It's no secret that the Anderson community is proud of its hometown megastar, Chadwick Boseman, and his success as King T'Challa in the new Marvel film "Black Panther." Just look at the crowds that went out to see the film this past weekend.
"Black Panther" roared loud in its debut to the tune of $201 million in domestic box office betwen Monday and Sunday. It was the highest-grossing film ever in February (beating out "Deadpool") and was the highest-grossing film ever by a black director and featuring an almost all-black cast.
Boseman's own family was out in force on opening night, according to Tammy Hembree, senior manager at Amstar Stadium 14, where at two screenings, a total of 460 family members and friends of the actor went to see the film. On Saturday, 312 underprivileged youths were invited to see the film at the Amstar theater courtesy of Boseman, who bought the seats for the children.
Over the weekend, every theater showing "Black Panther" at Amstar and Regal Starlight were near-capacity. And on Monday, kids of all ages were filing into Amstar during a rainy afternoon; schools were closed due to President's Day.
One of those "kids of all ages" was Mildred Johnson, 73, who was sitting in front of a huge "Black Panther" display ahead of her noon showtime.
"I am just so proud of him and all he's done," Johnson said. "I collect comic books myself, and love all them superheroes. I have a feeling this one is going to be my favorite."
Johnson said her daughter, who lives near Atlanta, tried to get tickets to the film on Thursday, Friday and Saturday without success. She said it wasn't until Sunday that they could get tickets. As for her, she plans to see the film a few more times at least, especially since she used to live near the family.
"My house was on one side of the street and his parents were on the other," Johnson said. "Real nice for them and for Anderson."
"Black Panther" is in theaters now.