I made three predictions before the theatrical release of Disney and Marvel's "BLACK PANTHER" comic book movie. One was that financially the film was going to be one of the biggest comic book movies ever. Two, that it was going to gross over 500 million (on this one I was actually happily wrong. It just surpassed one billion). Three, that it was going to do big box-office in China. This past weekend BP opened in China and garnered approximately 67 million. I saw a rumbling on the Internet by trolls that Chinese audiences didn't like the blackness of BP. But 67 million dollars doesn't lie and there really is no way to refute it. CHINESE AUDIENCES DUG BLACK PANTHER. Period. "Can you dig it?"
Hollywood has long held the belief that China doesn't like Black films, riding off any exceptions with excuses like: 'But, it was Denzel Washington.' I have never held with this belief. I could understand why a movie like "STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON" could never play in China. It is anti-establishment, anti-government with songs like "FUCK THE POLICE." China, a communist totalitarian regime, would never allow a movie like that to play there. But why not "SELMA," "HIDDEN FIGURES," or "GET OUT?" My belief is the Chinese people, like most other people, are open to all types of films. However, the Chinese government is not. That ideology trickles down to its film industry. Hence: the false 'China doesn't like Black films' narrative. Oddly enough, Chinese companies are partnering up with African companies and investing 60 billion into the development of Africa's infrastructure (which, considering the African continent's natural resources - sans vibranium - is understandable).
Some people will argue that the film's success relied on the fact it was a Marvel comic book. I disagree. For one, I collected Black Panther comic books when I was a kid (okay, I just dated myself). It was never a big seller like SPIDERMAN. I also degree because if someone doesn't like Black films they CAN NOT like BP. It would be like a member of the KKK going to watch BP and saying he loved it. BP is Black inside and out. And it celebrates this Blackness and an African heritage that doesn't just say ONCE WE WERE KINGS. But that we still are.
Suffice it to say, BP will go on to continue to smash box-office records and, with its rich and diverse universe, will be a massive franchise that will see sequels, spin-offs, TV shows, video games, and more (I can actually envision Disney building a WAKANDA theme park in Africa and other parts of the world, teehee). BP has surpassed being just a movie. Because of its social relevance in giving a voice to a people who have not really had a voice in movie entertainment, BP has become a Cultural phenomena.
"WAKANDA FOREVER! DIVERSITY FOREVER!"