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Ryan Coogler Writes Emotional Open Letter Reacting to ‘Black Panther’ Box Office: ‘I Am Struggling to Find the Words’

"Black Panther" became the highest grossing film in the U.S. made by a black director in just four days of release.

Ryan Coogler

Black Panther” isn’t just a box office hit, it’s a flat out phenomenon. The film’s $202 million three-day opening is the fifth best in movie history; only “The Avengers” has opened higher in terms of Marvel Cinematic Universe films. But the film even jumped ahead of “The Avengers” when its total reached $241 million on Monday, making it the second biggest four-day opener in film history, trailing only “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

With “Black Panther” quickly becoming one of the biggest films ever released in the U.S., there’s no one more speechless than director and co-writer Ryan Coogler. The “Fruitvale Station” and “Creed” director has officially joined the big leagues; he’s even made history as “Black Panther” is already the highest grossing film in the U.S. made by a black director. Coogler celebrated the film’s success by writing an open letter thanking fans, although he admitted he’s “struggling to find the words.”

“Never in a million years did we imagine that you all would come out this strong,” Coogler writes. “It still humbles me to think that people care enough to spend their money and time watching our film- But to see people of all backgrounds wearing clothing that celebrates their heritage, taking pictures next to our posters with their friends and family, and sometimes dancing in the lobbies of theaters– often moved me and my wife to tears.”

Coogler went on to thank the press for writing about the film so passionately and sharing their words with those who hadn’t seen the film yet. He concluded his letter with “Wakanda Forever.” “Black Panther” is now playing in theaters nationwide.

Read Coogler’s letter in its entirety below.

I am struggling to find the words to express my gratitude at this moment, but I will try.

Filmmaking is a team sport. And our team was made up [of] amazing people from all over the world who believe in this story. Deep down we all hoped that people would come to see a film about a fictional country on the continent of Africa, made up of a cast of people of African descent.

Never in a million years did we imagine that you all would come out this strong. It still humbles me to think that people care enough to spend their money and time watching our film- But to see people of all backgrounds wearing clothing that celebrates their heritage, taking pictures next to our posters with their friends and family, and sometimes dancing in the lobbies of theaters– often moved me and my wife to tears.

For the people who bought out theaters, who posted on social about how lit the film would be, bragged about our awesome cast, picked out outfits to wear, and who stood in line in theaters all over the world– all before seeing the film…

To the press who wrote about the film for folks who hadn’t yet seen it, and encouraged audiences to come out…

And to the young ones, who came out with their parents, with their mentors, and with their friends…

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.

Sincerely,

Ryan Coogler

P.S. Wakanda Forever

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