When a blockbuster movie gets big from premiere, and has the potential to get even bigger, as with Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther”, there will be many businesses that would try to find a way to hitch a ride to that success. It could range from a licensing partnership, like with the LEGO tie-in brick sets and minifigures. Or it could be something as simple and inexpensive (or free) as a viral post on social media that would net significant attention. How would you feel if an international airport suddenly started listing flights to a fictional nation from an epic movie?
CNN got quite a good look at the viral hubbub raised on social media when Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), longtime record-holder as the busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic, posted a manipulated photo on Twitter showing a flight announcement board. At first glance there does not seem to be anything out of the ordinary, until one saw the destination: Wakanda, fictional home nation of African superhero and monarch King T’Challa aka the Black Panther. Said country is the primary setting of the latest installment in the decade-long Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise.
The tweet was first put up Monday, February 19; and since then it has gotten over 30,000 likes and half that number in re-tweets. The over 500 replies to ATL’s Twitter post have been mostly some game comments and questions from everyday people, almost all of which got cheeky in-universe replies from the ATL Twitter account. “Inquiries” ranged from whether the ATL flights to Wakanda have onboard Wi-Fi (yes), the frequency of flights (daily at 7:30), and whether the airport also had flights to Zamunda from the 1988 comedy movie “Coming to America” (they answered that Wakanda’s own international airport had direct trips to there).
Even celebrities have gotten into the fun with Hartsfield–Jackson’s little social media buzz. Actress Lupita Nyong’o, who plays Nakia in “Black Panther”, posted her own inquiry on the possible in-flight movie choices, with plenty of puns regarding names of the film’s characters (“Killmonger Bill”?) The best part is that ATL may have facts to back up their claim, in a way. The Marvel Studios movie shot scenes in several locations across Atlanta from August 2016 to November 2017, and over 3,000 people in the State of Georgia’s film industry had work during the production.
“Black Panther” has proven its chops in breaking box office records, from its biggest opening for a film by an African-American director, plus the largest earnings for a long weekend including President’s Day. The film is still on its first week in cinemas.
Visit twitter.com/ATLairport/status/965736386618904581 to view the tweet.
Photo courtesy Twitter Atlanta Airport