The Marvel superhero movie Black Panther has been out on home video for a while now, but Disney still has it in U.S. theaters. The reason? Likely to reach the 700 million dollar domestic box office mark, which (according to Box Office Mojo) only Avatar and Star Wars: The Force Awakens have done.
Black Panther is curently about $78,000 short of this achievement after 137 days, which began its run with a huge 202 million dollar opening weekend. Black Panther is already a cultural phemonon as well as an African-American breakthrough for cast and crew alike, but crossing 700 million would further cement the film’s legacy. It’s likely to stay in theaters (80 currently) until this happens, but reaching this goal sooner would be easily attainable.
For example, the high-profile #BlackPantherChallenge screenings where celebrities like Octavia Spencer bought out theaters for fundraising and charitable causes could push it over the mark. Businesses, churches, family groups, fraternities, student groups, and sororities could make a nice bookend to the Black Panther theaterical run with even more events. Why not make it a double feature with Ant-Man and Wasp this weekend?
I remember when crossing 100 million at the box office was a big deal (Unforgiven took 318 days to reach that feat) and studios would purposely keep movies in theaters to complete that milestone.
That pyschological victory of impressive numbers and being mentioned in the same breath as other box office giants is fine, but Black Panther‘s thoughtful and powerful messages among extraordinary circumstances create hopeful attitudes and even ideology among a society that desperately needs more positivity.