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Arts & Life

'Black Panther' Breaks Weekend Box Office Records

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Before the release of "Black Panther," the director Ryan Coogler told us in an interview that he was feeling pretty nervous.

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RYAN COOGLER: Honestly, I got the same worries that I have whenever I make a movie. Will it work? You know, will it connect with audiences?

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now we know the answer. Yes, it did connect. Early box office projections show that by the end of today, "Black Panther" will have grossed about $387 million worldwide.

GREENE: It was the best U.S. opening ever for a film in February. "Black Panther" is also now ranked in the top five domestic opening weekends of all time. And that's not even beginning to talk about "Black Panther's" cultural impact. Fans were dressed up as characters from the movie's fictional African kingdom of Wakanda.

INSKEEP: I was in a restaurant over the weekend, and the drinks had all been renamed after "Black Panther."

GREENE: "Black Panther" was everywhere over the weekend.

INSKEEP: Yeah. One of the movies stars, Lupita Nyong'o, said this was an opportunity to celebrate different cultures not often seen in action films.

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LUPITA NYONG'O: This is an opportunity to celebrate the cultures that we have, really embrace them and put them out there for others to see and get curious about and embrace as well.

INSKEEP: So Wakanda is fictional, but the impact of "Black Panther" is very real. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.