I’m really getting sick of all these animal metaphors being used to describe how well this movie will perform. “Stalking”, “pouncing”, “skinning alive”, etc, etc, etc. We get it!

According to Deadline and Variety, Black Panther did some really impressive business in ringing up $25.3M in Thursday evening “preview” showings. These used to be called “midnight” shows because you were essentially seeing the movie at 12:01AM Friday. The first midnight show I remember going to was for the first show of The Phantom Menace back in 1999.

But now the showtimes for these previews are pushed back earlier and earlier in the day to the point where they are starting at 7PM in my small college town, so comparisons to previews from earlier movies is really not fair.

What we can say is that Black Panther’s Thursday previews are better than the previews for any Marvel movie besides Avengers : Age Of Ultron. It also pretty much doubled the last Presidents’ Day record-breaker Deadpool, which did around $12M in previews.

Of course, neither of those films was heralded by the media and “influencers” as essentially a turning point in African-American culture. Nor did they get close to the curiously high Rotten Tomatoes Critics Score of 97% with an 8.3/10 Average Score.

Just for reference, The Dark Knight, widely viewed as the greatest superhero movie of all-time, is current sitting at 94% with an 8.6/10 on RT.

The effect of the non-stop hyperbolic press coverage combined with the extremely good reception from critics has basically doubled the projected box office for Black Panther in less than two months.

For comparison, Wonder Woman, another superhero movie with a cause, jumped from around a $65M projection to a $90M projection in the same timeframe.

So regardless of the quality of the movie or of the ability of a comic book movie to affect culture, one has to look at Black Panther as a very unique marketing phenomenon.

Is a good movie? We’ll give you an honest opinion over the next couple of days.

Is BLACK PANTHER also a Displacer Beast?

 

Low Dog was a great Lakota Sioux war chief who once slew 13 soldiers in hand-to-hand combat in a single battle. In the tradition of the Apache helicopter and the Washington Redskins, his spirit has returned to terrify his enemies. May he be so fortunate to slay as many shills in this lifetime as he slew soldiers in that one afternoon.

106 COMMENTS

  1. I saw it.

    I can report it is a thoroughly mediocre comic book movie with more than the usual confusing/dubious political messages.

  2. The positives…..

    Decent villain
    Andy serkis
    Some good set pieces
    Andy serkis

    The negatives…..

    Dodgy CGI at points
    Gets a bit to preachy
    Heavy handed with the ‘i want to be james bond’ aproach

    All in all it entertained me and didnt have me checking my watch half way through (looking at you, the last jedi)

  3. Disney is incredible. They serve up a movie full of African Stereotypes, and manage to get African-Americans to laud this as a fucking groundbreaking movie. Some were exclaiming that Wakanda is the potential of Africa, if it was not colonized….

    I sure wish that people would understand that this is another level of tropes found in Barber Shop. You want to know about Africa? Read. Study.

    Don’t get your history from Hollywood, lest you start to believe that the last samurai was a white American.

    • And if I were African American, I really think I’d be more excited about a hero that’s, you know, African American, that maybe reflected some of my real-life experiences…

      • Oddly enough, they have that character – and it’s the villain!

        I thought they did a good job of presenting Killmonger’s motivations. I didn’t agree with his methods or his ultimate goal, but he did make some good points along the way.

        • Right. And I guess that’s why I find the movie so confusing/frustrating. It seems like if there’s a character that African Americans would identify with and root for(?), it’s the villain.

          • From some points of view, it’s a villain with a good point and an understandable motive. He’s just channeled it all into irrational hate.

  4. These figures just further embolden The Rat to use racially charged narratives in the media to sell their products. I dread to think what’s coming next.

  5. Saw it last night. I’d say tonally it was closer to Captain America: Winter Soldier which is a good thing, but not nearly as good as that movie. The action is sparse and devolves into cartoonish CGI at the end, but what is there is overall very good. I especially liked the spy movie-like scenes near the beginning. One thing I will say about this movie is that the production design and soundtrack were incredible.

    My favorite part of the whole movie was that they finally nailed a good villain in these movies with Michael B. Jordan’s character who has a better character arc than the Black Panther himself in my opinion. After Thor: Ragnarok went off the rails with the comedy, it was nice to see some levity back in the Marvel Universe. I’d say it’s a 7.5-8/10. I liked it but couldn’t see myself sitting though it anytime soon without just wanting to see certain scenes.

  6. (Full disclosure: I haven’t seen Black Panther yet. However, understanding its significance doesn’t require one to see the movie.)

    The angst about the hype around this movie is real. But truth be told, it only *appears* to be more angsty than usual because of the context; so many appear to miss the significance of this movie. BrannigansLaw will break it down, hard and fast:

    This is the first big budget film featuring a predominantly Black cast with a Black lead. This represents a major departure from the unwritten entertainment marketing law that movies featuring Black casts AND leads should only be low budget. So, no, Blade and Hancock are not valid examples.

    Marvel saw a film featuring a predominantly Black cast with a Black lead as not a risk, but a savvy marketing move that will also advance the overall MCU. Some may see this as exploitation, but if we Black people want representation in big budget films, this is the first step. It will likely make studios and distributers less wary when faced with other Black-centric properties that are non-Disney.

    The property presents the idea that civility and technological excellence are not non-Black, and are not mutually exclusive with African style and culture. (Afro-futurism) It’s colorful and full of pride, out in the open, and in full view. And, indeed, this is part of the draw, not a drawback.

    As a Black man who was once a snaggle-toothed kid who used to tie a towel around his neck and jump down stairs shouting “Doopah-maaan!,” it does matter to a child to see him/herself reflected in popular culture. You begin to see what’s really possible. For some non-Black people, this can be very difficult to understand and rings of racism. However, when you live in a society where you’re the majority image, a lack of representation isn’t a problem for you.

    Just for a minute, try to imagine yourself not only being a minority, but living in a country where the history and its legacy tells you that you are… “less than.” Difficult, isn’t it? Yet, this is a reality that Black people face. Every single day. And in this time when the voices of derision and inequality are getting louder, it’s all the more important to have our collective culture shout them down.

    Black Panther is received loud and clear.

    • Thanks for perspective. I have seen the movie, and found it confusing that African Americans seem to be so enthusiastically embracing it. There’s so little in common between African culture and African American culture, and actually in my experience they’ve often been explicitly at odds with each other (the conflict between protagonist and antagonist alludes to this). But they do (kind of) have skin color in common, so there’s that.

      • What you’re describing is one of the legacies of slavery and racism: lost identity. We’ve gone from nigger, to colored, to Black, to African American in an system that viewed each of us as 3/5th of a person, and even a single drop of our blood was viewed as pollution. And we look back on that history with a twinge of shame while clutching on to our pride.

        When I first heard the term “African American” I wasn’t down with it; I thought it to be divisive, separating us not only from other Americans, but from Blacks around the world. However, I soon realized the context. While “Black” is rooted in the struggle, “African American” is a term of pride and acceptance. We can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Irish/Italian/Mexican/Japanese/[insert country of origin here] Americans. With pride. Reclaiming our true roots, while acknowledging the struggles of those who came before.

        So, in truth, any person that is far removed from the birthplace of his/her ancestors likely resembles that birthplace very little in culture. However, for us, reclaiming our identity starts with embracing our place of origin, while stating proudly that we are also Americans.

          • As long as I’m careful. Blu-Ray life for me. But I still may go to see Black Panther and, ultimately, Infinity War in the theater.

          • Massive authoritative articles that will show up in search.

            Or small ones on things will lower search volume like “THe Animals of Bladerunner”

            Pretty much find what you want to write about and get with me

          • Certain frequencies can wreak havoc in my chest and make me feel like my heart will stop. And the sound can be no picnic for my wife, either; she never could tolerate loud sound, not even as a kid. So, we both recently decided that the Blu-Ray life best, where we control the sound. It’s kind of a bitch for me… avoiding spoilers, but I’d take that over a body bag ;^)

        • There should be no hyphenated Americans. I would like to know who started that shit… and this is America… your roots shouldn’t mean jack shit. That’s the point.

          Identity ARE your shackles.

        • “in an system that viewed each of us as 3/5th of a person”

          In order to limit the power of the slave states while still getting them to join the United States. It was a strategy to prevent the spread of slavery, based on the limitations of what was possible at the time. Because congressional representation was determined by state population, and although the southern states didn’t want slaves to have any constitutional rights, they wanted them counted as 1 whole person, to increase their representation in congress and make the perpetuation and expansion of slavery easier.

          My only issue with African-American as a hyphenate as it’s probably not accurate in terms of genetics, where most people (even African-Americans) are a mix of ethnicities from a variety of parts of the world. Thus I would likely be some kind of German-Dutch-Irish-English-Eskimo American. Which would be a long hyphenate for me. Some people we refer to as African-Americans are probably more German, Indian, Native American, Hispanic, Middle-Easter or Anglo-Saxon or Greco-Roman than African in terms of genetic makeup.

          • I’m aware of the origin. Are you saying that to be viewed as 3/5th of a person was somehow a good thing? In any context?

            As far as hyphenation, don’t wash over the context. Our identity was stolen. Brutally. A single drop of our blood was believed be so dirty that a person was considered ‘colored’, no matter what his make up, if there was any identifiable African ancestry. However, we–Black people–have (in more recent times) turned that point of derision into one of pride where, no matter how light a person’s skin may be, we accept him/her into the fold. And as African American we’ve reclaimed our identity.

            Still, I don’t understand the problem that some have with hyphenation. Actually, I do understand it; it’s driven by a noble idea, even if absent of empathy. What I don’t understand is why hyphens are move of a problem than the terms Black and White. We have no choice but to be labeled as such. It’s institutionalized; deliberate polarization… separation from the haves and have-nots. Hyphenation removes the polarization while still presenting the idea that we’re all American. In this context, hyphenation should not be derided, but celebrated.

      • Lol, what? You must not know many African Americans or Africans. Saying we have “so little in common” is the downright most hilarious thing I’ve ever read on a talkback. Truly funny shit!

      • Thanx, brah ;^) I wanted to submit an article, but I felt this was the more appropriate place. That and I’m not edgy enough (i.e. no one would really want to read it).

        • We accept any submissions. If you do the research and back up your claims you can publish it. But saying that Blade and Hancock were “low budget” puts you shaky ground… for starters.

          • Eh, good point. That is far different from Blade and Hancock. Especially Hancock. I think every person who was not Will Smith in that movie was white.

          • Especially Hancock. Blade was low-ish but on the high-end for that kind of content (comic-booky fantasy), in what was considered very niche, at the time. Underworld budget was $22 million, for comparison. To Blade Trinity’s $65 million and the original Blade’s $45 million budget. Sin City budget (was that a big picture) was $40 million in that time frame. 300 was made for $65 million, same as Blade Trinity. If you want to compare everything to Titanic and Avatar than literally almost every other movie ever made was “low budget”.

    • Afro-futurism??? What the hell does that have to do with anything?

      Should I be proud of the white race because Hitler planned to have moon bases or say we were descended from Aryan god-men?

      Are Issac Asimov novels supposed to make be somehow feel enthusiasm for science because I’m white?

      What about Black Science Man himself? He seems to be the only serious scientist on TV today. Should I my kids not be interested in science because he’s black?

      This whole line of thinking is just sad and quasi-delusional. And dangerously close to ethnocentrism.

      You’ve have heroic representatives for a decades. But somehow AA culture just became unshackled Friday?

      Look at how far you have to delineate this movie before it becomes something actually new and unique.

      We’ve heard all these bullshit arguments before from the women behind Star Wars. Girls couldn’t relate to Luke Skywalker. But the boys should relate to Rey.

      Black kids couldn’t relate to Captain America (because he was white) but white kids should love Black Panther and if they don’t because he’s black then they kids are racist.

      Dude, face it… this is a marketing angle. That’s it. And Disney hit what is probably going to be the time of peak signalling in this country. They can only keep reality at bay for so long. The SJW temple is coming down soon. And the shock to some people might be too much for people to bear.

      The screens that determine your reality and Disney (and their SJW shills) control the screens. Might be time to step away from them. So you won’t be too surprised.

      • Your opinions are formed not through experience or empathy, but from within your own privileged, sheltered bubble. Yes, I know full well that that word “privileged” will set you off due to a willful, yet tragic, lack of self awareness that you harbor. It seems that you are quite willing to roll out your perceived truths about African Americans, our connection to Africa, and how we should see ourselves and our history, but you are unwilling to face the truth about your own self. It is what it is. Toodles.

        • “privileged”… dude… where was this word 10 years ago? 20 years ago? 30 years ago?

          this is a made up concept to explain away reality.

          like the reality i took the time to explain to you.

          “privileged” is a tool people use to gain advantage you didn’t earn.

          Forget your experience and your empathy, two more tricks that I’m almost out of sympathy for.

          put away the tricks and try to use some reason.

          the time for tricks will soon be over.

    • Dude. Budget on Hancock was $150 million. In 2008. Budget for the first Iron Man was $140 million. How are these not big budget movies? Blade was considerably lower but entirely consistent with the budget for those kinds of movies at the time. It wasn’t Titanic, but shit.

        • No, but the way it’s written it sounds like it was suggesting neither Blade nor Hancock were big budget movies. Which is incorrect. Neither had almost entirely African-American casts, that is true, but it didn’t read to me like that was the point. But perhaps I misapprehended. I’ve done it before.

          • I did say ” predominantly Black cast with a Black lead” a couple of times, but it was a long post, so I can see how that point would be missed.

  7. Backhanded comments galore in this review.

    Meanwhile, the film was fantastic, and the best Marvel movie yet, although INFINITY WAR should (SHOULD) be the best superhero film ever.

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