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Over President’s Day weekend, Marvel’s Black Panther raked in $192 million at the domestic box office, breaking the record for the biggest opening weekend for a black director ever.

The film’s director, Ryan Coogler — who also directed 2015’s Creed — dethroned F. Gary Gray, who previously held the record with the 2017 action film The Fate of the Furious, which made $98 million in its premiere weekend. Black Panther also had the fifth-biggest opening weekend of all time, behind The Avengers ($207 million), Jurassic World ($209 million), Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($220 million) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($248 million).

The massive box office success of Black Panther makes tangible something that its fans already knew: It’s more than just another superhero movie. Black Panther proves that movies made by and starring black people can enjoy massive, mainstream success. That’s not a revelation for many people, but in an era where internet hate groups organize targeted campaigns to tank the review scores of movies with diverse casts — as was the case with Star Wars: The Last Jedi and again with Black Panther — that message is an important one.

Black Panther has also inspired fans to dress in elaborate cosplay, organize black-tie galas and set up voting registration drives. The film’s afrofuturist style also inspired some truly incredible red carpet fashion at its premiere.

Tim Mulkerin
Reporter and Social Media Editor, Hype