More diversity, more money: Theater owners want more inclusive films

more diversity theater

At the National Association of Theatre Owners’ annual CinemaCon in Las Vegas one thing rang true with movie distributors and theater owners alike — more diversity means more money.

The annual convention is a chance for Hollywood executives and local cinema owners to mingle, celebrate the successes of the year prior and prep for the year to come. 2018 was a banner year for the industry, as ticket sales in the U.S. and abroad smashed records.

The year also marked a changing tide in the types of films that can now be considered blockbuster-worthy. In the past, diverse casting has been reserved for low-budget indie films and Oscar-aspiring period pieces and biopics.

“Black Panther” changed that tune.

The superhero flick, which had a predominantly African American cast, garnered more than $1.34 billion at the global box office.

Its director, Ryan Coogler, was the second black director to direct a film that has crossed the billion-dollar mark, and now holds the title for highest-grossing film by a black director. F. Gary Gray was the first black director to reach that distinction with “The Fate of the Furious” in 2017.

And “Black Panther” isn’t an outlier. (read more)

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