‘Black Panther’ storms China box office at weekend


Marvel's action movie Black Panther made more than 400 million yuan ($63.2 million) in three days at the Chinese mainland box office by Sunday.

The movie was finally released on the Chinese mainland on Friday after premiering in the US in late January.

Its 400 million yuan box office takings on Sunday night accounted for 42 percent of all takings in the Chinese mainland that day, according to Maoyan movie database statistics.

"Marvel films have rarely featured the culture of black people, and the combination of tribes and high-tech was brandnew to me," a moviegoer told the Global Times on Friday. She requested anonymity.

"Also, you can see women playing important roles in the success of T'Challa, or Black Panther, which was really impressive," she said.

"After learning about Easter eggs at the end of the film, I am expecting a lot from the Black Panther sequel," Robbie Wang, a Marvel fan from North China's Hebei Province, told the Global Times on Sunday.

The movie, although featuring white actors Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis, has a mostly black cast.

It rated 6.8 of 10 at douban.com and 8 of 10 at maoyan.com.

"The film is very much like Blaxploitation of the 1960s and 1970s, which presented African-Americans as winning big shots," Shi Wenxue, a Beijing-based film critic told the Global Times.

"Nowadays with Donald Trump as US president, racist movements are booming again, which also contributed to the popularity of Black Panther in Western countries."

"The film combines the styles of both African Nollywood and US Hollywood. The fictional kingdom of Wakanda in the movie shows the history, geography, religion and culture of Africa," Shi said, "It also satisfied Chinese audience's curiosity for the continent."

But not all Chinese viewers seemed to appreciate the change in stereotypes and typecasting.

"I felt uncomfortable watching Black Panther because of the political correctness in it," a Sina Weibo user said.

"The plot of the film could hardly touch me. Maybe a foreigner feels like that watching Mulan," another user posted.


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