Wakanda Forever – Conceive, Believe and Achieve

Go Lean Commentary

Movies matter …

Though its fantasy, art and make-believe, they still have an image impact on modern life. This is the reality of all movies; even comic book hero movies.

After 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) – and 18 movies – it was time for the impact from/for people of African descent. It was time for the Black Panther movie…

… and the summary declaration from the movie’s critics and box office performance is a line from the movie:

Wakanda forever!

See the full story here:

Title: ‘Black Panther’ Tops $700M With Record-Breaking 2nd Weekend
By: Scott Mendelson , Contributor and Film Industry Analyst

Black Panther earned $108 million on its second Fri-Sun frame, a drop of just 46% from last weekend’s record-crushing $202m Fri-Sun opening. In terms of raw dollars, it is the second-biggest second weekend gross of all time between Universal/Comast Corp.’s Jurassic World ($106.5m) and Lucasfilm’s The Force Awakens ($149m). It has now earned $400m in ten days of release, which makes it the second-fastest grosser of all time (for now) behind only Jurassic World ($404m) and The Force Awakens ($540m). Even if you adjust for inflation, it’s still only behind Warner Bros./Time Warner Inc.’s The Dark Knight, Marvel’s The AvengersJurassic World and The Force Awakens among ten-day domestic totals.

It also joins fellow Walt Disney release The Force Awakens as the only other $200 million+ opener to avoid the “$100m-losers club,” as it fell only $94m between weekends. That 46% second-weekend drop is a record for an MCU flick, holding even better than Paramount/Viacom Inc.’s Iron Man (-49%), Paramount’s Thor (-47%), Walt Disney’s The Avengers (-50%) and Disney’s  Doctor Strange (-49%). Its $47 million Saturday (+66% from Friday) is the second-biggest “day 9” Friday ever behind The Force Awakens. Sure, it dropped more in weekend two than Wonder Woman (-43%) and Spider-Man (-38%), but the Disney tentpole is earning so much so quickly that it’ll be past Sony’s Spider-Man ($403m in 2002, sans 3D or IMAX) and WB’s Wonder Woman ($413m last year) in a matter of days.

Once that happens, then Black Panther will be the third-biggest grossing solo superhero movie ever.  Once it gets past $413 million domestic, it’ll be behind only The Dark Knight Rises ($448m), Avengers: Age of Ultron ($458m), The Dark Knight ($534m) and The Avengers ($623m) among all superhero movies. Once it passes The Dark Knight (sans inflation), Black Panther will be the second-biggest superhero movie and the biggest solo superhero grosser ever in North America. Barring an unlikely comedown, Black Panther will end next weekend just past the $486m domestic total of Finding Dory to be the tenth-biggest North American earner ever and among the top 100 when adjusted for inflation.

Oh, and it may not stay ahead of The Last Jedi for very long. It had a (much) better hold and a larger overall second weekend, but Black Panther won’t have the advantage of Last Jedi’s post-Christmas weekdays. The Star Wars sequel made more on its second Mon-Thurs frame than its first. That’s somewhat normal for a big pre-Christmas release, which is why I wasn’t sounding the alarm bells after The Last Jedi dropped 67% in its second weekend. Now Black Panther may catch up yet again after next weekend, but we should note that The Last Jedi’s $620m domestic total isn’t remotely the bar for Black Panther’s success.

The only thing stopping Black Panther’s momentum is the sheer amount of “big” movies opening next month. And we’ll see just how big Red Sparrow, Walt Disney’s own A Wrinkle in Time (directed by Ava DuVernay and starring Storm Reid, natch), Tomb RaiderPacific Rim: Uprising (starring John Boyega) and Ready Player One turn out to be. Assuming Red Sparrow (which is pretty good but very much for adults and not remotely like Atomic Blonde or Mission: Impossible) doesn’t go crazy, then Black Panther will have at least the three weeks that The Avengers had to run the tables after Battleship and Dark Shadows bombed.

Age of Ultron had to deal with Mad Max: Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2 in its third weekend, followed by Disney’s Tomorrowland over Memorial Day. Jurassic World ran into Inside Out on its second weekend and faced Minions in weekend four and Ant-Man in weekend five. Even Spider-Man had to contend with Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones over its third frame. We know both that big movies can thrive alongside each other, and that a big and buzzy hit can hurt the competition. But there is something to be said for Black Panther getting relatively clear sailing for nearly a month.

That’s assuming A Wrinkle in Time breaks out, although I shouldn’t have to explain why many who worked on Black Panther will be rooting for A Wrinkle in Time even if it causes the MCU flick to take a big fourth-weekend drop. Heck, we could very well see a late March weekend where the top movies are (in random order) John Boyega’s Pacific Rim: Uprising, Alicia Vikander’s Tomb Raider, Storm Reid’s Wrinkle in Time, Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther and Jennifer Lawrence’s Red Sparrow. It may be up to Ready Player One to prove that big-budget franchise flicks starring white male leads aren’t box office poison. But that’s a highly ironic conversation for another day.

With Japan and China still on tap, Ryan Coogler’s MCU action drama has already topped $300m overseas for a $704m global total. It should be just over/under $900m worldwide by the end of next weekend, and it has already topped the likes of Man of Steel, Logan and Justice League, with Captain Aor merica: The Winter Soldier ($714m) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($709m) next in its sights. So, as noted above, Black Panther is well on its way to being the biggest solo superhero origin story/non-sequel ever. We’ll see if it can get past The Dark Knight ($1 billion), TheDark Knight Rises ($1.1b) and Iron Man 3 ($1.2b) to become Earth’s mightiest hero.

If you like what you’re reading, follow @ScottMendelson on Twitter, and “like” The Ticket Booth on Facebook. Also, check out my archives for older work HERE.

Source: Posted and retrieved February 25, 2018 from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2018/02/25/box-office-black-panther-tops-700m-with-record-breaking-2nd-weekend/#683907bb213f

For many people of color – the African Diaspora, Caribbean included – this movie is more than just a film, “it is an opportunity to reclaim a history that they have never seen”. These are the words of a Caribbean actor in the film, Winston Duke of Trinidad & Tobago; see his interview in the Appendix VIDEO below.

Caribbean actors?

Indeed there are nine of them (actors, actresses, stunts and visual artists), as the story in the Appendix reports.

History not seen?

People of color in the New World have the same origin story…the African Slave Trade. Before this travesty, African society existed with proud culture and traditions among its many tribes. This movie assumes: what if a subset of the African people persisted undisturbed by European colonizers and fostered an advanced technological society. So cool!

That is Wakanda! This is a vision that all people of color can 1. conceive, 2. believe and 3. achieve. This is relevant for a Caribbean consideration as 29 of the 30 countries that caucus as the political Caribbean have a majority Black population. It is what it is! (The only exception is the French Caribbean territory of St. Bartholomew). This vision corresponds with the book Go Lean … Caribbean, which presents a roadmap to reform and transform the Caribbean member-states from our dysfunctional past so as to finally have a prosperous future.

Let’s consider these 3 verbs (conceive, believe and achieve) in relation to the Black Panther movie:


This refers to the vision that was developed into comic books and now adapted into this record-breaking movie. Like other cultures around the world, African people also dream dreams, and envision heroes and saviors. In a prior blog-commentary, the Norwegian culture – Norse mythology – was examined in terms of hero story-telling with the movie Thor: Ragnarok.

(Recently, the much aligned president of the United States compared Norway to Africa; he inferred that Norwegian people and immigrants would be preferred to people from Africa – and Haiti – calling them “Shithole” countries).

So Marvel producing a Black-themed movie, with a Black Director and mostly Black cast members, set in Africa sends the message that “Africa and Africans” can produce heroes too. It is legitimate to conceive this vision.

This is the power of movies! They can impact the world by molding an image: positive or negative. This was highlighted in a previous blog/commentary regarding Caribbean Diaspora member and Hollywood great, Sidney Poitier, it stated:

“Movies are an amazing business model. People give money to spend a couple of hours watching someone else’s creation and then leave the theater with nothing to show for the investment; except perhaps a different perspective”.

This Black Panther movie does present some different perspectives. It highlight that the African Diaspora has been repressed worldwide, but it is possible to be heroic and overcome the obstacles facing our society. There is some “art imitating life” in these perspectives; the “art” of this movie does imitate the real life of African-descended people. This includes the Caribbean experience as well. Our history has clearly shown a repression in the societal engines, since the days of slavery right through colonialism. The “shackles” still remain, even today; there are many orthodoxy, and stupidity even, that persist in our Caribbean society and it will take heroic efforts to unseat. As portrayed in the Black Panther movie, there are different kinds of people who can all contribute heroically – in different kinds of ways – to help us reform and transform our society.


People are consuming this movie. People believe in the high principles of honor and pride that Wakanda stands for.

It had a record Box Office in Week 1. Plus, a record Box Office in Week 2. People believe! They have manifested this belief by their attendance and dollars.

See this portrayed in the VIDEO here.

VIDEO – DL Hughley Talks Black Panther Movie –  https://youtu.be/aQG7uNLp3Qs

DL Hughley

Published on Feb 19, 2018 – DL Hughley talks Black Panter Movie and its affect on our community. Family be sure to SUBSCRIBE LIKE AND FOLLOW me on all my social media. Thanks.

  • Category: Comedy
  • License: Standard YouTube License

In addition to believing that heroes can emerge from Africa, the Go Lean movement also believes that heroes can come from the Caribbean. The book asserts that one person can be a hero and impact their community, their country, the region and the whole world with their advocacy. The book details examples, samples and role models (Page 122), i.e. Frederick Douglass, Mohandas Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Cesar Chavez.


The movie Black Panther, is still just a movie. There is no expectation for a real Warrior-King to emerge from Wakanda.

But heroes can emerge from Black communities around the world and from Caribbean communities. Yes, we can achieve a hero’s journey for many of our citizen’s – residents and Diaspora.

This is the quest of the movement behind the book Go Lean … Caribbean, to achieve …

… to reform and transform the Caribbean member-states from our dysfunctional past so as to finally have a prosperous future. There are lots of lessons for us to consider; some from unusual places; consider the art world / comics book / film world.

As related previously, the edict of “life imitating art and art imitating life” provides a lot of teaching moments for the world in general and the Caribbean in particular. There is a lot we can learn from the art form of film and this newest blockbuster movie Black Panther. (The film has grossed over $700 million in US box office receipts after these first 2 weekends).

For Caribbean life to imitate this art – the Black Panther movie is a product of Caribbean art and artists too (Appendix) – our quest must be to elevate the societal engines so that Caribbean people can prosper where planted here in our region. How?

The Go Lean movement seeks to engage Caribbean heroes; the book serves as a roadmap to introduce the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) to elevate the region’s societal engines – economics, security and governance – of the 30 Caribbean member-states. In fact, the prime directives of the roadmap includes the following 3 statements:

  • Optimize the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establish a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

Early in the Go Lean book, in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Page 12), the point is made for the need for Caribbean heroes and heroics; it claims:

x. Whereas we are surrounded and allied to nations of larger proportions in land mass, populations, and treasuries, elements in their societies may have ill-intent in their pursuits, at the expense of the safety and security of our citizens. We must therefore appoint “new guards” to ensure our public safety and threats against our society, both domestic and foreign. The Federation must employ the latest advances and best practices … to assuage continuous threats against public safety.

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xii. Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation of the human and civil rights of the people for good governance, justice assurances, due process and the rule of law. …

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes, including piracy and other forms of terrorism, can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxxiii. Whereas lessons can be learned and applied from the study of the recent history of other societies, the Federation must formalize statutes and organizational dimensions to avoid the pitfalls of communities [and] … implement the good examples learned from developments [and] communities …

The Go Lean book describes the need for the Caribbean to appoint “new guards” to effect the necessary empowerments in the Caribbean. We need these “new guards” for our economic, homeland security and governing engines to better prepare our systems of commerce and to protect our homeland from threats and risks, foreign and domestic. The book therefore provides 370-pages of detail instructions of strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to achieve the needed societal elevation.

Only then, can we prosper where we are planted.

So we have conceived.

We believe …

Now, let’s achieve our objectives, according to this Go Lean roadmap. The urging here is not fantasy, not just “life imitating art”, but rather a visual demonstration of how our heroism can manifest; how we can make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play.

We urge all Caribbean stakeholders to lean-in for the empowerments described here in the book Go Lean…Caribbean.

Wakanda forever! 🙂

Download the free e-book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for the roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix VIDEO – ‘Black Panther’ Star Winston Duke on Wakanda’s Warriors – http://www.imdb.com/list/ls025849840/videoplayer/vi1664202777

Winston Duke reveals the tradition behind his devastating fighting style in ‘Black Panther,’ and reflects on Ryan Coogler’s unique directing style.


Appendix – Caribbean Well Represented In Marvel’s Black Panther Movie

By: Karibbeankollective

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would know that the most anticipated movie of the year made it’s US premiere last night to the delight of comic book fans everywhere. Black Pantherheralded as a game changer for Africans in film has a pretty impressive lineup of Hollywood favorites including Chadwick Boseman, Michael, B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Forest Whitaker , Andy Serkis and Angela Bassett. Holly-wood big names aside, do you know who was all up and through that film? Caribbean people. From the Bahamas all the way down to Guyana and we are here for every bit of it.  Here’s the cast that’s about to fill you with so much Caribbean Pride:

Source: Posted February 17, 2018; retrieved February 25, 2018 from: https://www.thekaribbeankollective.com/caribbean-actors-black-panther-winston-duke-trinidad-tobago/

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