'Black Panther' Is Really Long for a MCU Movie With Only One Superhero


As superhero movies continue to dominate the box office landscape, with more and more hitting theaters every year, they’re also getting longer. The next entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther, has a runtime that’s north of two hours, according to early reports. It’s not the longest MCU movie, but it is unusually long for a true solo superhero outing.

Event Cinemas states that Black Panther has a runtime of 135 minutes, though that figure has not been officially confirmed by Marvel. It sounds reasonable, though. The last movie, Thor: Ragnarok, was slightly shorter, as it ran for just 130 minutes.

What’s interesting about Black Panther’s long runtime is that all the MCU movies that are longer — or even of comparable length — feature multiple superheroes, while Black Panther only has its titular hero-king. The longest MCU movies are, understandably, the Avengers movies. Captain America: Civil War, which was essentially an Avengers movie, is the longest, running for 147 minutes, but the first two Avengers were 143 and 141 minutes long, respectively.

A few non-Avengers, non-Civil War movies are still longer than Black Panther’s purported 135-minute runtime. Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 both come in at 136 minutes. It makes sense that those films are on the longer side, as the Guardians movies are also “team-up” movies, in a sense, and Winter Soldier featured a complicated plot and a second hero in Black Widow. Iron Man 3 and Spider-Man: Homecoming both come close to Black Panther, with runtimes of 130 and 133 minutes, respectively. Those films also have secondary heroes, with War Machine co-starring in Iron Man 3 and Tony Stark himself appearing in Homecoming.

With the exception of Homecoming, Black Panther is much longer than eevery other solo-debut movie in the MCU. Thor, Doctor Strange, and Ant-Man were all about 115 minutes long, and even the first Iron Man was only 126 minutes long.

With the exceptions of Andy Serkis’s Ulysses Klaue, a returning villain who made a minor appearance in Age of Ultron, and Martin Freeman’s Civil War character Everett Ross, Black Panther doesn’t feature any other established MCU characters, which has traditionally been a hallmark of MCU films with long runtimes. Black Panther doesn’t have to share time with a fan-favorite hero, but it does need to introduce audiences to the entire country of Wakanda, which might take a while.

Black Panther opens on February 16.

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