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Might 'Best Man Holiday' Put Director Malcolm D. Lee In The $100 Million Black Directors Club?

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by Tambay A. Obenson
September 19, 2013 11:43 AM
67 Comments
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In case you haven't been paying attention, after last weekend, as Sergio noted in his box office report on Sunday, The Butler became the first "black film" of 2013 to surpass the $100 million mark at the box office. And by "black film," I mean films that tell stories centered primarily around the lives of black characters. 

In fact, it's actually a very rare occurrence that a "black film" crosses the coveted $100 million mark (movies starring Will Smith aside). And it's even more rare when it's a "black film" directed by a black filmmaker - so rare that, it hasn't happened in the last 23 years - not adjusted for inflation, which is key here. A film like Waiting To Exhale, for example, which was released in 1995, directed by a black filmmaker in Forest Whitaker, grossed over $67 million that year. Adjusted for inflation, that figure would be just about $100 million.

But even adjusted for inflation, you'd find very few films that tell stories about black people, AND that were directed by black filmmakers, with grosses of over $100 million. Part of the reason for that is that, within the studio system, black directors just haven't always been given the opportunity to direct "black films" - especially those that did gross over $100 million in recent years, like Django Unchained, Dreamgirls, The Pursuit Of Happyness, and even Big Mommas House, which all grossed over $100 million, in their years of release, un-adjusted for inflation.

So Lee Daniels is now officially a member of a club with very few members.

Last year, Think Like A Man (directed by a black filmmaker in Tim Story) almost got there, grossing over $91 million. Before that film, Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail almost did it in 2009 grossing just over $90 million.

But this year just might be a year in which we see two "black films" by black directors cross the $100 million mark - the other one being The Best Man Holiday

Yes, you read that here correctly! I recently had a conversation with some other black writers about that film, and we all pretty much agreed that, given the excitement that there clearly is for that film, there seems to be a definitely anxious audience just waiting for it to arrive! Every time we've written about it here on S&A, and mentioned it on our Facebook and Twitter pages, the conversations that follow are always full of appreciation and anticipation; at times, it's quite rabid! And a few other writers on other sites who've covered the upcoming film, tell me that they see the same kind of excitement on their blogs.

What's curious is that the first film wasn't exactly a blockbuster - although, compared to its $9 million budget, it did well, grossing just over $34 million. Adjusted for inflation, its gross becomes roughly $46 million - certainly far shy of the coveted $100 million mark. But, I suppose it's one of those films that apparently achieved cult status after it left theaters, and became something of a darling amongst black audiences primarily - especially black women.

You should listen to how black folks wax nostalgic about that film. It's a contemporary black cinema classic, we could say, which has gained even more fanatics, who've discovered the film over the years since its theatrical release; Maybe those who weren't old enough at the time to see it in theaters, and came of age in the last 14 years.

It's obviously not a guarantee that the film will cross the $100 million mark, but I'm basing my assumptions on early excitement for the film, which will hit theaters at what should be a perfect period, November 15, right before the Thanksgiving holiday, which really kicks off the overall holiday season, going into Christmas and New Years. And keep in mind that the film itself takes place over the holidays - the title tells us that, to start; as well as the synopsis. 

So, taking all those factors into consideration, plus the fact that Universal Pictures plans to open it wide, it feels like a perfect setup for a box office blockbuster!

Its main competition during opening weekend is Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street, but, really, I can guarantee you that the overwhelming bulk of black dollars spent at the movies that weekend, will be spent on The Best Man Holiday, and the movie will pick right up where Think Like A Man ended last year, and blow past $100 million.

Like Will Packer and the stars of Think Like A Man did, I expect you'll see a similar social media and real world campaign, as stars of the film continuously remind their followers of it (it helps that there are several leads with name and face recognition), as well as make surprise appearances at theaters across the country, on opening weekend, and even after, much to the joy of audiences in those theaters.

So I expect a big opening weekend, and, obviously word of mouth will be key. If after a strong opening weekend, assuming word of mouth is just as strong (which will be absolutely crucial here), I think that'll give it the legs it needs to carry it through the next few weeks, even with Black Nativity and Tyler Perry's Madea Xmas movie opening mere weeks after, putting director Malcolm D. Lee in the "Black Directors/Black Films - $100 Million Box Office club."

I'm sure some will argue that it would need crossover appeal to reach that milestone, but I'd reply, reminding you that a film like Think Like A Man, which grossed very close to $100 million, wasn't quite a crossover hit. I'd argue that the overwhelming paying audience for that film comprised of black people, many who saw the film more than once. I'd say the same thing about Tyler Perry's Madea Goes To Jail, which grossed just over $90 million.

We'll see! That weekend, I plan to run an opening weekend box office contest, as we've done in the past.

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67 Comments

  • telli38 | February 7, 2014 4:14 PMReply

    Will never ever support another "Best Man Sequel". (3) out of (4) male actors all married to non-black women. Funny I sure didn't see any white-women at the theatre supporting this movie! I will only support the likes of blacks who support me. Get Becky and her friends to buy tickets to your next flick!

  • Mark | February 7, 2014 6:15 PM

    Telli38, it's good that you now realize the importance of not supporting disagreeable behavior. In the future, I hope you will consider who is involved with a movie BEFORE you support. That way, you won't contribute 70 million to a movie, thereby making it "popular" in white hollywood's eyes (which will only create MORE bad product.)

  • Mark | February 7, 2014 6:15 PM

    Telli38, it's good that you now realize the importance of not supporting disagreeable behavior. In the future, I hope you will consider who is involved with a movie BEFORE you support. That way, you won't contribute 70 million to a movie, thereby making it "popular" in white hollywood's eyes (which will only create MORE bad product.)

  • Peter | November 9, 2013 10:05 PMReply

    I watched an advanced screening; This movie will not only surpass the $100m
    Mark, it will catapult Malcolm D Lee as one of Hollywood's great writers and story tellers- black or white
    This movie is emotionally captivating!!!!

  • Movie Buff | October 30, 2013 2:29 PMReply

    I actually saw the movie last night at an early screening in DC. It was excellent! So much better than I could have imagined. Once people see the movie and the buzz starts to hit the streets, I believe it will hit the $100 million mark. I think it is commendable that they were able to bring the entire cast back for part 2, 15 years later. Basically unheard of. I will be checking back to see the non-believers are willing to eat their words.

  • Boone | October 31, 2013 1:53 AM

    Movie Buff, you must be Tyler Perry fan. (Completely ignorant of reality.)

  • Miles Maker | October 29, 2013 1:43 PMReply

    Sorry but this movie doesn't do $100M and it will be happy to see $60M.
    The primary reason is crossover appeal.
    On the surface BEST MAN HOLIDAY is a Black film in every sense of the word. There's no Oprah or Forest or Tyler Perry or Pitt or Fassbender involved, and there is likely to be no awards season for this film--hence no perceived appeal among white viewers other than those already receptive to Black movies. THE BUTLER is a crossover movie, as is 12 YEARS A SLAVE and DJANGO. Driven primarily by people of color, BEST MAN HOLIDAY will perform well opening weekend and sustain for at most 2 more weeks, but unless it receives the kind of marketing/traction among non-Blacks/Latinos that the films I mentioned above were elevated by, it won't even come close.

  • Miles Maker | November 17, 2013 12:31 PM

    Kudos to BEST MAN HOLIDAY exceeding expectations with a $30.6M+ box office opening weekend with an audience consisting of 75% female, 63% age 35+ and 87% Black. It will end its domestic run with about $83M presuming its weekend-to-final multiplier is closer to THINK LIKE A MAN (2.72x).

  • mikejayson | October 29, 2013 2:03 PM

    This film wont come anywhere near 100m. Malcolm Lee is a hack

  • Miles Maker | October 29, 2013 1:42 PMReply

    Sorry but this movie doesn't do $100M and it will be happy to see $60M.
    The primary reason is crossover appeal.
    On the surface BEST MAN HOLIDAY is a Black film in every sense of the word. There's no Oprah or Forest or Tyler Perry or Pitt or Fassbender involved, and there is likely to be no awards season for this film--hence no perceived appeal among white viewers other than those already receptive to Black movies. THE BUTLER is a crossover movie, as is 12 YEARS A SLAVE and DJANGO. Driven primarily by people of color, BEST MAN HOLIDAY will perform well opening weekend and sustain for at most 2 more weeks, but unless it receives the kind of marketing/traction among non-Blacks/Latinos that the films I mentioned above were elevated by, it won't even come close.

  • Kojak's Wig | October 26, 2013 3:09 AMReply

    EVERY time I come back here, it just gets funnier and funnier. It is so obvious there is no way this movie makes over 100 mil and everyone who thinks it can reveals their industry ignorance (you too, S&A hotshots.) Still got love for yall, though.

  • Cherish | October 21, 2013 10:56 PMReply

    This movie will absolutely definitely make $100 million. And it's not because The Best Man was that great a movie. Hell, it was not even the best Black rom-com of its day. It's because that after The Butler and 12 Years a Slave, Black people are literally STARVING for a movie like this. Good looking Black folks - check. Bougie- check. Light hearted drama- check. But most importantly- IT'S NOT ABOUT RACE! Come on now, can't believe some of you don't see this.

  • Michiline | October 22, 2013 3:06 PM

    YES! Truth!

  • Jeffrey | October 19, 2013 10:32 PMReply

    If it gets a worldwide release and not just domestic, it has a shot. I wish "baggage claim" had a worldwide release instead of settling for 20 something million in box office revenue.

    N

  • DGI | October 19, 2013 6:08 PMReply

    I think this film will only have modest success. I feel like we are being told that the Best Man was a classic, but that is more marketing/nostalgia than reality. A black rom-com classic is Coming to America, hands down. Best Man? I think that was more of a nice film.

  • DGI | October 19, 2013 6:09 PM

    Sorry, that should read "niche" film.

  • lilkunta | October 17, 2013 10:24 PMReply

    if we all go see the movie(pay for it not bootleg. check your movie tickets) it will do well.if we all see it every weekend it will earn $100mill.

    is it being released in Brixton London ?

  • Kojak's Wig | October 14, 2013 3:45 PMReply

    Just came back here for another laugh. It worked!

  • dee | October 10, 2013 12:30 PMReply

    I don't believe it will gross 100 mil. The original movie was a classic but I think it became more of a classic when it came out on dvd. The fact of the matter is its an all black cast - RomCom. I will be one first in line to see it but not every race feels this way.

  • Big Pimpin' | October 5, 2013 7:52 PMReply

    I know for a FACT that this movie is going to gross 100 Mil. I know it. The original movie is a CLASSIC! Why wouldn't we want to see this? It's been 10 years! You rarely see spinoff of movies that are over 10 years ago. People in my mom's generation down to the people in my generation is a BIG NUMBER of people! Look how far in advance that they started promoting it! They started in what, April of this year... And it comes out in NOVEMBER... People are anxious. That's all I have to say... It's going to get up there.

  • Kojak's Wig | October 5, 2013 4:53 AMReply

    Everytime I re-read this, I realize Tambay MUST have clowning us. He can't be that gay for Malcolm Lee. (Sorry, gay people.)

  • IGBO | October 5, 2013 12:16 AMReply

    BEST MAN HOLIDAY grossing a $100 million? Really? While I didn't dislike the first film, I found nothing earth shattering about it. I certainly didn't feel it warranted a sequel. SPARKLE has a cult following and we see how the remake did.

    If the film is as good as you seem to think it is, the last thing I would do is open it wide. Opening a film wide (especially a black film) spells mediocrity. It says, "Get the money while you can, before word of mouth sinks in."

  • Agent K | September 22, 2013 1:16 PMReply

    I actually just read why people call Terrence Howard "babywipes". That dude is crazy.

  • Accidental Visitor | September 21, 2013 5:15 PMReply

    By the way...there seem to be plenty of reasons to dislike Terrence Howard as a human being, but did I miss his quotes denouncing black women too? The thing that keeps getting floated around is the whole "babywipes" silliness but considering Howard doesn't seem to date (or marry) black women that often can it be said that that was an insult directed at the non-black women he rejected because he thought they were unclean? Or are people jumping to some conclusion that he must think black women are the ones unclean because he doesn't seem to date them?

  • Accidental Visitor | September 21, 2013 4:46 PMReply

    "Diggs is married to Idina Menzel who is white. They're performed togetrher and have been photographed many time together And he has gone after and critized black women in the past in sereval interviews blaming them, for example, for not liking him because he's short and for the failure of his previous TV shows"

    Sergio, what are you talking about? First of all it should have been clear to you that it was likely a misprint/mistyped on Bforreal's part. She meant to write that Diggs and Perrineau were not married to black women but nonetheless hadn't spoken negatively about black women. In fact she wrote just that in the third line of the post you responded to. Read carefully.

    Second of all your character assasination of Diggs is pathetic. He hasn't gone around spouting off about black women. I think at worst he did mention that he had recieved a lot of negative feedback from black women who thought they could share a piece of their mind regarding their disapproval over his choice of spouse. He had also gotten sizable negative reaction from black women concerning the race of the women his characters dated/hooked up with on "Kevin Hill" and "Daybreak". Should he have not ever mentioned any of this? I've read quite a few interviews with Diggs over the years and this topic rarely comes up; most times, even in a recent article on this very site, he simply states that his shows didn't catch on for one reason or another and that he just had to move on. Once I recall him making mention of the negative feedback that I mentioned above but in that interview he wasn't harping on it or blaming black women as a group. And what is wrong with Diggs perhaps blowing off some steam by addressing that some ladies are very vocal about their dislike of his being married to a white woman? What halfway decent man wouldn't defend his wife if unfairly criticized? We applaud black people in the biz for speaking out against those who want to put them in a box or tell them how to think both in front of the camera and off camera. The people with the real issues are those who criticize him for such ridiculous things.

    Perhaps I missed these interviews you are referring to and therefore missing out on the true root cause for your remarks regarding the man. Then again it would not surprise if you are taking something he said out of context or twisting things around. Perhaps you are falling for some urban legends regarding Diggs. Whatever the reason is as a writer for this site (and for other publications) you would think you would learn to be a little bit more professional and careful about your responses.

    By the way any black female or black male who takes issue with whom Diggs married or whom he is paired with on the screen are no different than the white bigots who would do the same. Black people can keep hiding behind excuses of not being put on a pedestal blah blah blah, but ultimately they come across just as spiteful, hateful, bitter as the white losers who frown upon such couplings. Unfortunately in the cases of some black folks they try to justify their remarks at times by redirecting the accusations at the people they are targeting by claiming "such and such hates black women/hates black men/hates black people". That is nothing more than projection. I am not some big fan of Diggs as a performer but from all I've read/heard about him he is a good castmate, a good guy, a good husband and now a good dad. That should be enough. He shouldn't have to live up to some ridiculous standard of racial purity/solidarity set by the supposed gatekeepers of the black community. The same black community that is less critical of a Chris Brown even though be beat his "black" girlfriend to a pulp. But, hey, as long as he is loving black women it doesn't matter how much of a monster he can often be, right?

  • Jamal | October 28, 2013 8:55 AM

    Nah, she beat Chris' ass, why do you think he bit her. You bite a mug when your getting that ass whipped. lol! People feel the way that they feel, if that's their opinion, so be it. What is so funny is when some white tries to blame someone who's black for the hate that hate produced. To be frank there is nothing ridiculous about racial solidarity, white people do it all the time and when black people show some solidarity it becomes a problem.

  • LeonRaymond | October 20, 2013 5:09 PM

    @ACCIDENTAL VISITOR

    Very well stated and word for word sentence for sentence -I agree

  • Speaking Proudly | October 3, 2013 7:09 PM

    This article has nothing to do with Terrence or any other stars marriage. People marry whom they want, no matter the race. If you think black women are dirty you obviously have not visited the bathroom in an environment of predominant white women. Dummies!!!

  • Agent K | September 21, 2013 6:00 PM

    You must be a discount Taye Diggs

  • sergio | September 21, 2013 5:28 PM

    So to put again, as I said on the other post about Diggs, what you said more simply. "So Diggs has a problem with black women. So what's the big deal? So do I. You all think it's a crime"

  • Blackman | September 20, 2013 3:05 AMReply

    BIG DEAL. you make a movie and see how many people will show up and see your AFRICAN juju shit movie. And for sergio - his mahECO BANG BANG movie.

  • sergio | September 20, 2013 7:37 AM

    What do I have to do with this? You must really have a hard on for me and I thought you only get hard ons for fat white chicks.

  • Donella | September 20, 2013 1:22 AMReply

    I think the real story this year will be Spike Lee's Old Boy.

  • Cetre | October 5, 2013 11:18 AM

    I think you are spot on.

  • Alan | September 20, 2013 12:26 AMReply

    Yes. $100 million ultimately. Watch.

  • ALM | September 19, 2013 10:56 PMReply

    Yep, word of mouth is critical. If the movie is really good and really connects with the audience members (like the first one did), then the movie can definitely do $100 million. There are enough people to get the movie there without the movie crossing over.

  • Max Cady | September 19, 2013 9:12 PMReply

    "...Its main competition during opening weekend is Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street, but, really, I can guarantee you that the overwhelming bulk of black dollars spent at the movies that weekend, will be spent on The Best Man Holiday, and the movie will pick right up where Think Like A Man ended last year, and blow past $100 million..."

    WOW, Tambay. Just WOW. So many levels of astonishment on that line. Are you a Republican? I haven't seen this kind of blind allegiance for a public figure since GW Bush was in office.

  • Non-Pro Postal Worker | September 19, 2013 9:03 PMReply

    Is anyone in this movie as funny as Steve Harvey or Kevin Hart? Then you won't see those Kevin Hart numbers. Nostalgia will bring 40+ year old ladies out, but I'm not tracking any burning desire by folks to pay to see this in the theater, so you're looking at a 20 - 25 million weekend and a 30 - 40 million close.

    And Malcolm Lee, while certainly "earnest" and uh..."good-intentioned", has never struck me as the "funny" type, nor even the "not-funny-but-witty" type.

  • Monique a Williams | September 21, 2013 11:26 AM

    @I can't believe it's not gravy!
    More the former than the latter, but why the snark?

    @Akimbo
    Glad someone else gets it.

  • Akimbo | September 20, 2013 12:07 PM

    I'm in my late 20s and I love The Best Man, so do my peers. Brown Sugar came out when we were in college, Love and Basketball in high school, Love Jones (eh)/Preacher's Wife/Soul Food in middle school, Poetic Justice/Friday in elementary, so we came up in that era of decent-to-good black romances.

    Several of us got to see Best Man Holiday and it surprisingly did not disappoint. I'll be giving them my money when it opens.

  • I Can't Believe It's Not Gravy! | September 20, 2013 12:31 AM

    @SLB-- 25 to 30 mil opening with final DOMESTIC cume at 60 - 70? You don't know how this thing works.

    @Monique-- Best Man is 15 years old. If you are "far from 40 plus", then you either saw the first movie when you were 15 years old (twice in the theaters, you say)..... OR when you look in the mirror, you're delusional about what you see. Which would also mean you're a huge Tyler Perry fan. And you have a lot of cats. And Oprah's your hero.

  • slb | September 19, 2013 11:20 PM

    Are Steve Harvey and Kevin Hart funny? They definitely appeal to a mainstream audiences but I can't really say that they are funny. As a matter of fact, the original "The Best Man" was ten times funnier than "Think Like a Man". But that's neither here nor there. The reason this movie won't make $100 million is because the stars do not have that cross-over appeal that Kevin Hart has and Steve Harvey's name recognition. There is definitely pent up demand for this sequel. I just don't think it would make $100 million. It would have a pretty big first weekend considering it's opening during the Christmas Holiday movie season. I say $25 to $30 million and the final cume would be around $60 million to $70 million.

  • Monique A Williams | September 19, 2013 10:52 PM

    I'm far from 40+ and saw The Best Man in theaters twice when it came out. And owned the soundtrack. So perhaps you don't really know who is nostalgic about it.

  • Bforreal | September 19, 2013 7:43 PMReply

    No. The Butler was the kind of movie that whites flock to in droves, along with some black folks. The Best Man is not the kind of film that white folks flock to. It ain't Think Like a Man territory, for instance. It has a whole other audience and vibe. This film will be a super successful black film, black-targeted film, which means about $40 million, maybe on the high end. Just my opinion.

  • Accidental Visitor | September 21, 2013 4:04 PM

    I'm sure more black people in America have seen "The Butler" than white people. I didn't care for the film myself but let's not kid ourselves: most black people ate that shit up.

  • Bforreal | September 19, 2013 8:09 PM

    I meant $40 million in the first couple of weeks (the best weeks for black films). In terms of it's full run, maybe $60 to $70 million, at best.

  • QUENTIN | September 19, 2013 5:00 PMReply

    Considering the theme of white directors directing films with an entirely black cast, I think it's unfair to mention films like DJango Unchained mainly because the characters in the story came from the imagination of a white director. A white director wrote it. Is Tarantino, a more than capable director, supposed to write the film and let a black director direct it? Of course not.

  • CareyCarey | September 19, 2013 4:51 PMReply

    In my best Kingfish voice...Holy Mackerel Tambay, yours arithmaticktion is in need of some new ramififunctioncations.

    Looking back at Think Like A Man there's a few details which sets that film apart from The Best Man Holiday. First, the stars had tremendous drawing power in the likes of Steve Harvey and Kevin Hart. Check-Check!

    In Steve Harvey's attachment, there's a draw for not only black females, but to his ever growing white audience. And, Kevin Hart is the new hot man. CHECK!

    In reference to white dollars, forget about it, The Best Man Holiday is a black chick flick and white folks have no interest in seeing or hearing anything related to black love. CHECK!

    That reminds me, Sergio pointed out a very interesting dynamic about some of the male cast members. Well, some of the brotha loves seem some pink toe and can't stand black woman, but yet they expect black women to pay money to see them lie? Check Mark...against TMH!

    This film is produced by Sean Daniel and Malcolm D. Lee, not the brilliant marketer Will Packer and Rainforest Productions. Consequently, we can certainly expect a few skips of the beat from the new brothers on the block. Check Mark...against TMH

    Lastly, after opening weekend the following weeks are crucial to a film's "success". And if one agrees this film is for black eyes, mere weeks after its opening it's running straight into the teeth of a dynamic power, a great force in which some would call The "Dunamis" Power Of God!, that is Tyler Perry's Madea Xmas movie.

    HOLY MACKEREL Tambay, I's believes dat be double triple trouble check-mate.

  • sergio | September 21, 2013 3:52 PM

    @BFORREAL

    Diggs is married to Idina Menzel who is white. They're performed togetrher and have been photographed many time together And he has gone after and critized black women in the past in sereval interviews blaming them, for example, for not liking him because he's short and for the failure of his previous TV shows

  • Agent K | September 21, 2013 3:41 PM

    @BFORREAL
    Actually Taye Diggs has something against black women.

  • CareyCarey | September 19, 2013 9:24 PM

    BFORREAL, I am sure there are other black women like yourself who have dated white men and who have no problem with interracial unions. However, beingFORREAL, that group is a small minority within the black community. Now don't get me wrong, in some regions of the United States it's more acceptable than others. And in some families it can be an increasing event. Personally, I come from a very large mid-western family. My great grandparents had 10 children, each of them had at least 7 children. My grandmother had 10. As you can see, we're talking hundreds of children and grandchildren. At our family reunions throughout the U.S. ( Dallas TX, New Orleans La, Chicago Ill, Iowa) I've yet to see but 1 interracial couple. And, in my lady's family there are absolutely none.

    Point is, it may be politically correct to love the one your with, but many black folks still have a sour taste in their mouth about mixing with the white race and/or they simply do not think it's necessary to seek love outside their own race.

    All that to say, I believe there are some black women who turn a side-eye at the two black actors who hasn't been polite nor minced their words when talking about why they date white women and not black women. Soooooo, I was simply adding those dynamics (along with my 5 other points) to my belief that Tambay may be severely off with his prediction of $100 Million

  • Bforreal | September 19, 2013 8:06 PM

    Well, about the male actors in The Best Man. As far as I know, Taye Diggs and Harold Perrineau are married to black women. But neither of them have every said or implied anything negative about black women. They just happen to have married white women. I've dated white men. Nothing wrong with that. I don't know anything about Morris Chestnut's love life. And what I know of Terrence "Babywipes" Howard generally disgusts me (wife beater, much?), but I'm not interested in his character anyway. I would be more put off by the sexism and patriarchal aspects of the film (if it's anything like the first one), more than the fact that at least two of the male cast are married to white women. Just my two cents.

  • Accidental Visitor | September 19, 2013 4:03 PMReply

    "Part of the reason for that is that, within the studio system, black directors just haven't always been given the opportunity to direct "black films" - especially those that did gross over $100 million in recent years, like Django Unchained, Dreamgirls, The Pursuit Of Happyness, and even Big Mommas House"


    I would not put Django in the same category with those other films because it was a complete original creation from the writer's/director's mind. Not a sequel, not an adaption, not an adaptation. And whether some folks like it or not mainstream audiences loved "Django" mostly because of Trantino's direction and the sharp dialogue of his script. Which leads me to ask is the problem confronting black Hollywood a lack of creativity and invention? Obviously if a Django like script written by a black filmmaker had been handed over to a studio it would not be greenlit as fast as anything by Tarantino, and may not be greenlit at all. Ever. But to fully test this possibility must not a fantatsic script like that by a black individual be written first? Or maybe truly great scripts by black filmmakers simply can't get buyers in Hollywood.

  • Beemooree | September 19, 2013 3:51 PMReply

    Ha! $100mil. LoL. I don't think this film will reach 50mil

  • Boone | September 19, 2013 3:26 PMReply

    Tambay, I know you love you some Spike & Co., but sometimes it seems like you sprinkle a little too much hot sauce over your Cheery Cheerios. This column has the smack of--dare I say it? F A N B O Y. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

    Check the cast. Read the script. Examine director's body of work. Answer is obvious.

  • Daryl | September 19, 2013 3:09 PMReply

    I would like to see it make a 100 million but I don't think it will get there. I think it will do in the 60 to 85 million range at the most. All black films without any white people in starring or supporting roles have never made it to a 100 million. Black people will come out, but I don't see too many white folks coming out to go see this movie to help it cross the 100 million mark because they will dub it as just another black film instead of judging it as if they like the first film or does the film story appeal to them. If think like a man couldn't do it with all it's promotion and being a best selling book I don't see this film doing it. I hope I'm wrong because I think it should do a 100 million.

  • ALM | September 19, 2013 10:58 PM

    A movie doesn't have to cross over to make $100 million.

  • Reginald | September 19, 2013 2:53 PMReply

    I'm not sure about over $100 Million but I think it will definitely do very well. You have to remember that this is an R-rated film too. I can see it making $30 million in its first weekend and making 75-85 million in its run though. I'm excited to see it.

  • SF | September 19, 2013 1:27 PMReply

    It absolutely will. It's a holiday film, which gives it a boost. If it has great word-of-mouth, ala Think Like a Man, it will definitely cross $100m.

  • Dre | September 19, 2013 12:51 PMReply

    The only directors of color that I know of that have had their movies gross over $100M other than Lee Daniels would be Keenan Ivory Wayans whose Scary Movie (1) grossed $157M.,Tim Story who directed the Fantastic 4, which grossed $154M, John Singleton's 2 Fast 2 Furious which grossed $127 M and F Gary Gray who directed the Italian Job ($106M). Although all may have one or 2 black actors featured in prominent roles, none of these movies were about the African-American experience. Although I am looking forward to the Best Man Holiday, I doubt that it will surpassed $100M barrier as I don't believe it has enough crossover appeal to bring out the curious non-African-American movie goer. I project $75 to $80M...

  • slb | September 19, 2013 12:32 PMReply

    I think $100 million is a pipe dream. I would love to see the movie reach that milestone, but I don't see it in the cards. This movie will play like a sequel. It will have a huge, front loaded first weekend and it will drop off after that. I don't see this movie making more than $60 million after its run. Which is nothing to sneeze at for a romantic comedy. A Black one at that. My wife and I definitely plan on contributing to that $60 million.

  • Grepasa | September 19, 2013 12:20 PMReply

    Interesting theory...I agree with you and wish Malcolm D. Lee and "The Best Man Holiday" the best! But now I'm intrigued, what other films/directors are in the club? You mentioned "Waiting to Exhale"/Forest Whitaker as an example...adjusted for inflation, of course.

  • Rodney | September 19, 2013 4:34 PM

    You can also throw in John Singleton's "Shaft" and Spike Lee's "Inside Man" in that club.

  • slb | September 19, 2013 12:38 PM

    I forgot to add Tim Story of "Barbershop" and "Think Like a Man" fame directed both "Fantastic Four" movies which did over $100 million each.

  • slb | September 19, 2013 12:36 PM

    @Grepasa: Off the top of my head, the following movies were $100 million movies directed by Black directors, but not necessarily "Black" films.

    Stir Crazy by Sidney Poitier ($101 million initial run, $307 million adjusted for inflation)
    Scary Movie by Keenan Ivory Wayans
    S.W.A.T. by Clark Johnson

  • TJR | September 19, 2013 12:14 PMReply

    Interesting to hear how many others enjoyed the film and so eagerly await the sequel...I think I went to see it in the theaters and yes, it quickly became a favorite for me during that awesome area of black filmmaking at the end of the 90s. Here's hoping for the best...I need that era back in my life!

  • Monique A Williams | September 19, 2013 12:01 PMReply

    As eagerly as I anticipate this film, and as much as they are GUARANTEED my money opening weekend, I doubt that $100M is in the cards. Still, I wish them the very best and hope the numbers are as close to that as possible.

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