Black Panther Movie Problem

The movie was supposed be to a moderate success, recouping its $350 million production and marketing budget. End of story.

Most in the movie industry expected the title to do moderate business at the box office because the cast were black - citing the rule: ”black movies don’t travel”. This is not a racial discussion, it is about demographics and marketing.

Knowing your customer will help your business achieve success. You can then deliver your product or service to meet their expectation, which is at a satisfaction to them and a financial benefit to you.

The Black Panther movie followed the story telling formula of other Marvel movie franchises - make the characters relatable and tell an entertaining story that follows the theme of the comic book. However the problem with the Black Panther movie is the movie development industry really did not account for the customer and the satisfaction this movie production would bring. It was always said that black actors don’t draw customers. Customers, whoever they may be, are generally interested in engaging product and service providers that meet their needs, delivers a high rate of satisfaction and genuinely shows an interest in the community where the product or service is being offered — Black Panther met many of these. The movie development industry now have a problem: they created a good product with black actors and the product sold well — $1.2 billion well.

The Black Panther movie just surpassed Titanic to become the 3rd biggest movie in the United States' history, reached $1.2 Billion in ticket sales, and has yet to be sold into cable and streaming markets. Yet people are still shocked by the Black Panther’s market performance. Good products sell well to interested customers. Conversely, bad products would likey sell poorly, for example: who would buy “Heels for Runners?

Marketing take away: don’t make business assumptions based simply on historic beliefs. Do a little research, it will help you understand your market as it is now.