Black Panther smashes box office, Hollywood norms
February 20, 2018 | 12:55 PM
by Times TV

Los Angeles: Black Panther is the biggest February opening in Hollywood history and the fifth biggest box office debut ever - and that's just in the U.S.

Throw in international sales through Sunday and the first Hollywood superhero movie with a near all-black cast has taken in nearly $400 million.

But Black Panther's success is being measured beyond dollars and cents. The Disney-Marvel Studios flick is being hailed for its cultural significance inside the U.S. and in Nigeria, home to that continent's film industry known as Nollywood. Nigerian actress Ijeoma Agu said, "We are telling our stories and we are focusing on different tribes that make up Africa. That is just great to be happening at this point in time, that is just amazing." Nigerian filmmaker Bolahi Kekere-Ekum said, "The people that made the film, the film makers were very specific about the references they use in relationship to Africa, so they are pulling from the best fashion, the best art."

Disney and Marvel Studios took a gamble given Hollywood's long-held belief that movies starring an all-black cast don't do well overseas. It's trying to answer critics of an industry struggling with diversity and reeling from the
#Oscarsowhite controversy, but at the same time relying more on the international audience for ticket sales.

But Black Panther's box-office-shattering-debut is fueling hope that Hollywood has finally found the right super-formula to make blockbuster films that star mostly people of colour and international audiences still want to see

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