Black Panther hasn’t even come out yet, but it’s all anyone’s talking about. On Jan. 27, the film’s director, Ryan Coogler paid a surprise visit to the Ghetto Film School in Los Angeles to announce that Synchrony Bank—a promotional partner on Black Panther—is donating $50,000 to the program. He also gave advice to a group of 30 students.
“Stay you. This industry is a strange one in that it can change you,” he said to the kids in a video posted by Marvel Entertainment. “Find out who you are first 'cause y’all probably don’t even know yet. And once you find that, hold onto it. Be unapologetic about it, 'cause it’s gonna make your perspective unique.” It’s definitely guidance that we can all take.
A young girl asked if he ever gets overwhelmed or lost when directing a film, to which he said, “You feel that everyday. For me, what I found that works [is] get a crew around you that’s supportive of you and understands what it is that you’re trying to do, and believes it. 'Cause the job’s incredibly hard.”
At the end of his visit, Coogler had yet another surprise: He invited the entire Fellows Session class to the world premiere of Black Panther in LA on Jan. 29. The students attended the film, and even got the best spots on the red carpet to see the celebrity entrances.
Opening on Feb. 16, the Disney and Marvel production is slated to reach more than $165 million in ticket sales during its four-day President’s Day weekend release. On Wednesday, the film broke the U.K. 2018 box office record for most tickets sold in a day. The soundtrack, which was produced by Kendrick Lamar and Top Dawg Entertainment CEO Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith, is also poised to hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200, according to Billboard.