Black Panther: The King of the Box Office

Nick Davidson, Staff Writer

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   In a society where the archaic mindset of racial prejudice is still an unfortunate reality in many areas, Black Panther assumes a refreshing role in the blockbuster movie genre.  This Superhero story places high emphasis on morality and thought provoking societal issues, rather than maintaining the Marvel trend of tongue and cheek superhero movies fueled by astronomically expensive computer generated pre-established characters, with little meaningful plot.  

   The casting itself was thoughtful and authentic, recruiting several popular African American actors including Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Forest Whitaker and many more.  Director Ryan Coogler, who is African American himself, became the youngest Marvel filmmaker to date, establishing himself as the next up-and-coming director in Hollywood. His initial entry into the Marvel Universe grossed $218 million in its opening weekend, the largest sum for any black director ever.

   At this time, Black Panther has grossed over $1.3 billion dollars worldwide, already establishing itself as one of Marvel’s most successful movies of all time.  

   These impressive earnings weren’t undeserved either, according to the critics. Rotten Tomatoes, the most popular hub for movie reviews, summed up multiple critical reviews, and determined the movie received an average of a 97% out of 100%, a score of the highest regard.

   Christopher Orr, a top critic form The Atlantic, stated, “Whether or not this is the best film Marvel Studios has made to date-and it is clearly in the discussion-it is by far the most thought-provoking.”  This was one of the key sticking points in the movie film, as it placed a unique twist on the repetitive superhero genre, which has been stagnant for years.

   Black Panther is the highest grossing solo superhero movie of all time.

   Not surprisingly viewer reviews were also solid on Rotten Tomatoes, with the overall score being 79%. Rotten Tomatoes user Michael T provided general reasoning on why the movie was only a ⅘, saying “The pace was a bit slow and the soundtrack was awful, but other than that, Black Panther was a great movie.”

   Some, however, felt the movie was incredibly overrated and underwhelming, including senior Totee Setthachuea, who said, “The movie was garbage. The villain was the only highlight. The main character was poorly developed and gave no reason to like him whatsoever.”

   Reviews like Setthachuea’s were amongst the uncommon opinions, but still present valid arguments. It certainly was not the best movie in terms of actual plot, considering that it followed the bread and butter hero versus villain formula which has been overdone to the extreme, but what set it apart was its ability to utilize the entertainment platform to bring attention to major societal issues that otherwise may not receive as much serious consideration.

   The prominent Black Lives Matter movement has been sweeping across the country, and rightly so. All people deserve equality, no matter the ethnicity or skin color, and Black Panther highlights the repression of African Americans who struggle everyday with racial prejudice. This is uncanny for a triple A blockbuster, thus making Black Panther a unique, yet welcome addition to the cinematic genre.

   If you’re a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther will surely be a film to see, but even for those not inclined to watch a Marvel film, Black Panther offers a unique take on the current political events affecting the United States.

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