All hail King T’Challa of Wakanda! The much anticipated Disney-Marvel film Black Panther premiered in cinemas worldwide on 16 February and is already breaking box office records. Black Panther raked in over $200 million over this past weekend in the US. Global ticket sales are predicted to total an estimated $387 million by Monday. But not everybody got to see it.
Going to the cinema is expensive and not everyone can afford it. But everybody deserves to see Black Panther. Celebrities and good samaritans all over the world (and at home) who recognised this paid for fans’ tickets.
Actor Brie Larson, who also plays Captain Marvel, tweeted that buying Black Panther tickets for yourself and your loved ones is one of the best things you can do for yourself. People from all over the world answered her thread offering to buy tickets for anyone in their respective countries – or the world.
One of the best things you can do for yourself and/or the ones you love is purchase some #BlackPanther tix. I know it’s expensive to go to the theater, but its worth it for this one. You will exit forever impacted.
— Brie Larson (@brielarson) February 16, 2018
Someone even responded from South Africa.
I would LOVE to help 2 people out with tickets in South Africa. #BlackPanther
— 🕳 (@di0zapeeRc) February 16, 2018
Writer Janine Jellars also bought two tickets for someone to watch the show.
If you want to watch #BlackPanther but money is tight, DM me. I’ll pay for a set of double tickets – one for you and a friend. Anywhere in SA. I’ll ewallet the cash on Monday when I’m back in SA ✨
— Janine Jellars sings kikirikirikiki (@janine_j) February 17, 2018
A South African cinema also screened the film at an affordable price to make it more accessible. The Steve Biko Centre Cinema in King Williams Town, Eastern Cape, screened the movie over the weekend at R25 for adults, and R15 for pensioners and children under the age of 16.
Kendrick Lamar’s label Top Dawg Entertainment run by Anthony ‘Top Dawg’ Tiffith hosted free Black Panther screenings over the weekend for the youth of the Watts neighbourhood in South Los Angeles. The label is also home to SZA, who along with Lamar, featured on the film’s soundtrack. The label, in partnership with Interscope Records, held three free screenings of the film on 17 February, a day after it was released.
Rapper T.I. also partnered with Walmart to give 300 tickets to families so they could see advanced screenings of the movie.
Me and @Walmart joined efforts to support the community with free tickets for customers to attend an Advance Screening of @MarvelStudios @theblackpanther. We gave away 300 tickets to deserving families yesterday at the Cascade Walmart store. #BlackPanther pic.twitter.com/S74W8x4Ai9
— T.I. (@Tip) February 13, 2018
Always on top of the game, tennis player Serena Williams surprised a group of young girls, aged between seven and 17, and invited them to a private screening of the film with her. The group were members of Black Girls Code – an organisation aiming to increase the number of women of colour in the digital technology space.
The story of Black Panther tells of T’Challa, who must take over the reigns of the African nation of Wakanda after the death of his father the king. The nation, untouched by colonialism, is isolated, dynamic, and technologically advanced. Black Panther stars South Africa’s John Kani, Connie Chiume, and Atandwa Kani. It also boasts an international cast of Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, and Chadwick Boseman.
“The concept of an African story, with actors of African descent at the forefront, combined with the scale of modern franchise filmmaking, is something that hasn’t really been seen before,” Ryan Coogler who directed the film told The Hollywood Reporter. “You feel like you’re getting the opportunity of seeing something fresh, being a part of something new, which I think all audiences want to experience regardless of whether they are of African descent or not.”