The preliminary numbers are in and “Black Panther” — much of which was filmed in metro Atlanta — is the blockbuster everyone expected it to be and more: it brought in $192 million at the box office.
Its ties to the area are a big deal. Every blockbuster filmed here puts to work thousands of actors, carpenters, stage designers and others who rely on movie creation for income. The more Georgia is seen as the place where big movies are made, the better the chances more films will be shot here, according to state officials and economic experts.
Here are five things you should know about “Black Panther’s” ties to metro Atlanta and why they matter.
Location, location, location: Location means everything in real estate, but it’s also crucial in the movie business. Several locations around metro Atlanta were home to “Black Panther” settings, including the rock quarry at the Vulcan Materials Co. in Stockbridge.
A leader of the Henry County city says several scenes of Wakanda, the fictional home of Black Panther, were shot at the quarry, a source of pride for the south metro community.
Economic muscle: Almost $84 million of “Black Panther’s” reported $200 million budget was spent in Georgia. That money was spread throughout the state’s entertainment community, but at least $10.8 million went to rental equipment and grips; $9.4 million was spent on lumber, hardware and supplies; $5.6 million on lodging and $2 million on transportation, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
Working actors, florists, technicians, etc: A total of 3,100 people working in Georgia’s film industry were employed during the shoot, which began in August 2016 and wrapped in November of the following year, the state economic development department said.
Special screenings: It’s not unusual for fans to attend special screenings for a much-anticipated film, but dozens were created for “Black Panther” in metro Atlanta because of the region’s diversity and the movie’s focus on a highly developed African nation. Black Atlantans packed theaters across the metro area in previews and special screenings — often wearing African-inspired clothing — putting thousands into theater coffers and area stores with African attire.
TMZ Atlanta bureau: OK, this one may not be a direct result of “Black Panther”-mania alone. But TMZ, the online and broadcasting powerhouse of entertainment gossip, posted a job two weeks ago for a TMZ field reporter. That means it’s not enough to send a correspondent to metro Atlanta for an occasional premiere or to record a celebrity run in with police (remember TMZ’s report on Reese Witherspoon’s 2013 meltdown after the car she was riding in was pulled over for weaving in and out of Buckhead traffic?). The site needs a dedicated worker to keep up with all the Hollywood happenings in metro Atlanta — an indication that our film industry is maturing.