|Who is it?||Actress|
|Directed by||Ryan Coogler|
|Produced by||Kevin Feige|
|Written by||Ryan Coogler Joe Robert Cole|
|Based on||Black Panther by Stan Lee Jack Kirby|
|Starring||Chadwick Boseman Michael B. Jordan Lupita Nyong'o Danai Gurira Martin Freeman Daniel Kaluuya Letitia Wright Winston Duke Angela Bassett Forest Whitaker Andy Serkis|
|Music by||Ludwig Göransson|
|Edited by||Michael P. Shawver Claudia Castello|
|Production company||Marvel Studios|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
|Release date||January 29, 2018 (2018-01-29) (Dolby Theatre) February 16, 2018 (2018-02-16) (United States)|
|Running time||134 minutes|
|Box office||$1.313 billion|
It was a process of trying to figure out, are these people I want to go to bed with? Because it's really a marriage, and for this it would be three years. It'd be three years of not doing other things that are important to me. So it was a question of, is this important enough for me to do? At one point, the answer was yes because I thought there was value in putting that kind of imagery into the culture in a worldwide, huge way ... a black man as a hero—that would be pretty revolutionary. These Marvel films go everywhere from Shanghai to Uganda, and nothing that I probably will make will reach that many people, so I found value in that ... [but] it's important to me that [my work] be true to who I was in this moment. And if there's too much compromise, it really wasn't going to be an Ava DuVernay film.
The third weekend at the box office saw the film remain the top grossing film, earning $65.7 million and having its total gross surpass $500 million becoming the second-highest-grossing MCU film; the $65.7 million was the third-best third weekend ever, behind The Force Awakens ($90.2 million) and Avatar ($68.5 million). Black Panther remained the top film for the fourth straight weekend with an additional $41.1 million, which was the third-highest fourth weekend of all time, again behind The Force Awakens and Avatar. Black Panther remained number one in its fifth weekend, having the fourth-highest fifth weekend ever with $27 million. It became the first film to hold the number one spot at the box office for at least five weekends since Avatar, which led for seven weeks, and the first February release to hold the top box office spot for five weekends since The Silence of the Lambs in 1991 and Wayne's World in 1992. By surpassing $600 million, it became the seventh film ever to break that point, and the second fastest film to do so in 31 days, after The Force Awakens (12 days). The film's sixth weekend saw it fall to number two at the box office, behind Pacific Rim: Uprising, while also becoming the highest-grossing superhero film ever. The next weekend it fell to third, behind Ready Player One and Acrimony, and to fourth in its eighth weekend. The film is the third-highest-grossing film of all time.
In June 1992, Wesley Snipes announced his intention to make a film about Black Panther. Snipes wanted to highlight the majesty of Africa, which he felt was poorly portrayed in Hollywood films, saying, "I think Black Panther spoke to me because he was noble, and he was the antithesis of the stereotypes presented and portrayed about Africans, African history and the great kingdoms of Africa." He had begun work on the film by that August. The next July, Snipes planned to begin The Black Panther after starring in Demolition Man, and the next month he expressed interest in making sequels to the film as well. In January 1994, Snipes entered talks with Columbia Pictures to portray Black Panther, and Black Panther co-creator Stan Lee joined the film by March; it had entered early development by May. Snipes had discussions with several different screenwriters and Directors about the project, including Mario Van Peebles and John Singleton. When the film had not progressed by January 1996, Lee explained that he had not been pleased with the scripts for the project. Snipes said that there was confusion among those unfamiliar with the comics, who thought that the film was about the Black Panther Party.
In July 1997, Black Panther was listed as part of Marvel Comics' film slate, and in March 1998, Marvel reportedly hired Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti, who at the time were editors of the Black Panther comics under the Marvel Knights brand, to work on it. However, Quesada and Palmiotti have denied that this happened. That August, corporate problems at Marvel put the project on hold, while the next August, Snipes was set to produce, and possibly star, in the film. In May 2000, Artisan Entertainment announced a deal with Marvel to co-produce, Finance, and distribute a film based on Black Panther. In March 2002, Snipes said he planned to film Blade 3 or Black Panther in 2003, and reiterated his interest five months later. In July 2004, Blade 3 Director David S. Goyer said this was unlikely, as Snipes was "already so entrenched as Blade that another Marvel hero might be overkill".
In September 2005, Marvel chairman and CEO Avi Arad announced Black Panther as one of the ten Marvel films that would be developed by Marvel Studios and distributed by Paramount Pictures. In June 2006, Snipes said he hoped to have a Director for the project soon. In February 2007, Kevin Feige, President of production for Marvel Studios, reiterated that Black Panther was on Marvel's development slate. By July, John Singleton had been approached to direct the film. In March 2009, Marvel hired Writers to help come up with creative ways to launch its lesser-known properties, including Black Panther, with Nate Moore, the head of the Writers program, helping to oversee the development of the Black Panther film specifically. In January 2011, Marvel Studios hired documentary filmmaker Mark Bailey to write a script for Black Panther, to be produced by Feige. In October 2013, Feige said "I don't know when it will be exactly, but we certainly have plans to bring [Black Panther] to life some day", noting that the Marvel Cinematic Universe had already introduced the metal vibranium, which comes from Black Panther's home nation Wakanda. There had been discussions of introducing Wakanda to the MCU as early as 2010's Iron Man 2, but this was put off until Marvel had "a full idea of what exactly that looked like".
A number of Writers looked to the film's subtext and what it said about African history, colonialism (including post-colonialism and neocolonialism), and tensions between African and African-American cultures. Patrick Gathara, writing in The Washington Post, described the film as offering a "regressive, neocolonial vision of Africa", which – rather than a "redemptive counter-mythology" – offers "the same destructive myths". Gathara highlighted the Africa that is portrayed as being divided and tribalized, with Wakanda run by a wealthy and feuding elite, centered upon "royalty and warriors", whose fortune comes not from its citizens' endeavors, skill or innate abilities, but from a "lucky meteor strike", and as a country which, despite its advanced technical abilities, does not evince any great thinkers, nor even a means of succession beyond lethal combat and primeval trials of strength. Gathara continued that the very idea of "Africa" is essentially of European creation, and concluded that "Despite their centuries of vibranium-induced technological advancement, the Wakandans remain so remarkably unsophisticated that a 'returning' American can basically stroll in and take over, just as 19th-century Europeans did to the real Africa ... [The film] should not be mistaken for an attempt at liberating Africa from Europe. Quite the opposite. Its 'redemptive counter-mythology' entrenches the tropes that have been used to dehumanize Africans for centuries. The Wakandans, for all their technological progress, still cleanly fit into the Western molds, a dark people in a dark continent".
Writing for Time, Jamil Smith felt Black Panther, which he described as a film "about what it means to be black in both America and Africa—and, more broadly, in the world", was "poised to prove to Hollywood that African-American narratives have the power to generate profits from all audiences. And, more important, that making movies about black lives is part of showing that they matter." He added, "In the midst of a regressive cultural and political moment fueled in part by the white-nativist movement, the very existence of Black Panther feels like resistance. Its themes challenge institutional bias, its characters take unsubtle digs at oppressors, and its narrative includes prismatic perspectives on black life and tradition." Discussing why the film was a defining moment for black America in The New York Times Magazine, Carvell Wallace said that in contrast to earlier black superhero films, Black Panther "is steeped very specifically and purposefully in its blackness". He continued, "Black Panther is a Hollywood movie, and Wakanda is a fictional nation. But coming when they do, from a Director like Coogler, they must also function as a place for multiple generations of black Americans to store some of our most deeply held aspirations. We have for centuries sought to either find or create a promised land where we would be untroubled by the Criminal horrors of our American existence." Wallace also commented on how the film fits into the larger idea of Afrofuturism, particularly in its presentation of Wakanda. Historian Nathan D. B. Connolly felt Black Panther was "a breakthrough in black cultural representation. It's a powerful fictional analogy for real-life struggles. And Black Panther owes its very existence to centuries of political and artistic activity, always occurring in real places and under the mortal (but still super-) powers of real people... Black Panther taps a 500-year history of African-descended people imagining freedom, land and national autonomy." Connolly also felt, culturally, the film would be this generation's A Raisin in the Sun.
By May 2015, Marvel had discussions with Ava DuVernay to direct this film or Captain Marvel. In June, Feige confirmed that he had met with DuVernay alongside a number of other Directors, and said that he expected a decision to be made by mid- to late 2015. By early July, DuVernay had passed on directing the film, explaining that "Marvel has a certain way of doing things and I think they're fantastic and a lot of people love what they do. I loved that they reached out to me... [but] we had different ideas about what the story would be ... we just didn't see eye to eye. Better for me to realize that now than cite creative differences later." Later in the month, DuVernay expanded,
At San Diego Comic-Con International 2016, Nyong'o was confirmed for the film, in the role of Nakia, while Jordan's role was revealed to be Erik Killmonger. Also announced was Danai Gurira as Okoye. Coogler confirmed that filming would begin in January 2017. In September 2016, Winston Duke was cast as M'Baku, a role that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II had also tested for. The following month, Forest Whitaker was cast as Zuri and Daniel Kaluuya as W'Kabi, with Florence Kasumba revealed to be reprising her role as Ayo from Captain America: Civil War. Letitia Wright was also cast in an unspecified role. Angela Bassett was cast as T'Challa's mother, Ramonda, in November, and by January 2017, Sterling K. Brown was cast as N'Jobu. At that time, Marvel received permission from the Oakland, California-based public transit agency AC Transit to use their logo in the film for the opening flashback sequence. The setting was chosen due to Coogler's Oakland roots. Amandla Stenberg was also considered for a role in the film, before she ultimately declined to appear. Stenberg, who is bi-racial and light skinned, called the decision "really challenging" as she did not feel comfortable taking a role in the film from a dark-skinned actor saying, "it would have just been off to see me as a bi-racial American with a Nigerian accent [playing a dark-skinned African] just pretending that I'm the same color as everyone else in the movie."
AMC Theatres also reported that Black Panther became the highest-grossing film in history at 33 of their locations after two days, earning more than other films have earned in an entire weekend. They later stated that the film became the highest-grossing film in an opening weekend for 150 of their theaters, with 15 locations more than doubling their previous record and two tripling their previous record. Black Panther also had the second-largest Saturday and largest Sunday in AMC history, and had the second-largest opening weekend for the chain with 4.4 million admissions. Atom Tickets sold more tickets for Black Panther than any other superhero film. Fandago's pre-sales accounted for 30% of the opening weekend gross, one of the largest box office shares for any film in Fandago's history. The opening weekend gross surpassed early projections for the film. Early projections in December 2017 had it earning between $80–90 million, which increased to $100–120 million by the end of January 2018, and ultimately increasing again closer to the film's release, projecting it to earn $150–170 million or more. Several other film studios projected the total could be as high as $180–200 million, while Disney initially projected the film to gross around $150 million in its opening weekend.
With the release of Black Panther, Feige said "there are many, many stories to tell" about the character, and that he wanted Coogler to return for any potential sequel. Coogler added that he wanted to see how T'Challa would grow as a king in Future films, since his reign only began recently in the MCU, while in the comics, he has been king since childhood. In March 2018, Feige added there was "nothing specific to reveal" in terms of a sequel, but that there "absolutely" were "ideas and a pretty solid direction on where we want to head with the second one".