There is no doubt that Black Panther is the biggest movie hitting theaters this weekend, and also the first true blockbuster of 2018. There is a ton of excitement around the film, which has garnered heaps of praise, and this is clearly not lost on at least one movie theater. The Hollywood ArcLight gave as many fans as possible the opportunity to see Black Panther, by showing Ryan Coogler's film on every one its screens during a block of time on Thursday night. Take a look below to see what that looked like for fans at the theater:
How symbolic. It's good to be the king and Lesley Goldberg's Twitter post shows just how completely the MCU and specifically Black Panther at the moment rules over the box office. The latest film in the industry-altering Marvel Cinematic Universe is set to debut to massive numbers over the President's Day weekend and clearly the Hollywood ArcLight opted to give the people what they wanted on Thursday night. The theater is back to business as usual now this weekend, playing Fifty Shades Freed along with a bunch of smaller films, but Black Panther still dominates the total number of screenings.
Comic book and especially MCU movies draw audiences out like few other blockbusters. Moviegoers not only want to see these films, but see them as soon as possible, limiting the possibility for spoilers and being a part of the excitement and discussion with everyone else. Black Panther is in some ways taking this to another level, as the previously lesser-known Marvel character is set to have the best opening weekend for an MCU solo debut film, and one led by a black cast, as well.
What will be interesting to see is how much this film drives repeat business. Like most blockbusters, Black Panther should end up being front-loaded, but the film has a lot going for it to have a sustained run at the top. The critical reviews are almost-universally positive and word of mouth has been good leading into release. Black Panther isn't perfect, but it features some incredibly fun characters, a beautifully realized Wakanda and one of the MCU's best villains to date. In addition, February doesn't offer a ton of competition for the throne. Next week's Annihilation is one of my most anticipated movies of the year but a weird sci-fi film based on a near-unfilmable book isn't exactly everyone's cup of tea. In fact, there isn't a true blockbuster film hitting theaters until A Wrinkle In Time on March 9th. So, Disney could end up passing the baton to itself.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all the latest Black Panther coverage and after you've seen the film, come back to check out our breakdown of the post-credits scenes. Oh and spoiler alert, this kind of theater dominance is probably going to happen again when Infinity War hits in May. Call it a hunch.
Nick grew up in Maryland has degrees in Film Studies and Communications. His life goal is to walk the earth, meet people and get into adventures. He’s also still looking for The Adventures of Pete and Pete season 3 on DVD if anyone has a lead.
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