Success of Black Panther Inspires Disney to Donate $1 Million to Youth STEM Programs

Disney/Marvel Studios
Disney/Marvel Studios

Since opening in U.S. theaters on February 16, Blank Panther has already defied industry expectations more than once. The blockbuster now holds the records for biggest February opening, biggest standalone Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, and highest-grossing film featuring a black cast. To celebrate the film's groundbreaking success, Disney is donating $1 million to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Fortune reports.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of America is a nonprofit organization that provides after-school programs to young people from low-income households. They offer kids a place to build their athletic, artistic, and leadership skills, but Disney's donation will go specifically toward funding STEM programs (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

The technology of the fictional African nation of Wakanda plays a central role in Black Panther. Shuri, T'Challa's sister and the head of all things tech in the film, has been praised for potentially inspiring young women to take an interest in STEM. "It is thrilling to see how inspired young audiences were by the spectacular technology in the film," Robert A. Iger, Disney's chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "So it’s fitting that we show our appreciation by helping advance STEM programs for youth, especially in underserved areas of the country, to give them the knowledge and tools to build the future they want.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs of America will use Disney's generous donation to help establish STEM Centers of Innovation in cities across the U.S., including Atlanta, where much of the movie was shot, and Oakland, California, the hometown of Black Panther director Ryan Coogler. Ten additional cities, from New Orleans to Chicago, will also be getting STEM centers of their own.

The donation is sure to make a huge impact on communities around the country, but it's just a fraction of what Disney is set to make from the film. According to some projections, it won't be long before film surpasses the $1 billion mark at the global box office.

[h/t Fortune]

Friends's James Michael Tyler Says a Fan Theory on How the Characters Always Got their Seats at Central Perk Makes Sense

Warner Bros. Television/Getty Images
Warner Bros. Television/Getty Images

There are plenty of fan theories surrounding the hit sitcom Friends, including one that claims Rachel actually dreamed the entire show and another which suggests Phoebe was hallucinating the entire time. But even after the sitcom ended in 2004, there is one burning question that remains unanswered: How did the gang always manage to sit at the orange couch when they went to Central Perk?

The coffee shop is located in New York City, one of the most densely populated cities on the planet, so it seems pretty unlikely Monica, Ross, Joey, Phoebe, Rachel, and Chandler could get their spot every time they stopped in for their (many) cups of coffee. But according to Insider, Friends actor James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther, told RadioTimes there's one fan theory about it that "makes a lot of sense."

The theory suggests that Gunther was the reason the crew was always able to grab the couch. In some scenes, there's even a "reserved" sign on the coffee table in front of the orange sofa. Why would he purposely reserve the table? According to the theory, it's because of his enormous crush on Rachel.

While Tyler says he never personally placed the sign on the coffee table, he told RadioTimes, "That was probably one of the set designers, I'm guessing, maybe one of the writers … I'm not sure who was responsible for that. But I do remember seeing that." He continued, "It never really occurred to me why it was there, but it makes a lot of sense [that Gunther put it there] in retrospect."

Now that you have that question answered, learn why some fans think the crew's incessant coffee drinking was just a long Starbucks marketing ploy by heading here.

[h/t RadioTimes]

Roar—Tippi Hedren’s Wild Big Cat Movie From 1981—Will Soon Be Available to Stream

Tippi Hedren and Melanie Griffith with a couple of cool cats in 1982.
Tippi Hedren and Melanie Griffith with a couple of cool cats in 1982.
Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Decades before Joe Exotic amassed his frightening collection of big cats as seen in Netflix’s Tiger King, there was an even wilder personal zoo located in California—and owned by people you might already know.

Following a trip to a game preserve in Mozambique, Tippi Hedren, star of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, and her filmmaker husband, Noel Marshall, decided to produce a movie about a scientist and his family coexisting with big cats. The cast would include the couple, Marshall’s sons John and Jerry, and Hedren’s daughter Melanie Griffith (who’d later become a film star herself and the mother of another one: Fifty Shades of Grey’s Dakota Johnson). They started raising lion cubs at their Sherman Oaks house in 1971, and soon moved to a larger property in Santa Clarita. By the time they began shooting in 1976, they had 132 lions, tigers, leopards, cougars, and jaguars. And one 5-ton bull elephant named Timbo.

The film, titled Roar, was finished in 1981, but it never got a wide release in the United States. Next week, it’s getting the VOD treatment.

Entertainment Weekly reports that Alamo Drafthouse is releasing the film—along with a video Q&A with John Marshall—on Vimeo starting Wednesday, April 15, at 7 p.m. EST. For $10, you’ll be able to stream it for one week on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, and/or Chromecast. Ten percent of the profits will benefit the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation’s Pioneers Assistance Fund, which will use the money to support theater workers unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you’re hoping Roar will live up to the jaw-dropping nature of Tiger King and similar programs, you won’t be disappointed. The narrative might be fictional, but the risky encounters with the various beasts are very real.

“I am amazed no one died,” John Marshall told Entertainment Weekly. A staggering 70 members of the cast and crew sustained serious injuries on set, including Hedren, who contracted gangrene after her leg was crushed by Timbo; Griffith, who required plastic surgery after a cat clawed her face; and John Marshall, whose head was gnawed on by a lion.

While you wait to watch Roar on Wednesday night, here are 10 wild animal documentaries you can stream right now.

[h/t Entertainment Weekly]

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