Marvel Clipped Chadwick Boseman's Wings 4 Years Before Black Panther

Marvel Clipped Chadwick Boseman's Wings 4 Years Before Black Panther
Image credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Universal Pictures

A story of a tragic flop.


  • Starring Chadwick Boseman, Viola Davis, and Octavia Spencer, among others, this film was a critical success but flopped at the box office.
  • One of the biggest reasons for the flop was the premiere date, which coincided with the premiere of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.

No matter what kind of story a movie tells, how many genre fans it appeals to, and how many outstanding actors are in the cast, even the best quality productions can sometimes fall flat with the audience. This isn't necessarily a directorial or writing flaw, but it can indicate a critical marketing mistake.

In the case of Tate Taylor's examination of the life and work of musician James Brown, the film deserved more public attention than it received. A mismanaged release turned into a commercial disaster for the studio, and the talented cast was completely absent.

The matter is that Get On Up premiered to the American market on August 1, 2014. On the very same day, Marvel's long-awaited blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy hit theaters. No matter what promotion Universal Pictures would put up for the movie, it was doomed to fail.

What Is Get On Up About?

Starring Chadwick Boseman as James Brown, the movie follows the story of the singer's life as told by himself. The unique way of telling the story and the occasional breaking of the 4th wall made this biopic stand out from the rest and at the same time set it further away from mainstream audiences. Still, the beauty of Boseman's performance was truly unmatched.

However, the lead actor wasn't the only one praised by critics. At 81% on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie was praised for both its musical and dramatic parts. Although the movie isn't linear and is almost vague about the actual biographical events of Brown's life, it perfectly translates the performer's charisma and personality.

Marvel Clipped Chadwick Boseman's Wings 4 Years Before Black Panther - image 1

Unfortunately, neither that nor the supporting cast, which includes Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer among other great actors, could save the film from a complete failure in theaters. With a hefty budget of $30 million, Get On Up managed to gross approximately $33 million in its international release.

The lack of press attention, coverage and general audience interest left the biopic of the most interesting singer, most brilliantly portrayed by Chadwick Boseman, unnoticed. Luckily, just a few years later, the actor finally achieved worldwide fame through Marvel's Black Panther.

If you want to see the actor perform in his superhero costume, you can stream Get On Up on Netflix.