The Disney-Marvel movie “Black Panther,” which finds the superheroic T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returning to his remote African kingdom to assume the throne, roared into theaters over the weekend as a full-blown cultural event, breaking box office records and shattering a myth about the overseas viability of movies rooted in black culture. Global ticket sales by Monday will total an estimated $387 million, according to comScore.
“Black Panther” instantly became the top-grossing film in history by a black director (Ryan Coogler) and featuring a largely black cast. The previous record-holder was “Straight Outta Compton,” which collected $214 million worldwide in 2015 — over its entire run — after adjusting for inflation.
North American audiences appeared to love “Black Panther” as much as critics, signaling a strong run ahead. The euphorically reviewed film received a rare A-plus grade from ticket buyers in CinemaScore exit polls. Black viewers made up about 37 percent of the domestic turnout, according to PostTrak, fueled by large numbers of church and school groups, not to mention pent-up demand for a superhero film led by black actors.
In Nigeria, especially the cities of Lagos and Ibadan the audiences turned up in great numbers showcasing different tradition wears from the African tradition to commemorate the premier of the record breaking movie. The casting of one of Nigerian leading actor Funke Akindele was also a drawing point as many views watch expectantly for the featuring of a Nigerian actor in such a global scale.
“The concept of an African story, with actors of African descent at the forefront, combined with the scale of modern franchise filmmaking, is something that hasn’t really been seen before,” Mr. Coogler, the director, told The Hollywood Reporter. “You feel like you’re getting the opportunity of seeing something fresh, being a part of something new, which I think all audiences want to experience regardless of whether they are of African descent or not.”