This post was inspired by a recent article about the new movie Red Tails, and George Lucas’ appearance on The Daily Show. In the article and interview he stated that the movie almost didn’t get made because Hollywood execs didn’t know how to market it due to the all Black cast, well a cast with no major white roles, so they wouldn’t green light it. He had to spend his own money on it and hoped it would make its money back plus bring in a profit.
I believe the budget was $58 million with an all Black cast and director, which is almost unprecedented in Hollywood. Most of the Black movies that get green lit in Tinsel Town have a budget of about half of that, but George pushed on and got the movie to be released. Before this movie the highest budget for an all Black cast and director was $45 million given to Spike Lee for Inside Man, which grossed $184,376,254 worldwide, a $139 million profit. That spurred them to give Spike $45 million more to shoot Miracle at St Anna which failed miserably at the box office only grossing $9.3 million worldwide. After that bomb in 2008 all Black cast or predominantly Black cast were relegated to the smaller budgets that they were used to receiving before Miracle at St Anna.
Personally I believe that the cast of Fast 5 was an all Black cast but for some reason Vin Deisel and The Rock doesn’t qualify as Black in some people’s eyes. The budget for it was $125 million and grossed over $626 million worldwide. So what we see is that money can be made off all Black cast but we need to help out by going to the movies as opposed to copping it on bootleg when it debuts.
So this is what we need to do. We need to support this movie with more vigor and a sense of urgency that we didn’t do when Miracle at St Anna came out. Why? Because as George said, if this movie bombs it will be even harder to get an all Black cast and director green lit by Hollywood for a high budget film.
Bootleggers, you know who you are, tell the people at the barbershop or on the streets that you don’t have a copy of Red Tails. Give it a couple weeks before you do your damage. All and all you will only be loosing a few bucks by not selling this one when you first get it. As a whole, $100’s of thousands to millions will be lost but that’s spread out amongst 1000’s of people across America, but Black actors and directors stand to loose millions on top of untold millions because of your actions. Continue reading