All Articles Tagged "black film"
‘Best Man Holiday’ Almost Didn’t Get Funding! Find Out Why Black Films Have Difficulty Getting Financed
Despite the boom in Black film, like Jumping the Broom grossing $37 million on a $6.6 million budget and Think Like a Man reeling in $96 million on a $12 million budget, Hollywood executives are still reluctant to put their money on all-black cast movies. They’re more at ease with tent poles — movies, that without a doubt, are expected to “hold up” and bring in the dough. Will Packer, the film director behind the upcoming Think Like a Man Too, using a baseball analogy, says the film business is fueled by “grand slams, not singles and doubles.” He adds that Hollywood execs neglect to consider that America is a diverse marketplace. “You can’t effectively run a full-service Hollywood studio right now without having content that appeals to that diversity,” Packer explains. “Look at the numbers for “Think Like a Man.” Consider the results for “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” which cost around $30 million to make and has grossed around $140 million. The audience is there,” Florida Courier says. Fortunately, as Lee says we’re out of the “Black movie desert” and Packer predicts that if all-black cast films continue to produce quality films such as The Butler and 12 Years a Slave, the black film industry will be bursting with support.
Well, it appears that all of that heavy promoting has certainly paid off. The sequel to 1999 blockbuster The Best Man, Best Man Holiday, scored big at the box office this weekend! According to Box Office Mojo, the Malcolm D. Lee-directed flick earned $30 million at the box office during its opening weekend, which is great compared to the $17 million spent producing the movie.
The highly anticipated sequel, which was debuted 14 years after the original film’s release, came in at number two in the weekend box office, coming in second to Thor: The Dark World. The reviews are in and critics have great things to say.
“‘The Best Man Holiday’ has the potential to become a staple of Christmastime movie watching in the ‘hood.” – Odie Henderson (Rogerebert.com)
“Be ready to reach for a tissue, say ‘amen’ and sigh more than a few times, for the film has all the chaos and clutter of a big holiday gathering.”- Betsy Sharkey (LA Times)
“There’s no denying that the maudlin, message-y machinery of ‘The Best Man Holiday’ often threatens to collapse of its own self-conscious weight. This is a one-two-three-four-hankie movie that misses no opportunity to wring a few tears, no matter how shameless.”- Ann Hornaday (Washington Post)
It looks like most can agree that the film was certainly a tearjerker.
Did you see Best Man Holiday this weekend? What did you think?
Jazmine Denise is an entertainment and celebrity news blogger. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise.
“Sit yo five dollar azz down before I make change.” There’s no way we can talk about this movie without that line coming up. Mario Van Peebles, in his directorial debut, struck gold. New Jack City was a cult and commercial classic, becoming the highest grossing independent feature of 1991. You know the story, you quote the lines but we bet you didn’t these behind the scenes secrets about the film. Check them out.
Ava DuVernay is one of the few Black filmmakers making waves in the industry. In January, she became the first black woman to win the best director award at the Sundance Film Festival for her film “Middle of Nowhere.” The filmmaker sat down with 24wired.tv to discuss why she supports Tyler Perry, the need for more black film directors and the honor of winning Sundance. She’s definitely a Black woman we respect and admire.
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Apparently for “Hunger Games” readers, dark brown is like the “I’m the same color as you” comments I get from white people during the summer when they come back from an island vacation and think we’re skin twins. They thought Rue would be a dark-skinned white person, and to say they were disappointed that Rue was played by a black girl would be an understatement. The Tumblr Hunger Game Tweets, set up to expose people who talk a bunch of ish but aren’t really fans of the book, as evidenced by their lack of knowledge, caught a startling number of angry responses to Amandla’s character that weren’t just about being shocked that she was black, but more so her blackness changing their entire opinion of the character and the movie. Tweets ranged from:“…And most hauntingly, a twelve-year-old girl from District 11. She has dark brown skin and eyes, but other than that’s she’s very like Prim in size and demeanor…”
“Why does Rue have to be black not gonna lie kinda ruined the movie” to “I was pumped about the Hunger Games. Until I learned a black girl was playing Rue” to “Kk call me racist but when I found out Rue was black her death wasn’t as sad. #Ihatemyself” to “Sense when has rue been a n***er” I don’t even have time to go into all that is wrong with that statement.The viewers weren’t too thrilled about Lenny Kravitz playing Cinna either, although since his dark skin wasn’t mentioned in the book, they weren’t totally blindsided into liking a black person. As for another character named Thresh, there apparently was no clue he’d be black either, despite this description: “The boy tribute from District 11, Thresh, has the same dark skin as Rue, but the resemblance stops there. He’s one of the giants, probably six and half feet tall and built like an ox.” Another tweeter sent this reaction on the collective inclusion of black characters:
“Cinna and Rue weren’t supposed to be black. Why did the producers make all the good characters black smh”The most ironic twist in all this discussion is when it comes to the lead character Katniss no one has said a word. That’s most likely because the producers cast a blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl by the name of Jennifer Lawrence as a character that was described in the book as having olive skin and straight black hair. To their credit, they did manage to dye her hair dark— it all sort of reminds me of Elizabeth Taylor and Angelina Jolie playing Cleopatra. The lack of outrage over that change proves this argument is not about incongruences, it’s about the inability for black people to be seen as anything but villains in real life and in cinema. What’s worse is we talk day in and day out about how we need to change the images on the screen. We need more positive images of black people, we need to be seen in leading roles, but will it make a difference? If we’re talking about black films the people who need to see these images likely won’t even bother to watch the movies. And in this case we see that having positive images didn’t challenge any of the viewers internalized ideals about black people, it simply made them view the portrayals as unrealistic, even making them angry that they had somehow been tricked to care about a little black girl when they didn’t think she was a little black girl. If we can’t soften the youth when it comes to stereotypes and prejudices about black people through an entertainment medium of all things, what can we possibly do that will make a difference? Since buzzfeed and other sites have run stories about these fans’ racist reactions to the film, Hunger Games Tweets has proudly reported that the number of tweets about Rue and Thresh being black has greatly reduced, but I wouldn’t count that as a victory just yet. I’m willing to bet those people have only stopped commenting because they don’t want to see their twitter accounts blasted across the Internet. No one has had a sudden change of heart about the audacity of movie producers invoking sympathy for a black character. Of course, the fans’ reactions aren’t totally startling considering all that’s going on around us in black America today, but to say they’re disturbing, yet sadly, somewhat expected, would be an understatement. Are you familiar with The Hunger Games at all? Do you think having more positive images of black characters in films is really the answer in situations like this? Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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We caught up with the beautiful and dynamic actresses Tatyana Ali, Anika Noni Rose, Nia Long, and Yvette Brown at the Eye on Black event in Hollywood and asked them about their thoughts on diversity in cinema and the state of African-American representation in Hollywood.
2011 was a good year for blacks in film. From comedy to drama, to independent films gone mainstream, we did our thing this year.
If you don’t believe me and need further proof, check out this list of stars in black who dominated this year at Black Voices.com.