Black Panther director Ryan Coogler writes moving, personal note about the film's record-breaking success

Ryan Coogler has written an emotional open letter after the monumental success of his film, Black Panther.

The 31-year-old filmmaker says he's "struggling to find the words to express my gratitude" as the Marvel film breaks box office records.

Black Panther has been out for less than a week and has already hauled in US$462 million (NZ$632 million) internationally.

In New Zealand, after opening last Thursday, the film had a box office total of $2.24 million by the end of Sunday.

"Deep down we all hoped that people would come to see a film about a fictional country on the continent of Africa, made up of a cast of people of African descent," wrote Coogler.

"Never in a million years did we imagine that you all would come out this strong. It still humbles me to think that people care enough to spend their money and time watching our film - but to see people of all backgrounds wearing clothing that celebrates their heritage, taking pictures next to our posters with their friends and family, and sometimes dancing in the lobbies of theatres - often moved me and my wife to tears."

The letter was published on Marvel's Twitter account.

Black Panther is only Coogler's third feature film. It holds the records for the best ever box office opening weekend for a film released in February, and the fifth-highest opening weekend of all time.

It is currently playing in New Zealand cinemas.


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