The King is returning to the big screen.
Photo: Disney

Fresh off its award for Best Ensemble from the Screen Actors Guild, Black Panther, the multiple Oscar nominee and highest-grossing domestic film of 2018, is coming back to theaters.

Now, we know what you’re thinking. Yes, Black Panther is on Blu-ray and Netflix right now—so no, Disney isn’t going to make you pay for it. The movie will be playing for free in celebration of Black History Month, and also to help spread the news of the company giving a $1.5 million grant to the United Negro College Fund.

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“Black Panther is groundbreaking for many reasons, including the rich diversity of voices behind its success,” Bob Iger, the chairman and CEO of Disney said in a press release. “The story also showcases the power of knowledge to change the world for the better, and the importance of ensuring everyone has access to it. We’re proud to provide thousands of free screenings of Black Panther in hopes it will continue to inspire audiences, and to support UNCF with a $1.5 million grant to make the dream of higher education a reality for more students.”

The screenings will take place February 1-7 at 250 participating AMC Theaters locations, and there are two shows per day. For tickets and theaters, visit this link.

Obviously, this is good news. Any opportunity to see a great film on the big screen is always good news, especially when tickets are free. But, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention another side to this. Black Panther is up for seven Oscars and the Oscars won’t be awarded until February 24. Voting starts on February 12 and goes through the 19th. So, while there are strong cultural benefits to this release, it’s also not a bad thing for Black Panther to be back in theaters, reminding audiences, which could include some Oscar voters, just how wonderful and important the film is. Maybe, just maybe, it’ll encourage someone to vote for Black Panther in an extra category or two. It certainly can’t hurt, right?

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Whether that was an intended benefit or not, we can’t say for sure. We hope it works out that way though. Oscar nominations are cool, but lots of Oscar gold for Black Panther would be even cooler.


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