|In 1971, Gordon Park's independently produced film SHAFT cost $1.125 million to make and release.|
Why are Black people in the US so excited about Black Panther, a comic-book fantasy on screen? Is it because it is a box-office success? It demonstrates a new-found Black prowess in the Hollywood cesspool? In other words, we Blacks can now make Walt Disney so much richer, so he can make us that much more prouder?
HMMM. Well, I hate to snatch away your koofis and the traditional African earings you bought at Macy's,but Black Panther is a piss-poor box-office draw for investors, so far. For the Presidents' Day, 4-day weekend, Black Panther is expected to make $213 million. It cost $200 million to make, so say Brother Imhotep Disney's boys at Marvel. That is $13 million over cost.
But let us go back to July 2, 1971 and the release of the Black cult classic SHAFT. That movie cost $1.125 million to make. It earned $10.996 million over cost by December 31, 1971--5 months.That means its investors made about $8.00 back on each dollar they put into the movie. For SHAFT, a $100,000 investor made $999,592 ($6.176 million in current currency). A $100,000 investor in Panther, over the weekend, will get about $760.00 or $128.00 (adjusted for inflation by the US Labor Dept. for buying power in Dec. 1971).
But these figures are moot to the vast hordes of Black Panther freaks, since they are highly unlikely to have any stake in the MATERIAL SUCCESS of the movie whatsoever. Even at $32.00 per day in actual 1971 buying power, today's movie makers have something to show--maybe a dinner for 2 at Applebees. What do Black Americans have to show, except that they are bigger chumps for Hollywood's Black Exploitation con-game now than they were in 1971. You tell me.