Serena Williams is just one of the latest stars to take on the #blackpantherchallenge. Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, rented out an entire theater for a group of girls to enjoy a private screening of Marvel’s Black Panther. The girls are part of the nonprofit organization, Black Girls Code, which offers them an introduction to technology and careers in coding.
As a special treat, Serena Williams surprised the girls with her attendance. According to Popsugar, the group of girls went wild when the tennis legend walked in to crash their private screening. “I’m glad you guys could make it out. Obviously this is a huge moment for us and for black people. We’ve never had a superhero movie, so we’re excited. I feel like I waited my whole life for this.”
Black Panther mania rocks the world
Black Panther’s release is already making history with the all-black cast debuting at $25.2 million in theaters last night. According to the NY Daily News, Marvel’s Black Panther is already putting up heroic numbers at the box office. The movie’s success is a close second behind Avengers: Age of Ultron which earned $27.5 million when it debuted in 2015.
The film was already positioned to exceed everyone’s expectations when Fandango confirmed that only three films ever had outsold it in pre-sales. But it did more than surpass expectations, becoming the top-selling pre-sales superhero movie in Fandango history.
Black Panther is the 18th of Marvel Cinematic Universe and is the first to highlight a black superhero. The all-star black cast includes iconic actors Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuyaand Angela Bassett.
Hollywood analysts are already projecting that the movie could break records with a $200 million opening weekend.
The #BlackPantherChallenge is a movement
The #BlackPantherChallenge, in which people like Serena Williams step forward to help underserved communities and children afford to see the biggest, Blackest movie of the year, started with Frederick Joseph. It has spread through the country, with big names like Snoop Dogg and Viola Davis also stepping up to the plate.
Oscar winner Octavia Spencer announced that she would be buying out an entire theater in Mississippi so that Black residents could see themselves on the big screen.
“I will be in [Mississippi] when this movie opens,” Spencer wrote on Instagram. “I think I will buy out a theatre in an underserved community there to ensure that all our brown children can see themselves as a superhero. I will let you know where and when Mississippi. Stay tuned.”
Amariyanna “Mari” Copeny, also known as “Little Miss Flint,” also stepped up for the challenge.
She and her cousins have set up a GoFundMe page to help marginalized children go to see the Marvel movie.
“This is important for every child especially those of color, to see themselves represented in a cinematic feature film. It is so important that marginalized children see a representation of themselves, especially in a city like Flint, Michigan,” the page reads.