The new movie “Red Tails” garnered the number-two spot among top box office grossing films in its first week of release. It’s the story about the Tuskegee Airman of World War II.
The flick followed the latest installment of the “Underworld” franchise in patrons, which topped the box office this weekend. The remaining top-five included “Contraband”; “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”; and “Haywire.” “Red Tails” stars a primarily all black cast, featuring Oscar Award Winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. and Oscar Award Nominee Terrence Howard. It’s no secret that historically Hollywood is always skeptical when it comes to supporting films with a predominantly black cast. Despite success after success, those wanting to create movies depicting aspects of the Black American experience, always meet with adversity. The road for “Red Tails” was no different. Executive Produced by “Star Wars” guru George Lucas, “Red Tails” was in production for twenty-three years. According to Lucas himself, because it featured black actors in all the lead roles, it was difficult for him to even get it released. I can not describe the walls that Lucas had to climb better than the man himself – check it out below:
Now that “Red Tails” has had a multi-million dollar weekend, raking in 19.1, will that change the views and what has been engrained in the hearts and minds of Hollywood executives for years? Some of us would like to think so, at the very least, it will lend to the plight of more movies being made with people of color as the lead – right? The success of “Red Tails” is not the first success story in this regard. This time it beat out films that starred two of America’s thespian treasures in Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock that came in at number-four. Mark Wahlberg’s “Contraband,” which was in its second week of release, at number-three will be dismissed. At number-five was Steven Soderberg’s “Haywire.” Although the lead role was that of newcomer Gina Carano, veterans Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas and Ewan McGregor were among the supporting cast. Despite the odds and challenges that some in Hollywood would have folks believe, films starring black people will make money, as much as those depicting stories about the dominant ruling class. “Red Tails” is in theaters now, and features actors Nate Parker, Tristan Wilds, Elijah Kelley, Cliff Smith a.k.a. Method Man, Leslie Odom Jr., David Oyelowo, Aml Ameen, Andre Oyo, Marcus T. Paulk, David Gyasi and Ne-Yo as the Tuskegee Airmen. If you missed it this weekend, go so they won’t have ammunition to say that the first week’s numbers were a fluke.