Wakanda forever! And the Massachusetts Movie Tax Credit forever!

Woohoo! “Wakanda Forever,” the long-awaited sequel to the Marvel juggernaut “Black Panther,” swept the box office in its first week on the big screen – earning $180 million in North America and another $150 million worldwide.

With a total of $330 million, “Wakanda Forever” ranked among the biggest sequels of all time. In the global movie-going crowd, people like me were making their first in-person trip to the theater in three years. As The New York Times reported, the huge response helped end “one of the worst box office droughts on record.” I returned to the theater with more than a little trepidation, encouraged by my visiting nephew Cameron – who correctly pointed out how mad I’d be if the plot leaks became public before I saw them. Two hours and 40 minutes have passed. It was worth breaking my self-imposed moratorium on acting.

I already knew there was at least one scene shot in Cambridge near MIT. Lucky passers-by spotted actress Danai Gurira – who plays Okoye, head of Wakandan’s all-female royal security force – filmed during a late-night high-speed chase near this area in the summer of 2021.

I was so excited to hear that – not just because it was a juicy treat on the upcoming movie, but because it meant Marvel’s production team was filming in Massachusetts. Made more attractive by the now permanent Massachusetts Movie Tax Credit.

After years of legislative wrangling and his own public opposition, Governor Charlie Baker signed – last year – a compromise making the movie tax credit permanent. The tax credit is for productions that spend at least $50,000 in Massachusetts. More credits can be earned if the production films 75% of the project or spends 75% of the budget here. Not only does this enrich the state’s bottom line, but hundreds of local technicians and actors find work, and local non-production businesses like restaurants and hotels benefit from an influx of new customers.

The blockbuster “Black Panther” is just one of many films and television productions recently filmed in and around Massachusetts that will benefit from the film tax credit. [Editor’s note: GBH is one such company — HBO Max’s “Julia” filmed at GBH for its series about Julia Child.] Boston.com names 14 great movies and TV shows filmed here this year only.

I was a big fan of the movie tax credit back when so many people claimed it was a Hollywood rip-off and would never pay off for Massachusetts. I’m usually not one to gloat (karma and all that) but I can’t resist a simple “I told you so”. And if the stars align, I might get a chance to see the filming of “Black Panther 3” on Boston Common. Wakanda forever!