I’m not a big movie-goer. Even for movies I want to see, I wait until they’re available on Redbox. Usually the only movies I see on the big screen are main-sequence Star Wars films, and Avengers movies. The ones with the whole team, not the individual heroes.
But my husband and I decided it was important to go see Black Panther in theaters. Here’s why.
Hollywood does not have a good track record with diversity. There’s this myth that movies starring women only appeal to women, movies starring black people only appeal to black people, etc. Studios fear putting much budget behind such films. But “Black Panther,” with an almost entirely black cast, a black director, and many strong female characters, was produced and marketed as a big-budget blockbuster, trusting that broad audiences would pay to see it.
That trust paid off. “Black Panther” had the fifth largest box office opening in history this past weekend.
If you’re white, and you’re like me, you want to be an ally to disadvantaged groups. Your entertainment choices are one way to keep tearing down the lies that hold minorities back in the film industry (and others). So if you haven’t seen the movie yet, I encourage you to go. Even if you prefer watching movies at home, like me. Even if you don’t like comic book movies. Even if you’re in the hospital and have to break out on crutches and hobble to the theater. (Okay, maybe not that last one.)
Not only is it an awesome film, with excellent acting, phenomenal worldbuilding, heart-pounding action, and a gripping plot, but this movie’s success tells Hollywood that it has no excuses. It’s time to let minorities star in mainstream films and to stop letting fear dictate what gets green-lit. “Black Panther” is already a success, but every person who goes to see it cements that fact even further.
Some might claim “Black Panther” only did well because it’s tied to the Marvel mega-franchise. We saw similar claims when “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” succeeded starring a woman and a black man. But even if that’s true, these films’ success opens the door for other movies, not affiliated with an established brand, to do the same thing.
So no matter your background, go check this out. Let your money talk for you. Tell filmmakers that we love, and need, diverse films.