Monday, January 23, 2012

Weekend Box Office: Red Tails Scores Well

It is gratifying to hear about the successful box office debut of Red Tails. This box office performance dispels Hollywood's entrenched belief that an African-American cast is not marketable. Hopefully this serves as a cure for, as Roland Martin states, Hollywood's irrational allergy to black films.

The next big opener was the surprisingly solid debut for Red Tails (review).  The Lucasfilm-produced Tuskegee Airmen action drama debuted with a pretty terrific $19.1 million.  The longtime passion project for George Lucas was a rarity in today's marketplace, a big budget ($58 million) action film centered entirely around an African-American cast.  Even with the financial strength of six Star Wars films, Lucas was unable to get funding for the film, so he dipped into his own pockets to produce and market the picture while allowing 20th Century Fox to distribute.  The success or failure of this one will depend on legs and word of mouth (it apparently received an A from Cinemascore), but the 3.1x weekend multiplier bodes well.  As expected, the film was marketed heavily in African-American communities and the opening weekend was apparently made up partially from African-American schoolkids who had been bused to matin√©e showings.  Fair or not, the film will likely be seen as a test case for larger-budget genre fare starring African-Americans, so it's worth rooting for even if you liked the movie less than I did. source

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