USA Today Called “The Best Man Holiday” a “Race-Themed” Film
The Best Man Holiday was released in theaters this Friday and it beat Thor in ticket sales that day. But Thor came from behind and earned $38 million for the weekend, edging out BHM’s $31 million. I (and people who use logic) expected the film to perform well because there’s been a lot of buzz around it and people made it a group outing and folks have heard just how good it is.
Scott Bowles of USA Today wrote a piece titled “‘Holiday’ nearly beats ‘Thor’ as race-themed film soars” and when outrage poured in, he changed it to “‘Holiday’ nearly beats ‘Thor’ as diverse films soar.” FAIL FAIL FAIL.
The last thing Best Man Holiday was is “race-themed.” Try HOLIDAY-THEMED, FAMILY-THEMED, FRIENDSHIP-THEMED, FORGIVENESS-THEMED, LOVE-THEMED! But race? No.
With that logic, then Girls is “race-themed” too. It’s about boring white girls who live in NYC. So was Friends which is about hilarious white yuppies in NYC. And Titanic was a race-themed biopic about white folks who drowned on a cruise ship that crashed.
Hollywood thinks that any movie with a mostly-Black cast is a “Black movie” instead of simply just a MOVIE. I wish they’d call movies with only melanin-deficient folks “white movies” too. EQUAL NARROW-MINDEDNESS FOR ALL!!! But that won’t happen because white is the default.
But “race-themed” is clearly code for Black and dude just couldn’t say it with his chest. Ol’ “I’m gonna talk around the elephant in the room that I dragged there” journalist. This is why USA Today can’t have nice things. Because he goes on to say “Cultures have been hot sellers at the turnstiles this year” and he compares the film to 12 Years a Slave, Fruitvale Station and The Butler. That’s like comparing Love Actually to Schindler’s List. WTF?!? And “cultures?” Sir… STAHP!
And then the article’s sub-headline was “‘Thor’ gets an unexpected challenge from ‘The Best Man Holiday,’ the latest ethnically-diverse film to score solidly with moviegoers.”
Apparently, the movie performing as well as it did was a shock to “analysts.” Because surely Black folks wouldn’t wanna see a film where we weren’t getting beaten and whipped and chained or of a black man in drag. COLOR EVERYONE SHOCKED that a film that just showed regular Black folks living regular lives with relatable stories would do well. O________________O
Also, it wasn’t “ethnically diverse.” It starred BLACK people but Scott was too afraid to say that. BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK! See? It’s not a dirty word.
Yes, Thor did end up making $8 million more than the Best Man Holiday. But can you imagine the horror if a comic book/superhero movie that was in 2,000 more theaters and had millions more in production and marketing budget was beat by a film featuring Black folks with just a $17 million budget??? CAN YOU IMAGINE! WHEW! They surely dodged that crooked bullet.
I mean, we won’t e’em talk about how Thor averaged $10,000 a screen it showed on while Best Man Holiday averaged $15,000. WE WON’T! (Deadline Hollywood has the numbers though.)
Scott Mendelson of Forbes had this thought on the issue of the success of films with Black people in it and I love it!
“The second lesson of the weekend is yet another one that should have been learned by now: Yes, black people go to the movies. We all like to act surprised over and over when Tyler Perry scores again and again or when Kevin Hart’s Laugh At My Pain or Let Me Explain break out in limited release. It’s well-past time we noticed that black audiences like seeing themselves onscreen. More importantly, and this is arguably the key, they really like seeing black characters onscreen in starring roles in films that don’t necessarily revolve around racially-based adversity. When Hollywood bothers to make films like that, African-American audiences generally show up in relatively solid numbers, with periodic blockbuster debuts like this one.”
Anyway, USA Today gets the “You Tried It” Award for being unable to tuck in their salty.
Did y’all watch the Best Man Holiday yet? Go see it so we can surprise them again next weekend! Or buy an extra ticket. Also, what are your thoughts on the USA Today post?
Edit - The article in USA Today has been edited to read:
Other films with predominantly black casts have been hot sellers at the turnstiles this year:
Fruitvale Station: The $900,000 true-life drama about a black Bay Area man shot to death by transit officers has done $16 million.
Lee Daniels’ The Butler: The $30 million true story of a black White House butler was the box-office surprise of summer at $115 million.
They also removed 12 Years a slave from the comparison. BUT they have yet to address the issue publicly or on Twitter. Oh ok. WACK!
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