Black Box Office: Receipts Show Demand for Diversity

The filmmakers and cast of 'Straight Outta Compton.' (Photo: Google Images)

The filmmakers and cast of ‘Straight Outta Compton.’
(Photo: Google Images)

Writing for the Associated Press, Lindsey Bahr is reporting the top grossing films of the last month have all had primarily African-American casts and doubled their modest budgets opening weekend, underscoring the reality that moviegoers of all backgrounds — wait for it — watch all categories of film. This information is something that black filmmakers, writers, producers, distributors and scholars have been saying for decades.

Bahr writes:

“‘Straight Outta Compton,’ ”War Room’ and ‘The Perfect Guy’ blew past industry expectations and made headlines in what is usually a sleepy time of the year. The films are as different as they come, but in a time when African Americans are still underrepresented on screen, the five week streak is notable because it could signal changing times.

Stars of the film 'The Perfect Guy,' Michael Ealy (l), Sanaa Lathan (c) and Morris Chestnut (r). Photo: Google Images

Stars of the film ‘The Perfect Guy,’ Michael Ealy (l), Sanaa Lathan (c) and Morris Chestnut (r).
Photo: Google Images

‘It’s practically unheard of to have five weeks in a row where the No. 1 movie in America is led by an African American cast,’ said Gitesh Pandya, editor of

Paul Dergarabedian, Senior Media Analyst for Rentrak agreed.

‘It is notable, but this is just how it should be. Movies should reflect the ethnic makeup of real life. It shouldn’t be a shock to anyone to see these kinds of results at the box office,’ said Dergarabedian.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Read more of Bahr’s article at

This aggregated post was written by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of The Burton Wire. Follow her on Twitter @Ntellectual.

Follow The Burton Wire on Instagram and Twitter @TheBurtonWire.

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