by Ray Hayes

Black Panther has exceeded box office expectations both domestically and globally while reinforcing the new notion that diversity equates to success and increased revenue.  To put it simply, people love to see movies that are well produced and showcase a diverse cast in a positive light because the ability to relate to a film or character is important. UCLA sociologist Darnell Hunt recently released a report on Hollywood diversity and spoke specially about the success of Black Panther.

According to NPR, “Hunt says Black Panther, for example, “smashed all of the Hollywood myths that you can’t have a black lead, that you can’t have a predominantly black cast and [have] the film do well. It’s an example of what can be done if the industry is true to the nature of the market.”

Here are some highlights from Hunt’s report subtitled, “Five Years of Progress and Missed Opportunities”:

  • People of color posted gains in eight of the key industry employment arenas examined which include film directors and writers, broadcast scripted leads, cable scripted leads, broadcast reality and other leads, cable reality and other leads, digital scripted leads and digital scripted show creators.)
  • Minorities are underrepresented by 3 to 1 among film leads
    • Greater than 5 to 1 among creators of broadcast scripted shows
  • Films with a cast that was between 21 and 30 percent minority enjoyed the highest median return on investment
  • Minorities accounted for the majority of ticket sales for five of the top 10 films in 2016
  • Women have closed the gender gap somewhat with respect to digital scripted leads, increasing their share from 2013-14 TV season to 43.1 percent in 2015-16

Click here for the full report

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