Agence France-Presse, March 24, 2022
Audiences of color were major drivers of box office revenue in Hollywood last year, a report revealed Thursday, making up the majority of ticket sales for opening weekend for most blockbuster movies.
The findings continue a years-long trend that has seen filmgoer demographics shift over time in the United States, even beyond changes in the wider population.
“Every time there was a big movie that exceeded expectations or broke a record, we see that between 53 percent and 60 percent of opening weekend audiences were people of color,” said Ana-Christina Ramon, co-author of the Hollywood Diversity Report.
“For people of color and especially for Latino families, theaters provided an excursion when mostly everything was shut down.
“In a sense, people of color really kept the studios afloat the past couple of years.”
The report, from the University of California, Los Angeles, also found that casts are becoming more diverse — a factor that appears to be playing well with streaming audiences.
Titles with substantial minority casts tended to do especially well among younger viewers — those aged 18-49 — who are more engaged with streaming, the report found.
“In 2020, minorities reached proportionate representation for the first time when it comes to overall cast diversity in films, and that held true in 2021,” said co-author Darnell Hunt.