By Jim Williams

(CBS) — This Friday, the superhero movie “Black Panther” opens across Chicago and the country. It’s generated enormous buzz and staggering advanced ticket sales.

CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports to many African Americans, the film is much more than entertainment.

It has already captured the imaginations of fourth-graders at the Hope Learning Academy. Now, their teacher, Nicole Johnson, wants them to consider the significance of what they’ll see.

Hollywood has never done anything like “Black Panther” — a mega-budget film with black super heroes, a predominately black cast, directed by an African American.

“It’s really a game-changer,” says Lee Bey of the DuSable Museum of African American history.

Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington, Viola Davis and many other black actors have played characters in authority. So, why is the superhero different?

“It’s black people as we see ourselves, as we like to see ourselves, masters of our own destiny,” Bey says. “Not waiting for a white savior to come and rescue us from whatever.”

Churches and community groups are taking buses of people to see it this weekend. Members of Trinity United Church lined up for tickets.

Teacher Johnson and her students will be among the first in cinemas this weekend.

“We’re so excited. We’ve been waiting for this moment for at least two or three years.”

Several movie industry experts are saying “Black Panther” could shatter box office records this weekend. It’s already sold more advanced tickets than any other Marvel film.