With a worldwide box office of $748 million and climbing (after just two weeks in release, mind you), Black Panther is a bona fide phenomenon. The Marvel Studios film has earned some of the best reviews in MCU history, and when all is said and done could end up the #1 grossing Marvel movie ever. But on a base level, the reason for Black Panther’s success is simple: It’s connecting with people. That was abundantly clear on, of all places, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night, where host Jimmy Fallon offered fans the chance to thank Chadwick Boseman for his work and for the film in a pre-taped message. But what these fans didn’t know was Boseman and Fallon were lurking behind the corner, and came out and surprised them after they’d expressed their love and appreciation for the film.
This bit has been done before on Fallon, but never as effectively. These people aren’t just saying the movie was “awesome” or “badass,” you’ll see some of them essentially pour their hearts out as they explain what seeing this kind of movie means to them. This is why representation matters. Never before has a movie like Black Panther been made—a $200 million blockbuster superhero movie with a nearly-all black cast and a heavy African influence. This is a rarity, and the importance of this film was not lost on writer/director Ryan Coogler or Marvel Studios as a whole. They put an intense amount of care into making it—seriously, the film is packed with motifs, allusions, and metaphors. Even the colors of the costumes are coded in a very specific way.
So it’s great to see fans directly interact with Boseman, and below there’s a wide range of emotions from pure shock, crying, and running away. There’s also a very sick Jimmy Fallon burn at one point that’s kind of amazing. Check out the video below.