Earlier this past weekend, Black Panther, the latest blockbuster juggernaut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, crossed the $1.1 billion box office threshold in global ticket sales. While billion dollar movies have increased in frequency in recent years, they are still far from the norm as only thirty-three movies have reached this lofty achievement when not adjusted for inflation.
What makes Black Panther's success particularly noteworthy is that it is the first movie ever with a predominantly black cast to achieve this status and only the second film helmed by an African American director to break the billion dollar mark, with F. Gary Gray's Fate of the Furious being the first. Could this be a sign that Hollywood is finally ready to admit that audiences want films featuring more diverse casts and creative teams?
"I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider."
It was with those seemingly simple words that an electrified Frances McDormand ended her lively Oscar acceptance speech last Sunday after taking home the Academy Award for Best Actress (the second of her career, by the way). Sharing more than a bit of DNA with the firebrand she portrays in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, McDormand's short but pointed speech brought a vibrancy to an evening that addressed the #MeToo movement but remained overall, a staid black-tie affair.