By The Numbers: “Black Panther”‘s Audience Breakdown

Shuri (Letitia Wright) in 'Black Panther, 2018 (ESPN FiveThirtyEight)

Shuri (Letitia Wright) in ‘Black Panther, 2018 (ESPN FiveThirtyEight)

As you no doubt have heard by now (and if you haven’t, where are you?!), “Black Panther” is breaking records left and right: It has the second-highest box office gross in its first four days, and is the highest-grossing movie to open over President’s Day weekend (among other records).

One thing that’s happened with the release of the movie is that the audience makeup is slightly different than the usual. Here’s the breakdown!

First, let’s look at race:

Typical Superhero Movie (2016 Average):

  • African-American: 15%
  • Caucasian: 52%
  • Hispanic: 21%

“Black Panther:”

  • African-American: 37%
  • Caucasian: 35%
  • Hispanic: 18%

For those of you who need a visual:

'Black Panther' Audience Make-Up by Demographic (Quartz)

‘Black Panther’ Audience Make-Up by Demographic (Quartz)

Check that out!! The percentage of African-Americans seeing “Blank Panther” was more than double that of the average superhero movie.

The Typical Superhero numbers were pulled from a Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) Theatrical Market Statistics report from 2016. “Black Panther” numbers came from audience tracking platform comScore.


Typical Superhero Movie’s Opening Weekend:

  • Male: 60-65%
  • Female: 35-40%

“Black Panther” Opening Weekend:

  • Male: 55%
  • Female: 45%

This is big too! More women wanted to see “Black Panther” on opening weekend than the usual superhero fare. One explanation is that the movie positions many strong, dynamic female characters front and center: Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), Shuri (Letitia Wright) and Okoye (Danai Gurira).

There you have it, folks: Hard data on the fact that representation matters in media. If you represent inclusivity in your movie, you’ll give a more inclusive audience. And that will translate to bigger bank.


“Black Panther” Has the Biggest President’s Day Box Office with $40.2M

Chadwick Boseman in 'Black Panther' (Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki)

Chadwick Boseman in ‘Black Panther’ (Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki)

The highly-anticipated Marvel movie “Black Panther” opened last Thursday night, and has already broken records.

“Black Panther” made $40.2M on President’s Day, making it the biggest Monday ever. The record was previously held by “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in 2016, which made $40.1M.

“Black Panther” also made the second-most amount of money in its first four days of opening with $241.6M. The movie now holds the record for the biggest President’s Day weekend opening, “Deadpool” was the previous recordholder, making $152M in 2016.┬áThe only movie that made more within its first four days was (you guessed it) “The Force Awakens, which made $288.1M.

Among movie theater chain AMC, the movie became the highest-grossing title in the chain’s history for 80 theaters, which accounts for over 10% of the chain’s theaters. The movie opened in 661 theaters.

Worldwide, “Black Panther” made $426.6M. The movie has yet to open in China, Japan and Russia.


#ThrowbackThursday: Alice Dunnigan, Date Unknown

Alice Dunnigan (Columbia Journalism Review Archive)

Alice Dunnigan (Columbia Journalism Review Archive)

Alice Dunnigan should be more well-known. This is not editorializing, this is just a fact. As a journalist WOC, Dunnigan pioneered many firsts. She was the first African-American woman to have press access to the White House, first African-American female member of the Senate and House of Representatives press galleries. Dunnigan was also the first African-American woman to travel with a presidential candidate, when she traveled with Harry S. Truman during the 1948 presidential campaign.

Dunnigan paved the way for other African-American female journalists, among them Gwen Ifill, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Oprah Winfrey.


Jordan Peele Is the First African-American to Receive The Trifecta Oscar Nominations

Jordan Peele (The Hollywood Reporter)

Jordan Peele (The Hollywood Reporter)

Jordan Peele just had the best day ever.

Oscar nominations hit yesterday, and the nominations for Peele’s movie “Get Out” put him in rarefied territory. “Get Out” received nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay for Peele.

These honors make Peele the third filmmaker to get the trifecta of honors as a first-time director. (Yes, hard to believe, but “Get Out” was his first feature!) Warren Beatty and James L. Brooks preceded Peele in this trifecta with their respective features “Heaven Can Wait” and “Terms of Endearment.” Not only that, but Peele is the first African-American to achieve this!

Congrats Jordan! I can’t wait to see what comes next for you! Crossing my fingers that you’ll win all Oscars!!


#ThrowbackThursday: Eartha Kitt as Catwoman in “Batman,” 1967

Eartha Kitt as Catwoman (Pinterest)

Eartha Kitt as Catwoman (Pinterest)

Many people know Julie Newmar as Catwoman in the 1960s TV series “Batman,” but there was a second Catwoman as well! Actress and singer Eartha Kitt took over the role in 1967. Kitt was already famous by this time, having danced with the Katherine Dunham Company, recorded several songs and had been acting for many years.

Kitt played Catwoman from 1967 to 1968. Not bad for a woman Orson Welles called “the most exciting woman on Earth.”


Google Trends: “Black Panther”

Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong'o in 'Black Panther' (Geeks of Doom)

Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong’o in ‘Black Panther’ (Geeks of Doom)

As you may have heard, “Black Panther” comes out in less than a month (!!!). Tickets went on sale a little over a week ago, and Fandango has already reported that the movie’s pre-sales have set a new record for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), beating previous record-holder “Captain America: Civil War.”

I was curious to see how Google was affected by this record. Let’s take a look!

First, here’s a general search for “black panther” over the last 12 months:

Google Trends: 'black panther' search term over the past 12 months (Google Trends)

Google Trends: ‘black panther’ search term over the past 12 months (Google Trends)

See that spike in June? The movie’s teaser trailer dropped on Jan. 9, and received 89M views within its first 24 hours. And you can see the spike at the end within the last few weeks.

How many people searched for “black panther tickets?”

Google Trends: 'black panther tickets' from the past 12 months (Google Trends)

Google Trends: ‘black panther tickets’ from the past 12 months (Google Trends)

Check out that spike!! Everyone wanted in (no surprise, because this movie looks AMAZING!).

Since Fandango reported the new record, let’s see what the trend for searching “black panther fandango” looks like:

Google Trends: 'black panther fandango' search term for the past 12 months (Google Trends)

Google Trends: ‘black panther fandango’ search term for the past 12 months (Google Trends)

Once again, we see a drastic spike with the last week. One interesting thing is that while the search term “black panther tickets” projected a drop in the search term for the current week (see second graph), the search phrase that includes Fandango does not.

One thing is clear: The excitement surrounding this movie is definitely affecting search, so make sure that SEO is on point!


“Black Panther” Sets Fandango Record for Marvel Pre-Sales

Chadwick Boseman in 'Black Panther' (Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki)

Chadwick Boseman in ‘Black Panther’ (Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki)

Seriously, who *isn’t* eagerly awaiting “Black Panther” to drop?! If you know anyone that’s not, tell them to get right!!

The latest proof comes from ticket website Fandango, which opened ticket sales to the latest entry to Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) a week ago. Twenty-four hours later, “Black Panther” had set a new record for advance ticket pre-sales for a Marvel movie. Sadly, no numbers were given to back up this claim (because you know I’d love to see them!).

The film is clearly benefitting from broader awareness: Sales began after a national TV spot aired during the College Football Playoff National Championship. A recent Fandango survey of 8K moviegoers revealed that “Black Panther” is the second-most anticipated film of the year. It ranks below another MCU entry “Avengers: Infinity War.” Many of the “Black Panther” characters will appear in “Infinity War.” Titular star Chadwick Boseman was also voted the “most anticipated comic book hero in a standalone movie.”

This pre-sale record may or may not indicate how well “Black Panther” will do when it opens next month. According to entertainment industry trade “Deadline,” estimates not affiliated with the movie are predicting an opening weekend take of $80-85M, and maybe scaling up to $100M. But then “Captain America: Civil War” (the previous Fandango pre-sales record holder for the MCU) made $179M in its opening weekend, and went out to gross $1.15B (!) around the world.

“Black Panther” opens on Feb. 16, 2018, and stars Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, and Angela Bassett.