Jul 20, 2018 Last Updated 1:53 PM, Jul 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".

"Black Panther," Marvel's first film directed by an African-American, brought in an estimated $192 million for its three-day debut in North America this weekend. That's the fifth biggest opening of all time.

The opening for the film starring Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan did not just shatter expectations, it broke multiple box office records too.

It blew away the record for the largest opening for an African-American director. That belonged to F. Gary Gray and "The Fate of the Furious," which opened to $98 million last April.

Disney estimates that the film will bring in $218 million domestically for the four day holiday weekend. The film brought in an opening of $361 million around the world.

"Black Panther" also shattered the record for an opening in February, which belonged to "Deadpool," the R-rated superhero film from 20th Century Fox that brought in $132 million when it opened in 2016.

It is the second biggest opening for a Marvel Studios film, behind 2012's "The Avengers." It out paced other huge hits like "Avengers: Age of Ultron," "Captain America: Civil War" and "Iron Man 3." It is the studio's 18th straight number one opening.

The record-breaking weekend is watershed moment for Hollywood. With "Black Panther" reaching box office heights that have eluded other African-American titles, the film's totals could impact change in the industry by encouraging diversity in front of and behind the camera.

The film is an "important milestone," according to comScore (SCOR) senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

"'Black Panther' exceeded even the grandest box office expectations while simultaneously breaking down cinematic barriers and marking a turning point in the evolution of the genre," he said.

The film garnered an "A+" CinemaScore from audiences and a near perfect 97% score on review site Rotten Tomatoes, which makes it one of the best-reviewed superhero movies of all time.

A Tunisian court has banned the US film Wonder Woman which stars an Israeli actress, more than a month after it had been scheduled to open at cinemas in the Arab state, a legal source said Wednesday.

Lebanon has also banned Wonder Woman, on the grounds of a long-standing boycott of Israel. 

The film was to have been screened at two venues in Tunis in early June but the showings were "suspended" following a complaint from the nationalist Al-Chaab party.

The court finally decided to impose the ban last Friday, prosecution spokesman Sofiene Sliti said, although the verdict was only disclosed to the media this week without a reason given for the judgement.

Al-Chaab demanded the film be banned because its leading actress, Gal Gadot, had defended Israel's 2014 war on the Palestinian enclave of Gaza on Facebook.

The case sparked controversy in Tunisia, with supporters of the ban calling for "no normalisation" of ties with the Jewish state and others criticising censorship.

Marvel Studios' "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," the sequel to the 2014 hit, brought in an estimated $145 million in the U.S. this weekend.

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