Black Panther is the clear hot ticket in theaters this weekend, and one Los Angeles theater didn’t even try to disguise that fact. From both a critical and box office standpoint, Marvel Studios’ ongoing MCU franchise remains the reigning and defending champion of the world. Black Panther is on pace to continue that streak, with projections that it’ll make a mighty $185 million in its opening weekend, and over $200 million with the President’s Day holiday included into the calculation.

As far as the critical reaction goes, Black Panther is roaring, holding a 97 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s the highest tomatometer score of the entire MCU, passing up the previous record holder Iron Man’s 94 percent, and third place Thor: Ragnarok’s 92 percent. With the exception of the original MCU movie’s high placement on that list, there is a clear trend of the MCU’s scores steadily getting higher as things go along.

Related: Black Panther 2: Kevin Feige Wants Director Ryan Coogler to Return

A new MCU release is likely to dominate the box office chart of whatever weekend it comes out in, and Black Panther will be no different. However, the Hollywood Arclight theater in Los Angeles decided to remove all pretense that moviegoers might want to see something else last night. As preserved in a photo by THR editor Lesley Goldberg, Black Panther was the only film playing on every single screen the theater offered. Goldberg’s original tweet is below.

While it’s likely that other theaters might have done similar things for past MCU blockbusters, the photo above further illustrates just how important Black Panther is to both the MCU and the superhero movie genre in general. While T’Challa is obviously not the first black superhero to star in their own film, he’s definitely the most high-profile. Back when films like Blade and Spawn came out, comic book-based films weren’t the big deal crossover hits they are today. T-Challa’s debut solo film is one of the most anticipated of 2018, and the first instance of a person of color headlining an MCU property. The magnitude of that accomplishment deserves to be recognized and applauded.

Of course, fans won’t have to wait long to get their next dose of the Black Panther in action. The royal Wakandan hero will return in May for Avengers: Infinity War, arguably the biggest release in the history of the MCU. T’Challa will stand united with other Marvel heroes like Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Doctor Strange, Black Widow, and the Guardians of the Galaxy as they go to battle against the forces of the mad titan Thanos.

More: Is Black Panther’s Post-Credits Scene Worth Waiting For?

Source: Lesley Goldberg

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