Scott Mendelson of Forbes is reporting the weekend box-office for Mira Nair’s ‘Queen of Katwe’ starring Academy award-nominated actor David Oyelowo, Academy award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o and brilliant newcomer Madina Malwanga failed to deliver at the box-office. Battling Sully, Deepwater Horizon, Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Antoine Fuqua’s western The Magnificent Seven starring Academy award-winning actor Denzel Washington and Cheo Hodari Coker’s Luke Cage, Marvel’s cult classic, which debuted this past weekend probably didn’t help the box-office of the fantastic film about a Ugandan girl’s pursuit of hope and happiness through the game of chess. It’s shocking that a film that counters the many critiques of the Hollywood film industry’s representation of blacks in film and has the backing of Disney/ESPN, who promoted the heck out of the film, would perform so poorly at the box-office. Mendlson writes:
“It’s the latest in a long line of Mouse House ‘underdog sports dramas,’ and it expanded to 1,242 theaters this weekend. But despite rave reviews and a consistent drum beat that this was worth your time and ‘the kind of movie you say you want,’ the picture earned around $706,000 on Friday for a likely $2.1 million weekend, giving the film a poor $1.7k per-screen-average. That will give the $15m Mira Nair-directed offering a $2.6m domestic cume. Thanks a lot, moviegoers…”
Perhaps there was too much competition at the box-office? Perhaps Disney should have marketed the Christian aspects of the film? Perhaps viewers are more interested in complaining about a lack of diverse images of blacks than actually going to see films with diverse images of blacks? Whatever the case, this tremendous film is going to need more viewers at the box-office if people expect to see a film about Africans, starring Africans in theaters anytime soon.