Written by Christopher Dang, Economic Development Research Intern | What is the Socioeconomic as well as economic impact of Marvel’s Black Panther blockbuster?
As I walked through the movie theatre doors, the phrase “Wakanda forever” stuck with me as a lasting impression of perhaps one of the greatest superhero films to date. In fact, I was not alone in thinking this. Director, Ryan Coogler’s, Black Panther left the world in awe. To date, the blockbuster hit shattered multiple box office records and grossed over $1.34 billion worldwide.
In news closer to home, the CEO and Chairman of MPAA, Charles Rivkin, went on to announce that the production of Black Panther has contributed around $84 million dollars to Georgia’s economy, while also contributing over $26.5 million in wages to 3,100 workers across Georgia.
Here is a quick breakdown of economic impact of Black Panther on Georgia businesses:
- Over $29.9 million spent on local rentals and set purchases
- Over $9.4 million spent on local hardware and supplies
- Over $5.6 million spent on lodging
- Over $3.9 million spent on transportation
- Over $1.8 million spent on catering
- Over $740,000 spent on local wardrobe
Additionally, Black Panther set a record for biggest February premiere by surpassing Deadpool by over $70 million, as well as surpassing The Avengers for highest-grossing superhero movie by $8 million. However, although these facts and figures may be record-breaking, Black Panther has more importantly set precedent for what’s to come in Hollywood for minorities, as well as leaving a long-lasting socioeconomic impact on black youth. Image Credit: https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2018/02/06/review-black-panther-ryan-coogler-chadwick-boseman-lupita-nyongo-disney-marvel/#2cbf7f9129bd
Hollywood has notoriously been known for their lack of representation of minorities for leadership roles in large films. With a massive budget of $200 million, Black Panther took great leaps away from Hollywood’s traditional methods by casting a predominantly black cast with many of the roles played by black women (the most underrepresented group in the United States). Black Panther has done something for minorities in America that Hollywood has neglected to do; it provided black youth with a film filled with role models in STEM fields as well as leadership positions.
Grabbing the attention of many, Black Panther fans took Twitter by storm, making it the most tweeted about film of all time. While some of these tweets are hilarious jokes about certain parts of the film, there are many that highlight the powerful messages inside Black Panther. With viral hashtag trends such as #WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe, thousands of people across Twitter expressed the importance of finally having a black superhero in the theatres. Michelle Obama tweeted, “…young people will finally see superheroes that look like them… I loved this movie and I know it will inspire people of all backgrounds to dig deep and find the courage to be heroes of their own stories.” Michelle Obama is not alone in seeing how powerful seeing the film can be. A challenge called the #BlackPantherChallenge went viral across Twitter and raised almost $800,000 for the Boys & Girls of Harlem to send kids across 50 countries to go and see Black Panther. Image source: http://twitter.com/michelleobama
With its box office success, Black Panther has set precedent for the further inclusion of minorities in films, allowing for future growth of diverse films that everyone can relate to. With a larger representation of minorities in the media, children from all backgrounds will finally have someone in Hollywood that they can relate too.
Lastly, if you still have not seen Black Panther you desperately need to, and of course, Wakanda forever!
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