In case you hadn't heard, Marvel's Black Panther is no mere blockbuster, but a full-blown cultural sensation. Having obliterated box office records with the biggest February debut on record, it is, quite simply, what everyone is talking about. Here are seven stories demonstrating the power of T'Challa.
1. Entire organisations are booking screenings
Churches, schools and other educational organisations have booked entire screenings of the movie for themselves. Forbes indicates that the 150 to 300 members of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ booked out seven screenings at their local Studio Movie Grill theatre.
2. People are celebrating the film's African heritage
Just as the movie envelops us in the rich traditions and beauty of Wakanda, so too are viewers celebrating this. The Daily Mail reports fans wearing African dress to the first screenings last Friday, even geo-tagging their location as Wakanda itself.
3. There's a hashtag devoted to the movie
Don't underestimate the power of the hashtag in today's Hollywood. Not only has the #TimesUp campaign, recently cited at the BAFTAs, created a significant impact. Kayla Sutton, an advocate for equal representation in marginalized communities, was inspired by her autistic, eight-year-old son to create #WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe.
The Hollywood Reporter quotes Sutton as saying: "I said, 'Hey, why are you excited for the movie?' Because it was just curious to me, because for him he's young, he's black and autistic. I feel like he has a unique perspective on the world and he always has... He's like, 'He's awesome, he's like the coolest in all of the comic books and all of the stuff. And he's black like me.'"
4. A-lister Brie Larson helped people get tickets
Soon to be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the title character in Captain Marvel, Brie Larson has been performing superheroic deeds of her own.
Last Friday morning, the Oscar-winning actress connected people who didn't have the money to get tickets with those willing to pay for them. The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Twitter users would tell Larson they would like to buy tickets for someone or a family who couldn't afford them. In turn, she would share the message to her followers.
5. Kids are upping their ticket buying game
So determined were these two young fans to catch Marvel's latest, they donned an adult's trench coat and one stood on the other's shoulders when approaching the ticket counter. It didn't work, but it's a damn good effort, nonetheless.
6. The film's stars are infiltrating screenings
Michael B. Jordan, who plays villain Eric Killmonger in the movie, has confessed to sneaking into the opening night showings. While there, he glimpsed reactions from viewers first-hand.
"Honestly, everybody was laughing, they were yelling at the screen, you know what I’m saying?" he told ET. "The gasps, the one-liners, everything was working so it was cool to see it with a normal audience – not at a premiere, not at a press junket. They were really engaged and interacting with the film, so it was good to see."
7. There's a crowdfunding campaign
Back in January, a Black Panther GoFundMe initiative more than tripled its target, allowing 300 children in New York's Harlem district to see the movie. To put it in perspective, it amassed $30,000 in four days, and even attracted A-list attention, including Hillary Clinton's daughter, Chelsea.
Just contributed to support @FredTJoseph’s effort to bring Harlem kids to see #BlackPanther. If you also believe representation matters & you’re able, I hope you’ll consider supporting, thank you: https://t.co/vaLO7JmEwl— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) January 8, 2018