Apr 22, 2018 Last Updated 2:12 PM, Apr 20, 2018
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The country’s movie theatre business is attracting debate on social media as the Hollywood blockbuster movie Black Panther takes the world by storm.

The movie is already showing in neighbouring countries such as Zambia and Tanzania but is yet to be shown in the country.

Proprietor of The Underground in Blantyre, Sundu Jere tells Capital FM that it is interesting the movie has sparked such debate locally.

The Underground which was formerly called M-theatres is the only movie theatre in Malawi.

“We are the only cinema in Malawi and we do not even have an international chain.

Most of the people making such noise do not understand how such a business works but there are a few people with positive comments who understand how the cinema industry works,” Jere said.

The proprietor went on further to say that most people have misconceptions of how cinemas work; the business is risky and requires a lot of investments so that one does not end up going out of business after realising that there is low patronage whenever a movie is showing.

When asked on when The Underground might screen the critically acclaimed movie, Jere said they will screen the film that when they see it profitably suitable to do so.

“People should not compare Malawian cinemas to that of Zambia or Tanzania because even our economies are very different, and they have demand so movie theatres even compete for customers.

We have a business to run and for us to make sure that our business is surviving, we will not act just because it’s one person that wants to watch Black Panther,” he added.

According to Jere they are being kept in business because of their loyal patrons that watch movies at The Underground every month, not that one person that wants a movie today but will not be around to watch another movie tomorrow.

Directed by Ryan Coogler, the Marvel movie Black Panther has broken box office records worldwide and already made over a billion dollars since its release last month.

It stars Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyo’ngo and Micheal B. Jordan.

Marvel's superhero film Black Panther has taken more than a billion US dollars (£794m) at cinemas worldwide.

It is the fifth movie based in Disney's Marvel Universe to hit the milestone.

The film stars Chadwick Boseman as the crime-fighting ruler of Wakanda, a fictional African nation with the most advanced technology on earth.

Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o, Michael B Jordan and Daniel Kaluuya play key roles, with The Hobbit star Martin Freeman as CIA agent Everett Ross.

The film has been widely praised as game-changing - including by Michelle Obama - for having a largely black cast and a black director, Ryan Coogler.

Box office analyst Jeff Bock told the New York Times: "I think about it like a wall crumbling. In terms of Black Panther, no studio can say again, 'Oh, black movies don't travel, overseas interest will be minimal.”

Based on Disney's estimate of ticket sales, the film passed the $1bn mark on the 26th day of its release.

Film information site IMDB says 32 movies have scored a box office billion, including 2012 James Bond offering Skyfall, the 2017 Beauty and the Beast reboot starring Emma Watson, and modern children's classic Frozen.

Earlier this week UK figures showed Black Panther was out-selling fellow superhero outings Iron Man, Thor and Captain America, after grossing £35.4m in three weeks.

Of the 18 Marvel films released to date, only two had made more money in the UK at a comparable stage - 2015's Avengers: Age Of Ultron (£40.4m) and 2012's The Avengers (£40.3m).

Signs of the film's success were good from the start - Black Panther more than doubled the amount it was predicted to take in the US and Canada over its opening weekend.

Last month, director Mr Coogler wrote a heartfelt letter thanking fans for their support.

"I am struggling to find the words to express my gratitude at this moment." he wrote.

"Never in a million years did we imagine that you all would come out this strong.

"Thank you for giving our team of filmmakers the greatest gift: The opportunity to share this film, that we poured our hearts and souls into, with you."

Patty Jenkins, the director who smashed records herself with 2017's Wonder Woman, shared her delight at Black Panther's "incredibly meaningful success".

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