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Note from BW of Brazil: The wait is finally over! For more than a week now, I watched people share photos, trailers and comments about the debut Marvel’s Black Panther film. Needless, the anticipation has reached a fever pitch. I’m not even sure if it’s even possible for a film to live up to the pre-release hype that’s been building over the past few weeks. Assuring that the film debuts with a bang, several online groups have been organizing through social media and plain ole word-of-mouth to pack theaters with hundreds of black Brazilians in Panther’s first week. Even as the film is not a Brazilian production, the significance and impact of the film and the possibilities for more big budget blockbusters with mostly black casts was not lost on an Afro-Brazilian community that has been starving for media representation for decades. It’s not like the creative talent isn’t there. In December and again last month, this blog brought you an artist who showed us what a mixture of Marvel super heroes and Afro-Brazilian deities would like and then an historian that demonstrated how Afro-Brazilian History could also be very compelling in comic form. Below, a few leading features in their areas speak on the significance of Pantera Negra and its game-changing possibilities.
Black Panther and the other possible side of entertainment
Amid boycotts, record sales and mobilizations around its meaning, the Marvel film may represent a milestone for film and consumption
By Luiz Gustavo Pacete
Black Panther (Pantera Negra in Brazil) is already the movie with the highest number of tickets sold in the first 24 hours of pre-sales
In the same week, in early February, Marvel’s film Black Panther, which debuted on Thursday, 15, proved its ability to lift the debate around the representativeness in the world of comics and superhero movies. At the time, a group of fans from rival DC proposed a boycott of the Marvel film asking people to rank it negatively on the Rotten Tomatoes site in response to an alleged “biased stance of the portal.” Facebook banned pages that called for a boycott of the film. It didn’t work, since the film has a 98% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes, a higher index than any other of Marvel or DC.
Later, another group of DC fans pooled their resources to buy movie tickets for children in vulnerable situations in the United States. More than $5,000 was raised. The initiative has joined several others around the world around the film giving the Black Panther the title of movie with the highest number of tickets sold in the first 24 hours of the beginning of pre-sales. The previous record was Batman vs. Superman. Estimates around Black Panther is that it will make $100 million to $120 million in his first weekend of debut.
One of the film’s greatest assets is the differentiated perspective on the issue of diversity
Paulo Rogério Nunes, an advertiser, affiliated with Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University and co-founder of the accelerated Vale do Dendê, says that Pantera Negra is emblematic because, in addition to bringing estética negra (black aesthetics) to the mainstream, it presents a modern and sophisticated narrative about the African continent. “The film fills a gap in the lack of heróis negros (black heroes) in the movies. There is already a lot of content about the film produced by fans in Portuguese without even the movie having come out. This proves that companies need to understand that by investing in diversity, they can innovate and profit more, after all there is a pent-up demand and many consumers are seeking more representation,” he says.
Caio Baptista Antonio, Mutato’s community manager and fan of superhero movies, believes that Pantera Negra shows a possible side of the hero’s films. “Not only for bringing a broader and less comical view of history, but to show the power, strength, and resilience of a little portrayed people in theaters. The film is not made to have diversity, it’s the representation of diversity, showing the advancement of a society that has survived time. It is possible that with this vision, it will revolutionize Marvel’s movie universe and transform it into something very different from what it is today,” says Baptista.
It’s not just cinema: the franchise’s licensing potential also reaches the licensing and consumer industry
Silvia Nascimento, content director of Mundo Negro website, says that Black Panther is much more than a film with black men and black women. “From the commercial point of view, I think it will be a great watershed, since finally the film industry will see how lucrative it is to make films with black and thematic protagonists that highlight cultura africana (African culture). The power of consumption of the black community has been growing and the demands of products, including audiovisual products that contemplate this audience are urgent,” she says.
She recalls that, not by chance, Black Panther has broken several records, such as the early sales. “I think brand-name products will also be a hit, not only among black audiences, but among all those who honor heroes and a good story. If I as a black woman, am a Thor fan, why would a white person not be a fan of the Black Panther?”
The actress and producer Maria Gal, who has participated in productions like 3% on Netflix, Conselho Tutelar of Record TV, and several others for free and pay TV, and that mobilizes discussions on diversity in casting, states that, because it is a commercial film, it opens doors to other productions with its style.
“Revealing that we blacks want to see stories with black heroes and heroines, and characters who break old stereotypes. I, as an actress, got tired of seeing the same black stories in the national movies and TV, and because of that I’m starting to produce,” says Gal.
The actress is currently working on the development of a production based on real events that tells the story of the writer Carolina Maria de Jesus, a black woman, semi-literate who became best-selling author being translated in more than 40 countries and 14 languages.
According to Carlos Vitor, responsible for the Load Comics channel, from the point of view of comics, Black Panther never had many materials published in Brazil. For him, the film is the most serious and necessary of Marvel. “If we stop to see that it’s been 10 years since Marvel started with its films, Black Panther has a clear purpose.
Source: Meio Mensagem
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