Black Panther is making history…again.
The Marvel flick directed by Ryan Coogler will be the first film shown in Saudi Arabia in over 35 years. The country has had a cinema ban in place since the 1970s when Islamic clerics shut down all movie theaters while instituting conservative religious laws. Clearly, times are changing and Wakanda is more powerful than we ever imagined.
This month, AMC Entertainment will open a theater in the nations capital of Riyadh and Black Panther is scheduled to be the first movie played. The company has plans to open 40 cinemas in more than 12 cities across Saudi Arabia over the next five years and we’re guessing the 32 million people who live there will be lining up to see King T’Challah in all his glory.
According to reports, the ban reversal was announced as part of the reformist Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plan to “moderate Islam” and it’s just one of his recent moves. He recently reversed a ban on women in sports stadiums and women will be allowed to obtain driver’s licenses for the first time in June.
The film that starsChadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Winston Duke, and Sterling K. Brown among others has been breaking record right and left since its debut in February and it shows no signs of slowing down.
Black Panther is now the highest-grossing superhero movie of all time and earned more than $1 billion globally in its first month in theaters. It had the second largest opening weekend for a Marvel film, following The Avengers, and it is the fourth film to top $100 million in its first two weekends.
The ground-breaking flick that has become a cultural phenomenon, continues to break down barriers and set box office records. Nearly two months after its release, according to Entertainment Weekly, the Marvel/Disney film earned an astounding $652.5 million at the U.S. box office and more than $1.2 billion worldwide.
Black Panther will hit Saudi Arabia on April 18.