Amid the unprecedented success of Avengers: Infinity War, it is easy to forget that Black Panther is still running in theatres. Even Infinity War’s release has not affected it. The film has been a huge success for Disney and Marvel, becoming the third highest grossing film in the history, domestically. Beyond the numbers, Black Panther was a positive development anyway. It had a mostly black cast, portrayed African cultures with dignity and promoted progressive values. It may also signal a change in the representation of African-American actors in Hollywood.
Chadwick Boseman, the actor who played the titular character in the film, said while speaking to actor Jamie Foxx on his new show Off Script that he feels a sense of fulfillment after Black Panther’s success. “Usually I don’t care what the numbers are. I’ve had studios tell me, “Whoa, we can’t put your picture on the international poster because that doesn’t work overseas. That still exists. So to see international numbers along with the domestic numbers and they’re like almost the same… that made me go, ‘Aha!'”
Black Panther follows the story of T’Challa (Black Panther) after he returns to Wakanda in the wake of his father’s death and the Civil War. He is enthroned king of the fictional African nation that poses as a typical sub-Saharan country but is actually the most advanced on the planet thanks to Vibranium technology. While in Wakanda, T’Challa faces threats to his throne in the form of Michael B Jordan’s Killmonger and Andy Serkis’ Ulysses Klaue.
Black Panther received highly positive reviews all around the world. It holds an impressive 96% rating at review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus reads, “Black Panther elevates superhero cinema to thrilling new heights while telling one of the MCU’s most absorbing stories — and introducing some of its most fully realized characters.”