Money makes the world go ‘round, and it’s this factor that has made Hollywood finally open its eyes to the potential of woman and minority-led film projects. The legacy of minorities in science fiction films dates all the way back to the 60s with Lt. Uhuru off Star Trek. Women were leading television offerings like Wonder Woman and the Bionic Woman in the 70s.
However, for reasons one can only guess at, we’re still fighting for greater inclusion well into the 21st century. Today, there’s still much hand wringing taking place regarding the blockbuster potential of movies led by anyone other than white male characters.
With the ongoing comic book movie phenomenon still proceeding at full speed, the major motion picture industry is banking on the fact that certain segments of society are thirsty for onscreen heroes that more properly reflect society. According to Fandango, "Black Panther", due to be released next month, has sold more advanced tickets in 24-hours than any other Marvel movie thus far.
Here is the Final Trailer for Black Panther
That record was previously held by “Captain America: Civil War,” which opened in May of 2016 at $179 million. Additionally, "Black Panther" is the second most anticipated film of 2018 behind Avengers: Infinity Wars.
Money talks, and those dollars are telling of the viewing practices of a diverse America. Starring Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya, Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, and Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther is the first black comic book superhero movie since the Blade trilogy back in the day. Whatever the reasons for the snail slow pace at which executives concede funds for such projects, the people have spoken.
Big news this morning - #BlackPanther sold more advance tickets on @Fandango in its first 24 hours than any other MCU movie, besting previous record holder Captain America: Civil War. Long live the King! https://t.co/JL1c28AgWm
The overwhelming success of Wonder Woman at the box office last year certainly put Marvel and Disney’s respective feet to the fire. Especially since folks have been begging for a standalone Black Widow movie for close to a decade.
Sure, Scarlett Johansson, Charlize Theron and others have all led science fiction-style projects to great success. So, there’s clearly a history of success. However, that still hasn’t translated to widespread roles of this sort. It says a great deal about society, and all of it’s bad. But tomorrow always brings the possibility of progress. I suppose that’s what hope is all about.
And Marvel is banking on that hope for the success of a film starring one of its most popular characters of all-time. According to Variety, Marvel and Disney are in preliminary stages for a standalone project that would center around Black Widow, starring Scarlett Johansson—she has played the role since "Iron Man 2." Reportedly, Jac Schaeffer has been given the nod to begin working on a script. Though the project has no official go-ahead date, this is a giant step in the right direction.