UCLA Report Finds That People of Color Drove 2021 Box Office Earnings
“Studios should consider [people of color] to be investors, and as investors, they should get a return in the form of representation,” one of the study’s authors said.
People of Color Dominate Movie Ticket Sales
People of color drove the box office successes of many of 2021’s highest-grossing movies, according to a report from the University of California, Los Angeles released Thursday.
The school’s film edition of its 2022 Hollywood Diversity Report detailed a variety of findings about diversity and growth in the industry, including the fact that in 2021, people of color made up one of the most sizable and consistent filmgoing populations in the United States.
“People of color accounted for the majority of opening weekend, domestic ticket sales for six of the top 10 films released in theaters in 2021,” the report noted.
Roughly 60% of ticket sales for “Spider-Man: No Way Home” — which was by far the highest-grossing picture of the year — came from viewers of color. For “F9: The Fast Saga,” 65% of the opening box office figures came from audiences of color. The demographic also accounted for between 51% to 59% of audience members for “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” “Godzilla vs. Kong,” “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” and “Black Widow.”
The report stated that films with some degree of diversity saw a boost both at the box office and in at-home viewership.
“For the smaller-than-normal number of top films released theatrically in 2021, median global box office receipts peaked for those that had relatively diverse casts — from 21 percent to 30 percent minority,” the study said. “For the larger collection of top films released via streaming platforms in 2021, ratings for most groups were also highest for films with casts that were from 21 percent to 30 percent minority.”
Researchers also found that “social media interactions peaked for streaming films with casts that were from 41 percent to 50 percent minority.”
“Audiences of color are becoming an increasingly important market anchor, and diverse content sells,” the report continued.
Other Findings In The Report
Ana-Christina Ramón, a co-author of the report, argued that its findings should create an incentive for studios to make more films centered around people of color.
“Last year, every time a big movie exceeded expectations or broke a box office record, the majority of opening weekend audiences were people of color,” she said in a statement. “For people of color, and especially Latino families, theaters provided an excursion when almost everything else was shut down. In a sense, people of color kept studios afloat the past couple of years.”
“Studios should consider them to be investors, and as investors, they should get a return in the form of representation,” Ramón continued.
In regards to on-screen representation, the report did find that there has been steady growth for people of color on camera. Roughly 43% of actors in the analyzed movies were minorities, a significant increase from the first report in 2011 when the figure was just over 20%.
When it came to leads in 2021, 61% were white and 15% were Black. The report said Black actors were the only minority group “slightly overrepresented” in this field compared to their population share, as roughly 13% of the United States is Black.
Most other racial groups were underrepresented in leading roles. Latino actors accounted for 7% of roles, Asian actors for under 6%, and Indigenous actors only made up roughly half of a percentage.
Diversity lagged behind the camera, though. Just 3 out of 10 directors were people of color, and only 2.2 out of 10 were women.
“In 2021, diversity in front of the camera did not equate to more opportunities behind the camera for filmmakers who are women and people of color,” Ramón said. “They continue to receive less financing, even when they make films with white lead actors. Most of these filmmakers are relegated to low-budget films. For women of color, directing and writing opportunities are really the final frontier.”
See what others are saying: (The Hollywood Reporter) (The Wrap) (Variety)
Max to Agrees to “Properly” Credit Writers and Directors After Facing Backlash For Lumping Them in As “Creators”
The company said the credits were laid out incorrectly due to “an oversight in the technical transition from HBO Max to Max.”
After film and television writers slammed Max for crediting all writers, producers, and directors as general “creators” on its platform, the company said it will be adjusting its credits display.
“We agree that the talent behind the content on Max deserve their work to be properly recognized,” the streaming service said in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
Max — the new rebrand of HBO Max that incorporates Discovery content — launched on Tuesday to much criticism. Amid glitches and app-switching confusion, the biggest backlash it faced was over the choice to lump creative roles into one credit section called “creators.” As one viral tweet noted, if a user were to select the film “Raging Bull,” the service’s display would not specifically credit Martin Scorsese as the director, rather, his name would be included at random with half a dozen other people, including writers and producers.
The decision was condemned by many in the industry who argued it minimizes writers and directors by not properly giving them credit where it is due. Especially amid the ongoing writers’ strike, and with directors and actors starting negotiations with studios, some took it as a slap in the face.
“The studios don’t want anyone to know our names,” writer Christina Strain tweeted. “It’s easier to pay us nothing if we’re faceless.”
“Another move from studios to diminish the role of writers, directors, actors and other craftspeople. Miss me wit this nonsense,” Jorge Rivera, the Vice-Chair of the Writers Guild’s Latinx Writers Committee, added.
In a statement, Directors Guild President Lesli Linka Glatter said that Warner Bros. Discovery’s choice to “collapse” these roles into one credit “while we are in negotiations with them is a grave insult to our members and our union.”
“The DGA will not stand for it,” Glatter continued.
WGA West President Meredith Stiehm claimed the move was “a credits violation,” as well as an insult “to the artists that make the films and TV shows that make their corporation billions.”
On Wednesday, Max said it would rework its crediting.
“We will correct the credits, which were altered due to an oversight in the technical transition from HBO Max to Max and we apologize for this mistake,” the platform said.
See what others are saying: (Gizmodo) (The Hollywood Reporter) (The Los Angeles Times)
A Quarter of Young British Men Support Andrew Tate’s Thoughts on Women
U.K. residents at large, however, do not view him favorably.
Even under house arrest in Romania, misogynist influencer Andrew Tate still holds substantial sway over young men.
According to data from YouGov that was obtained by The Independent, 26% of U.K. men between 18 and 29 years old who know of Tate agree with his views on women. That figure was largely the same for men between 30 and 39, as 28% agreed with Tate’s opinions on the subject.
Men in their 30s were slightly more likely to agree with Tate on his thoughts about masculinity. Three out of ten supported those views, compared to just a quarter of men 18 to 29.
Those statistics only include the thoughts of men who have heard of Tate, but per YouGov, most have. In the 18 to 29 group, 93% were familiar with him, and 86% of men in their 30s knew of him.
The U.K. at large was less aware of Tate, with just 63% of British adults having heard of him. Of that group, only 6% held a positive view of him.
Tate has faced substantial backlash for his sexist rhetoric over the years. In the past, he said that men should have “authority” over their wives or girlfriends, and that women should “bear some responsibility” for being raped. He was previously banned from Twitter over his extremist views on women but has since been allowed back on the platform.
He is currently being investigated in Romania for organized crime and human trafficking. He was arrested and held in custody in December but was released to house arrest earlier this year. No formal charges have been filed against him yet and he has maintained his innocence.
Tate currently boasts a Twitter following of 6.7 million. It has grown significantly since he was enveloped in legal controversy, and many of his supporters have demanded his release.
See what others are saying: (The Independent) (Glamour U.K.)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Involved in “Near Catastrophic” Paparazzi Chase
“While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety,” a spokesperson for the couple said.
“Aggressive” Paparazzi Chase Couple in New York
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were involved in a “near catastrophic” paparazzi car chase Tuesday night in New York City, according to a spokesperson for the couple.
In a statement, the spokesperson described the photographers as “highly aggressive.”
“While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety,” the statement added.
“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers,” it continued.
Details of the incident are still emerging, but BBC News reported that there are claims the chase involved roughly six cars driving recklessly by running red lights, driving on the sidewalk, carrying out blocking moves, going backward on a one-way road, and taking pictures while driving.
The chase happened after Harry and Meghan were leaving the Women of Vision Awards with Meghan’s mother, Doria. They did not want photographers to learn where they were staying and attempted to avoid them in what turned into a 75-minute chase on a main road in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. They eventually ducked into a New York Police Department Precinct to hide out before getting into a different vehicle.
The NYPD released a statement confirming that they assisted in protecting the couple as “numerous photographers” hindered their transport. Officials said they made it to their destination and there were no collisions, injuries, or arrests.
The couple’s spokesperson is asking the public to not share or post footage of the incident.
“Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all in involved,” the spokesperson said.
Memories of Princess Diana
The chase evokes the brutal press hounding Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, was subjected to throughout her life. The paparazzi’s obsession with her ultimately resulted in her death in 1997, when she was killed in a car crash after being chased by photographers in Paris.
Since marrying Meghan and later bowing out of the Royal Family, Harry has made it explicitly clear that he fears those events could happen again. Meghan has been the subject of endless tabloid scrutiny, enduring racism and harassment from the press. Part of the reason they left the Royal Family was to keep their family protected from such attacks.
Mayor Eric Adams brought up Diana’s tragic passing while speaking about Tuesday night’s chase.
“I don’t think there’s many of us who don’t recall how [Harry’s] mom died,” Adams said while speaking to reporters. “And it would be horrific to lose an innocent bystander during a chase like this and something to have happened to them as well…I think that was a bit reckless and irresponsible.”
Adams also questioned whether or not he believes a chase could go on for two hours in a city as congested as New York, but noted that even a 10-minute chase would be dangerous. He said he will be briefed on the exact timeline and details later.