Black Movie Ticket Sales Matter

Marvel’s much anticipated Black Panther is set to open February 16, but if you haven’t gotten your ticket yet you may find yourself out of luck.  Movie tickets went on sale this week and soon after began to sell out.  Even Black Panther star Lupita N’yongo found herself ticketless for opening night.

Set in part in an African country, Wakanda, untouched by colonialism, Black Panther promises to be all kinds of black excellence–from the costumes and set to the music. Kendrick Lamar is set to release a Black Panther album and contributes a theme song in the trailer below.  Black movie audiences are so here for it that groups are buying out theaters for black audience watch parties, and donating tickets in several cities to make sure no black boy or girl will be left out of having a ticket. What’s all the fuss about?

The importance of the representation of blackness in Black Panther is significant, too much to be stated in this small post, but before the movie is already released, advance ticket sales help open the door for future productions. Major movies are, after all, made not just for art, but for profit.  The more tickets sold, the better an investment that artist, director or a similar movie may be in the future.

If all these ticket presales result in a huge box office win for Black Panther opening weekend, the film will be in good company.  Last year, both Girls Trip and Get Out proved to be not only good filmmaking but great money making.  Girls Trip was the first black-led movie to make over $100 million.  Get Out, with an original budget of only 4.5 million was the most profitable movie of 2017.  Films like these, and potentially Black Panther show that films centering Black characters and themes can be extremely lucrative as well.

Hollywood has a bad track record when it comes to supporting films and filmmakers of color. Amazing films from directors like Ava DuVarney, Ryan Coogler, and  Barry Jenkins are paving the way for more films to be made by and about Black stories. Ticket sales like we’ve seen with Girl’s Trip, Get Out and now Black Panther help to break down the old myth that black movies aren’t profitable. So if you haven’t already gotten your tickets, get them now–those tickets are more than a night at the movies, they are part of a movement.

Maz Kanatamima: From Pretty to Pirate

If you’re a Star Wars fan at all, then you’ve probably already watch ed the trailer for JJ Abrams directed reboot Star Wars VII The Force Awakens.  And if you haven’t watched the trailer with Matthew Mc Conaughey, then you haven’t seen the trailer at all.


I’ve been waiting to see the reveal of Lupita Nyong’o’s character.  Sure we have already seen Han, Chewie, and even John Boyega, as a black storm trooper, but we had yet to place Lupita’s lovely face in space. Here she is!


Yep, that’s right, for all those black girls who rock looking forward to seeing a darks skinned sister traveling the stars, you’ll have to keep waiting.  Early reports had cast Lupita as Ventress, super-assassin and stylish shade throwing villain.


But alas, we’ll hear her voice coming from the face of CGI created space-pirate.  According to wookipedia–experts in all things Star Wars–Maz Kanata is a pirate, and according to a Vanity Fair article, she can also tell fortunes by touching objects.  Okay–I don’t want to jump to conclusions about an old ugly creature with a rag on its head who can can tell fortunes *cough cough magical negro cough*.  By all reports, Maz Kanata is in charge of a sprawling castle and space outpost, so she’s sure to have some juice…. But in the looks department? Meh.


The Star Wars series plays host to some strong and interesting women, but also a whole universe of racial stereotypes.  Most notably, West Space Indian Jar Jar Binks.

Don’t forget from the Asian-like traders to the animal like jungle creatures, lots of characters in the stars look suspiciously like stereotypes here on earth.


J.J. Abrams is known for updating the Star Trek series, envisioning a multicultural mecca with strong characters of every stripe.  Creator Gene Rodenberry  designed Star Trek to be that way from the beginning.  Star Wars, on the other hand, traded in stereotypes to simplify a complex galaxy, so there’s a bit more heavy lifting to make the galaxy a post-racialtopia.  Let’s hope Maz Kanata is more than a do-rag-wearing-fortune-telling-Aunt-Jemima-looking African pirate.


Best Dressed–Again!

Once again, Lupita Nyong’o kills the red carpet in an ice-blue Prada that she helped to design.

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With her powerful performance in 12 years a Slave, she’s been a fashion forward fixture all awards season.


While her style is well worth watching, here’s hoping that she shows up in as many future films as red carpet gowns.  Check out this very thoughtful plea to remember her acting chops.  With her super svelte style, we shouldn’t overlook the fact that It girls like her are most successful when they act, not just act pretty