Black Panther Opening Shatters Records: Exciting Implications
The Hollywood Reporter announced this morning that Disney and Marvel Studios’ new superhero movie, Black Panther, exceeded expectations and brought in north of $200 million for the three day weekend. The movie was on track to eclipse $235 million by day’s end.
This is an historic cinematic event for many reasons—and it has deep implications for American culture. Per The Reporter, “The Ryan Coogler-directed movie — unprecedented in being a big-budget studio tentpole featuring a virtually all-black cast — secured the fifth-biggest domestic opening of all time after blasting past all expectations.”
Why is this movie’s success such a big deal?
Here’s a round-up of intelligent quotes to put this moment in context:
Michelle Obama: “Because of [the producers and creative of Black Panther], young people will finally see superheroes that look like them on the big screen… I loved this movie and I know it will inspire people of all backgrounds to dig deep and find the courage to be heroes of their own stories.”
Vox: “There’s been an immense interest in how well [Black Panther] will ultimately perform at the box office. The idea is that box office success for a movie centered on a nonwhite superhero and cast could inspire Marvel to produce and create more movies like Black Panther in the future (the studio’s previous 17 films have all featured white men as the superhero leads).”
Van Jones: “This film is a godsend that will lift the self-esteem of black children in the US and around the world for a long time. It shifts the understanding of where the power of African-descended people can come from. It underscores the fact that such power, in the new century, will come from access to technology more than any other source, and will inspire young people of color to pursue technology as a possible career path.”
Deeper Lessons We Can Learn from Black Panther’s Success
Obviously, this film has rich national symbolic significance. But the lessons its triumph teaches are universal.
For instance, if you’re struggling with a workplace injury, disability or other uncomfortable burden in your life, Black Panther’s ability to beat the odds can give you hope for the future:
- Victory can take a while—whether you want to change society, or just restore your personal health. As Vox pointed out above, it took Marvel 18 movies for the studio to create a story with a non white male superhero lead. It’s worth remembering Margaret Thatcher’s famous admonition that “sometimes you have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”
- Persistence pays off. Again, whether you’re fighting to achieve a cultural moment or just to reclaim your dignity and ability to move without pain, success requires diligence and resilience.
- Purpose fuels greatness. When you read quotes about the making of this film, it’s clear that the cast and crew felt empowered by a mission greater than themselves. That enthusiasm spilled into their creative efforts. Likewise, when you’re on a mission to rebuild your life after an illness or accident—to support your family, live your dreams and do the work that you’ve been called to do, it’s often possible to tap an inner strength that brings out your latent greatness.