Summer tentpoles find success in diversity

The box office is recovering thanks to a slate of diverse faces.

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The Future. The big winners at this summer’s domestic box office are franchise films with multicultural casts. That’s a big sea change after the marvelous success of Black Panther felt like an outlier in 2018. But while the US audience seems to have finally embraced diversity in blockbusters, the international market may be a little slower to change.

Serving every audience
The box office is recovering thanks to a slate of diverse faces.

  • Over the past month, movies featuring either Black or Latino leads have topped the box office.
  • That includes franchise titles like Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Fast X, The Little Mermaid, and Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.
  • Additionally, all but Fast X exceeded industry expectations, buoyed by an over-indexing of multicultural audiences.

With this past week’s success of Transformers, a Paramount studio source told THR that “there’s no question that the segment of the population going to the movies more frequently than any other is multicultural, at least domestically.”

But for those that have been paying attention, those stats may not come as a surprise. Latinos made up 26% of frequent moviegoers, despite representing only 18% of the overall population. No wonder that all the way back in 2012, then-MPAA chairman Chris Dodd told Hollywood they needed to “better serve” Latino audiences.


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