It has been a long-running assumption in Hollywood that movies featuring a primarily black cast, particularly in R-rated comedies, would be seen as “unrelatable” to broader audiences, thus negatively impacting revenue.
However, thanks to the massive success of the film Girls Trip, studios are starting to reconsider their previous notions. Movie fans have spoken loud and clear; diversity is a key factor drawing them into theater seats (and drawing money out of their wallets).
The film, financed by Universal Studios, revolves around a group of four friends who take a trip to New Orleans for a week of wild, hilarious partying. The A-list cast certainly added to the star power of the film, with Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Regina Hall, and up-and-coming breakthrough comedian Tiffany Haddish starring in the film’s lead roles.
How did studio execs know the movie was destined to defy the odds? Universal president of domestic distribution Nick Carpou acknowledged the stereotypes head-on. Carpou noted that while it was true that Hollywood had a historically distant relationship with African-American leads, he believed that audiences were beginning to actively value diversity in a way that transcends those outdated beliefs.
“Girls Trip is a bold film,” he said, “The characters are highly relatable, and the story speaks a universal language.”
While black-led films (as well as live-action comedies) are often notorious for receiving low critical acclaim, it seems the A-plus casting and gut-busting writing set Girls Trip apart from the crowd. In the last year, many black-led films such as Get Out, Moonlight, and Hidden Figures have been making waves at the box office and in review columns, setting a precedent of appreciating diversity in all genres of film.
Hollywood’s evolving attitudes paved the way for Girls Trip, which brought in a whopping $30.4 million upon its debut, the best start an R-rated comedy has seen in years.
Did you see Girls Trip? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!