and bigotry, which informs its character’s origins and the overall narrative. Black Panther is a movie with a voice and a message — both are resonating with critics and audiences alike.
The old adage, “timing is everything,” could not be more apt in this case.
Black Panther is also currently Fandango’s best-selling superhero film of all-time, according to Boxofficepro. To put this into perspective, it’s charting higher than any of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers, or Captain America movies — all of these films made ginormous splashes at the box office too. Look at it this way, if Wonder Woman finished up north of $820 million worldwide less than a year ago, how high can Black Panther go?
Unconvinced? Fine. Than consider these early responses from just a handful of critics and journalists, who’ve been posting incredible summaries on Twitter (via Rotten Tomatoes):
It is 10:01pm PST and I am here to say that BLACK PANTHER is an excellent film with the most realistic Marvel villain.
— Kendra James (@KendraJames_) January 30, 2018
Did I mention @theblackpanther had me in tears? That it is incredibly beautiful, relevant and powerful? That it is what we need RIGHT NOW? That it is one of the most nuanced Marvel films ever made? #BlackPanther #BlackPantherSolit pic.twitter.com/fgKUUungB5
— DaVette See (@mariavah) January 30, 2018
BLACK PANTHER is incredible, kinetic, purposeful. A superhero movie about why representation & identity matters, and how tragic it is when those things are denied to people. The 1st MCU movie about something real; Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger had me weeping and he’s the VILLAIN
— jen yamato (@jenyamato) January 30, 2018
#BlackPanther is riveting on many levels: visually astonishing, but more importantly, so unpredictable. Incredible to watch a major blockbuster celebrate blackness while exploring its relationship to various facets of pop culture. “Stop scaring me,” colonizer!” #wakanda4ever
— erickohn (@erickohn) January 30, 2018
Chadwick Boseman brings an entirely new dimension to T’Challa and grounds the entire story with necessary weight, but it’s the new characters who shine. Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o and scene stealer Letitia Wright are so so good and their fight scenes are AMAZING.
— Terri Schwartz (@Terri_Schwartz) January 30, 2018
This is just a sampling of social media impresssions. Sure, we’re used to seeing such praise heaped on new films — sometimes by the studios themselves via “plants” and other “unofficial” supporters, but this feels different. Black Panther is tapping into something — the film is very pro-women, anti-racism, and raises big questions about global politics, natural resources, and corporate greed. These aren’t the typical themes found in superhero movies, and it represents a move by Marvel to be more topical and take risks… granted, they’re calculated risks, but Disney and Marvel aren’t exactly known for rocking the boat. Superhero films are cash machines for the major studios, but Justice League illustrated how precarious it is rely solely upon formula and spectacle. Future superhero films need to be bold, and Black Panther is being precisely that, and it’s not afraid to show it.
Do you think that Black Panther will break Deadpool‘s holiday opening weekend record? Let us know in the comments down below!