The old Dr. Seuss adage – “don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened” – has taken on new meaning in the wake of Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther.
For those of you who don’t know, the theatrical run of the pic came to an end last weekend, with the eighteenth Marvel Cinematic Universe film hauling in more than $700 million domestically, and approximately $1.34 billion worldwide. Although, the profound impact made by T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and director Ryan Coogler is still reverberating throughout the industry.
During a sit-down with JOE.co.uk, two-time Academy Award winner Denzel Washington revealed that the success of Black Panther so moved him that he “shed a tear.”
“Black Panther, I shed a tear. I was sitting in there — I ran into Chad and Ryan before the movie started, it was their premiere or the screening in New York, and just talking to them and they went into the movie — and the 40 years I’ve been in this game came back to me.”
Washington then pointed to Sidney Poitier — the first African American actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1964 – without whom a film like Black Panther would never be possible.
“I said, ‘Man, look at these young boys, man.’ And I actually — I just started [crying]. I was like, whew. You know, Sidney, to now? And I’m in the gap — me and many others — are in the gap, but it was like, man. I felt like the third leg of the relay race. Like, ‘here, go.’ Now, I ran behind them — I’m still running. But I was like, man, they gone. They’re gone.”
The third movie ever to break the $700 million barrier domestically, behind only Avatar ($760M) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($936M), Black Panther will undoubtedly best be known for becoming the first African-American feature to earn more than $1 billion. That’s not to say it didn’t shatter another box office record or two along the way, though.
As for the next time you can catch Chadwick Boseman in action – the cataclysmic conclusion of Avengers: Infinity War notwithstanding – we fully expect him to show up in some capacity during next year’s sequel, colloquially referred to as Avengers 4. And given the monumental success of T’Challa’s solo debut, Black Panther 2 does appear to be a foregone conclusion at this juncture.