By Aamna Mohdin and Lynsey Chutel
The buzz around Black Panther, Marvel’s first black superhero film, is palpable. Weeks before it arrives in theaters, the film has already morphed into the joyous reprieve that black America—in fact, all of America—needs right now. Celebrities are buying out entire theaters in underserved communities so young black children can look up and finally see themselves as superheroes. But the hype doesn’t end at America’s border. Book clubs, comic fans, and movie lovers across the globe are coming together to host special screenings to watch the star-studded (and all black) cast.
The excitement has translated into impressive ticket pre-sales. The film, which will be released on Feb. 16, has already outpaced other superhero movies in advance ticket sales for Fandango’s online tickets service. The early reviews suggest the film is not only a “game-changing movie” for Marvel, but also well on its way to becoming a “defining cinematic moment” for on-screen racial and gender representation. But as hype for the film reaches a crescendo, so does a glaringly obvious question: can the film live up to expectations?