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Oscar Watching: It’s the HOLIDAY Season

With around $36.6 million, Thor: The Dark World again won the box office, but competition for the number one spot was surprisingly heated, so there go the “hammer” and “clobber” puns I would have otherwise used. Malcolm D. Lee’s The Best Man Holiday, sequel to 1999’s The Best Man, more than outdid the modest expectations set by box-office prognosticators: it far exceeded its $17 million budget with a $30.6 million opening.

As far as major awards precursors are concerned, The Best Man only earned an Indie Spirit nod for Terrence Howard, so I’m not arguing that this holiday-themed sequel has any major awards prospects. However, the success of Holiday highlights the lack of diversity in most American filmmaking: Hollywood still underserves audiences whose representation has been historically lacking; there’s interest in films about those whom the industry consistently marginalizes.

However, as Ray Subers of Box Office Mojo points out, “[i]t’s simplistic and inaccurate, though, to assume that any movie with a largely African-American cast is going to be successful”; he further cites Baggage Claim and Tyler Perry Presents Peeples as African-American-targeted films that failed at the box office.

But some fail to truly grasp this problem of representation – even as they try to address it. That someone wrote a headline referring to Holiday as “race-themed” (I’m not making this up) and that no one pulled said person to the side for that headline make the problem even more evident. As some have pointed out, a film isn’t necessarily centered on race simply because actresses and actors of color lead the film or make up most of its cast.

 

But I digress…

 

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The Author

Donovan Warren

Donovan Warren

Donovan Warren loves the wonderful world of film and all that comes with it. He specifically loves long takes, fabulous actresses, and keeping up with the Oscar season - even when it's far too early to make sense of anything.