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Bob Iger has been the CEO of The Walt Disney Company since 2005. In the nearly 15 years he's held the job Disney has become an absolute powerhouse, especially in the area of motion pictures. Under Iger's leadership we've seen the growth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the return of Star Wars, and incredibly successful live-action and animated films like Frozen and the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels.
Of all the films Disney has produced during his tenure. Bob Iger says the one he's most proud of is actually a very recent movie, Marvel Studios' Black Panther.
There may be no product we’ve ever created that I’m more proud of than Black Panther.
It's maybe not the most surprising answer to get from Bob Iger, but a lot of the reason he may feel this way is because Iger himself largely championed the production. Apparently, there were some at Marvel Studios, though reportedly not Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, who weren't sold on Black Panther at first. There was a feeling that movies with Black actors didn't do well internationally. Iger fought this notion, so being proved right may have helped this movie be a special one for him.
Bob Iger also says that seeing the reaction to the movie at its World Premiere was a very special experience. It was one thing for Iger himself to believe the movie was great. It was something else to see the audience actually embrace it. Bob Iger reveals this in his new memoir Ride of a Lifetime (via Comicbook.com).
And audiences certainly did embrace it. We heard stories about organizations buying out theaters so that young children could see the first POC superhero in the MCU on the big screen. The movie was an event for a lot of people. Seeing themselves represented as part of the biggest entertainment franchise in the world was important.
There’s a lot to be proud of when it comes to Black Panther. The movie made $700 million domestically and nearly as much internationally. It made more money at the domestic box office than even Avengers: Infinity War.
On top of the film’s commercial success, it was praised by critics almost universally. It was also nominated for seven Academy Awards, and walked away with three of them earlier this year, the most successful night at the Oscars for a comic book movie ever.
Bob Iger will remain the CEO of the Walt Disney Company until 2021, at which time the man has already said he plans to step down. Perhaps there will be another movie in the next two years that will make him even prouder than Black Panther, but that seems like a pretty high bar to clear.
The forthcoming sequel to Black Panther won't be hitting theaters until after Iger has left Disney, but he'll likely still have a lot of input in the movie it becomes.