It was clear that Black Panther—the latest film from Marvel Studios and the first with a black lead and an almost entirely black cast—was going to be a hit well before it arrived in theaters last Thursday night. The film's ticket pre-sales were massive, early reviews were stellar, and it had the support of everyone from A Wrinkle In Time director Ava DuVernay to Hidden Figures star Octavia Spencer.
There was no question that this film, viewed by many fans as a welcome and long overdue dose of diversity in modern superhero cinema, was going to be huge. The only question remaining was how huge.
By Monday morning, it was obvious that Black Panther was off-the-charts huge, with the biggest opening weekend in February ever recorded. The film is now one of only five movies to top $200 million domestically in its first weekend out. Then, when it felt like Black Panther couldn't rise any higher, it got an endorsement from a former First Lady.
Michelle Obama, wife of 44th President Barack Obama, tweeted out effusive praise for Black Panther on Monday, calling the film inspiring and celebrating its diversity.
This is not the first time the former First Lady—perhaps best known to the public for championing physical fitness and better nutrition for kids during her time in the White House—has given such high praise to a diverse piece of popular art. In 2016 she called Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway hit Hamilton "the best piece of art in any form that I have ever seen in my life."
Now, she's taken time to not only see Black Panther, but to give it her personal seal of approval, joining the ranks of everyone from Oprah to Moonlight director Barry Jenkins to Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds. It's not like Black Panther needed another boost on its way to box office domination, but thanks to Michelle Obama, it got one anyway.