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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates From Down Wakanda Way

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27 Responses to “Weekend Estimates From Down Wakanda Way”

  1. Bulldog68 says:

    Every time a Marvel movie opens, a DC person gets their wings clipped.
    It really must hurt when a second tier superhero movie in four days will make almost as much as your frontline superhero team up movie does over the course of its entire run. Damn. And your team up didn’t even seem to benefit one iota from the goodwill that preceded it.

  2. Thunderchild says:

    I’d posit that marvel have shown there are no tiers with respects to superheroes movies and that their numbers show that people are trusting the brand and don’t need a background in comics to show up.

  3. palmtree says:

    The problem with all the DC team-ups is that they smelled like desperation, like they wanted a formula to make the money for them.

    Marvel focusing on secondary characters shows a tremendous confidence that they don’t need to bring out the big guns every time. That has trained the audience to come along for the ride, but it has also allowed Marvel to take risks with these secondary films and build them into their own unique experiences that will gather up new audiences and still culminate with the epic 4-quad team-up. Genius.

  4. lockedcut says:

    I think part of the success is that marvel films , like the Star Wars films, has a very appealing look to the films. Every time I see an ad for one of the Infinite marvel films (last ones I saw were the Sherlock and raccoon Two films), I always without fail think : “ooh that looks so cool, and fun… I do wanna see that one some day.”

    Dc movies just look gross when I see an advert, as in a “wow that is really ugly… gross!”

    Are simple aesthetics a reason for the dc movies failing to live up to dark knight numbers ? Nah, probably not.

  5. palmtree says:

    Dunno, I think the darker DCEU look could work if only they accompanied that look with a grittier, weightier story to match, something that Nolan had the chops for but Snyder didn’t. To get them credit tho, I have to think Wonder Woman works in part because they significantly lightened up the color palette to match her bright personality.

  6. Stella's Boy says:

    I was intrigued by an argument I saw DP make on Twitter, saying that yes this is a landmark, but there have been many others over the years and people are forgetting/ignoring them. What do people think about that? I get the point he’s trying to make, but this does feel different and in a league of its own.

  7. palmtree says:

    SB, it’s totally different this time. BP obviously couldn’t have happened without Blade and Will Smith and countless other people. But BP is single-handedly putting to rest the lie that big-budget black movies have a ceiling just as Wonder Woman did last year for movies with female protagonists.

  8. Stella's Boy says:

    I know he often has a beef with the media, and that’s warranted. Of course they tend to overhype and oversimplify, but I agree this is totally different.

  9. Hcat says:

    To give credit where credit is due this opening is massive, the response is uniformly positive and Marvel’s use of second and third tier heroes was both risky and genius, by tapping Ant-Man, Guardians, and Panther they have managed to keep a freshness to their franchise even at the breakneck rate they are releasing them. After the goodwill created by the last Thor and Panther I would imagine this summers Avengers will open even higher than the first. And I cannot tell you how much it pains me to give props to either Disney or comic book films. But after swearing these off for years, I will be seeing Panther in the theater in the next few weeks.

    As for a landmark, of course this is significant, and we wont know how big this actually gets for a couple months. But we have been in this position before, 30 years ago Beverly Hills Cop proved that you could have a worldwide smash with a African American star, but did that really benefit anyone other than Murphy? Hollywood didn’t really open its door to more talent after that, or try to break out more diverse movie stars. Same with Independence Day, after Will Smith hit the top they didn’t really go looking for ‘the next Will Smith’.

    Hopefully this is a different time and the opportunities are expanded farther than the Panther franchise.

  10. Stella's Boy says:

    I’m not just thinking in terms of financial success. I’m thinking about the remarkable representation of black men and women in BP. It’s the combination of that and it being a massive hit that seems so special and unique.

  11. MarkVH says:

    I liked Black Panther enough to wish I’d liked it more. Absolutely wonderful performances (particularly from Jordan and Letitia Wright) and world-building, but some incredibly clunky and disjointed storytelling that seems mostly recycled from other movies, which I was not expecting from Coogler (a director I love). Also, the CG is awful there isn’t one great action sequence. I’m really thankful it was made, but I’m afraid for me it’s a B- at best.

    On the other hand, I also saw Phantom Thread this weekend and when Dave is right, he’s right. An absolute joy from the first frame to the last, the best romantic comedy in ages and one of the best movies about marriage ever made. I am head over heels for it and really wish it was more of an Oscar front-runner.

  12. Stella's Boy says:

    I feel very similarly about Black Panther Mark. I like it but wish I loved it. Actually I also agree re: Phantom Thread. Also really enjoyed I, Tonya. Never would have expected much from a screenplay by the writer of Hope Floats, Stepmom, Kate & Leopold, and P.S. I Love You, but I like how the story is told and the performances are outstanding.

  13. Hcat says:

    I wonder if the Black Panther sequels (which have no doubt moved to the top of the list) will become for established black actors what the Potter sequels were for the English. Legends in the field wanting to come in for an extended cameo just to be a part of the franchise.

    And Mojo just revised the weekend to 201 million, and no 200 plus has ended under 600 domestic, anyone not think this wont also cross that bar?

    Unrelated but it seems last week Fox just completely abandoned the summer with Deadpool’s mid may release as their only significant entry. Seems like the reason that summer seems to be only two studios duking it out for supremacy is that all the others completely concede the ground.

  14. Stella's Boy says:

    I can’t imagine it making under $600 million. Word of mouth will be good. 25% of Wonder Woman’s domestic total was opening weekend. Could it hold like that and make $800 million?

    Fox has The Darkest Minds in August. Not sure what that is. But yeah that is a bare summer. Nothing in between Deadpool 2 and The Darkest Minds.

  15. palmtree says:

    Hcat, (edit: in answer to the question of why this is different from Murphy and Smith hitting it big):

    I think a big difference is having a black man as the director. He brought an authentic voice to the entire movie the same way Patty Jenkins brought an authenticity to WW. That vision behind the camera is something you can’t really fake. That is partly why the film is doing so well; audiences can tell this is the real thing and not just a studio calculation.

  16. Hcat says:


    Got it, Stella also pointed out that this isn’t just a Black actor in a lead role but a top to bottom all to the core Black movie. So yes I am on board with this being something we have not seen anything like before.

  17. Hcat says:

    Even with this massive opening there were some pretty good holds as well. Might have been plan Bs from sold out Panther screenings but I’m surprised by that PR hold and even fifty shades dropped less than I thought it would.

  18. Bitplaya says:

    I went to a BP event at a comic book shop last weekend. Damn near all the adults had movie pass. Repeat business is trivial.

    I also saw it and liked it but didn’t love it. Kinda loved that the real Panthers started in Oakland and the mythical puts an embassy there.

    When I left the theater a Latino woman was telling her kids that those kind basketball hoops (milk crates) are the kind she grew up with.

    A different kind of representation but one Marvel should consider. Not just Latina but economic representation.

  19. Glamourboy says:

    Curious….if BP had opened in December, instead of Star Wars, do you think it would be up for Oscars? Do you think it will be remembered by Oscar time next year?

  20. Bob Burns says:

    BP should be an Oscar contender, but will Disney give it a winning campaign?

  21. David Poland says:

    “I went to a BP event at a comic book shop last weekend. Damn near all the adults had movie pass. Repeat business is trivial.”

    Movie Pass may have 2 million cards out.

    20 million or so people saw Black Panther this weekend, many of whom – I bet – don’t see more than 1 or 2 movies a year.

    Don’t leap to assumptions from the bubble.

  22. David Poland says:

    “BP is single-handedly putting to rest the lie that big-budget black movies have a ceiling just as Wonder Woman did last year for movies with female protagonists.”

    Both of those “myths” are myths.

    No one claimed such a cap. CG movies are only a 16 year phenomenon and they are just drilling down into comics far enough to hit these films.

    No one made Ant Man because they thought Paul Rudd was a $500 million grosser.

    No one made Christian Bale into Batman because they thought those movies would trade on his fame or gender.

    I’m not saying that this is not a good thing and will turn some heads. But if you put Marshall out next week, it might make a few more dollars, but Black Panther does not convert it into a commercial hit.

    Personally, I’d like to see a Marvel or DC superhero who happened to be gay. Really, Superman would be so much more interesting if he went home to a top. I’m not kidding.

  23. David Poland says:

    And i do think that Black Panther will be at the Oscars next year in more than effects and sound.

    It really struck me the second time around that even if the car chase, for instance, wasn’t Baby Driver, it was remarkably imaginative. Most of the action was.

    When I saw it the first time, it all moves so fast and you don’t quite know who everyone is… but I liked the movie and particularly the second half a lot more the second time. The ambition seemed clearer.

    So yeah, with the expanded field, I can see BP, costume, production design, Michael B Jordan, maybe Danai, longshot for director and screenplay, and then at least 4 tech noms.

  24. amblinman says:

    “BP is single-handedly putting to rest the lie that big-budget black movies have a ceiling just as Wonder Woman did last year for movies with female protagonists.”

    Both of those “myths” are myths.

    No one claimed such a cap.”

    Sure. Which would explain why we’ve had so many afro-centric big budget studio backed blockbusters.

    Whitemansplainin’ at its best.

  25. palmtree says:

    “No one claimed such a cap.”

    DP, I respect you, and I’m glad to see you in the comments section…but seriously how can you be this obtuse? You’ve never heard of whitewashing? Where film executives take a character of color and cast it with a white person because they believe that’s their best chance of making money on it. (At least that’s the reason they say publicly when it comes up.)

    That’s why your examples of Paul Rudd and Christian Bale are so tone deaf. They were given an opportunity, because the glass ceiling wasn’t there to keep them out. In Hollywood, B list white guy is still somehow more marketable than famous talented person of color.

    So saying no one claimed such a cap flies in the face of decades of evidence, both in terms of what people report but also in the decisions being made, of people of color and women too not getting those opportunities.

    And now a film comes along and says you can fill a big budget (NOT a small budget movie like Marshall…what’s with your examples?) with black actors not named Denzel or Will or Halle and have it directed by a black man and have its themes speak to the black community, AND have that film have no limit on its audience or its grossing potential? It’s literally as big as Star Wars right now. You’re telling me that doesn’t break the glass ceiling in some fundamental way?

    Finally, these posts about BP math are so strange, because they prove my point. All your “objective” estimates couldn’t predict what ended up happening. That’s because there’s a new reality now. Please try to catch up.

  26. JSPartisan says:

    No one saw it coming? If you paid attention to twitter, other social media, and just what’s happening in this country. You could see this coming. No, I didn’t see it beating TLJ’s 4-day. Nope. I did see it opening close to 200m. It just made sense, for what the movie represents to a lot of people. The strongest and most advanced nation in the MSCU… is in Africa, and BP is one of it’s best movies. It’s just everything coming together. If you give people three good/great movies in 2017, then kick their ass with the first one in 2018… well… let’s put down Stormbreaker right here.

    Avengers: Infinity War, thanks to Black Panther, 260m Opening Weekend. If it’s an exceptional, world beater of a movie, that has a lot of Wakanda in it? 280m.

  27. palmtree says:

    “No one saw it coming” based on “objective math.” HAHA

    The fact that everyone was so wrong deserves an explanation, not a hand waving.

    And DP, I get that you try to bleed the hyperbole out of overhyped situations, but some events do deserve the hyperbole. Or at least a specific kind of hyperbole…a film of this scale made by and for the black community opens on the level of a four-quadrant Star Wars or Avengers film, and it’s not a game changer? Not buying it.

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