“Black Panther” Sets Fandango Record for Marvel Pre-Sales

Chadwick Boseman in 'Black Panther' (Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki)

Chadwick Boseman in ‘Black Panther’ (Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki)

Seriously, who *isn’t* eagerly awaiting “Black Panther” to drop?! If you know anyone that’s not, tell them to get right!!

The latest proof comes from ticket website Fandango, which opened ticket sales to the latest entry to Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) a week ago. Twenty-four hours later, “Black Panther” had set a new record for advance ticket pre-sales for a Marvel movie. Sadly, no numbers were given to back up this claim (because you know I’d love to see them!).

The film is clearly benefitting from broader awareness: Sales began after a national TV spot aired during the College Football Playoff National Championship. A recent Fandango survey of 8K moviegoers revealed that “Black Panther” is the second-most anticipated film of the year. It ranks below another MCU entry “Avengers: Infinity War.” Many of the “Black Panther” characters will appear in “Infinity War.” Titular star Chadwick Boseman was also voted the “most anticipated comic book hero in a standalone movie.”

This pre-sale record may or may not indicate how well “Black Panther” will do when it opens next month. According to entertainment industry trade “Deadline,” estimates not affiliated with the movie are predicting an opening weekend take of $80-85M, and maybe scaling up to $100M. But then “Captain America: Civil War” (the previous Fandango pre-sales record holder for the MCU) made $179M in its opening weekend, and went out to gross $1.15B (!) around the world.

“Black Panther” opens on Feb. 16, 2018, and stars Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, and Angela Bassett.

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#ThrowbackThursday: Madame C.J. Walker, America’s First Female Millionaire

Madame C.J. Walker (Biography)

Madame C.J. Walker (Biography)

If you don’t know who Madame C.J. Walker is, get on that! The former Sarah Breedlove worked as a laundress and a singer before developing her own line of hair care products.  Walker eventually extended her product line into a beauty school and trained hairdressers in her products and specific methods. Through Walker’s entrepreneurship, she taught other black women how to run their own businesses and become financially independent.

By the time Madame C.J. Walker died at age 51, she’d become the first female millionaire, and a self-made one at that. Her net worth at the time of her death in 1919 was $600,000. Adjusted for inflation, that’s $8,757,479.29 in November 2017 money.

Oprah Winfrey Is the First Black Woman to Receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award

Oprah Winfrey at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards (Variety)

75th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS — Pictured: Oprah Winfrey, Winner, Cecil B. Demille Award at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 — (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC)

We all know that Oprah is a supreme being, right? Is there anything she can’t do? Seemingly not, especially when it comes to her role throughout the decades in entertainment. And now she has the one of the highest honors.

Last night, Winfrey was awarded the Cecil DeMille Award. Named after the famed director, the award recognizes individuals in the entertainment industry who’ve, well, achieved a lot within their lifetime (obviously).

Winfrey is the African-American woman to receive the award. This award has been presented since 1952.

Oprah then gifted us all with an acceptance speech to end all acceptance speeches. She started out speaking on what the award personally meant to her (#representationmatters), tied in into history, and spoke on the fact that the tide is finally turning against sexual harassment, in every industry.

Her speech was so good that some are calling for her to run for president (though not everyone feels this way).

Congratulations to Oprah! Only one question: why didn’t she receive this award sooner?!?!?!

No Shit: Tech Startups Founded by Women Have Almost 50% More Female Employees

Emily Weiss, founder and CEO of beauty startup Glossier (Time)

Emily Weiss, founder and CEO of beauty startup Glossier (Time)

Guess what, everyone? It turns out that tech start-ups that were founded by women…wait for it…have more female employees than tech start-ups founded by men. Can you believe it? Not only that, but these female-founded startups have almost 50% more female employees.

I think I can speak for all of us when I say: NO. SHIT.

How was this surprising insight uncovered, you ask? FundersClub, an “online start-up investing platform,” surveyed 85 tech start-ups based in the US. Most of these start-ups measured fewer than 20 employees. Within this survey, the gender breakdown at women-led start-ups registered as 48% female. As the “LA Times” notes, the 48% women stat at women-led start-ups beats the gender breakdowns at the top tech companies. Uber has 36% women, Facebook has 33% women, Apple has 32% women, and Google lags behind with 31% women within the respective companies.

A woman founder begets more women, which leads to a more gender-balanced company. Who knew?!

 

 

 

Meghan Markle is Engaged to Prince Harry

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (E! Online)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (E! Online)

It’s finally happening! Former “Suits” actress Meghan Markle got engaged to her boyfriend Price Harry (heard of him?), and they announced their engagement a week ago. The two attended a photocall in the morning at Kensington Palance’s Sunken Garden, and sat down for an televised interview revealing more details with the BBC later that day.

This engagement is big for a lot of reasons, but mainly because it’s breaking barriers: Markle will be the first biracial person (and first biracial woman) to join the royal family. (Markle’s mother is Doria Ragland, an African-American woman, and her father is Thomas Markle, who is Caucasian. Markle self-identifies as a “strong, confident mixed-race woman.”) Many are excited because Markle will be the first “Black Princess” (though technically she’s more likely to end up with a Duchess title), but there are more nuances to the situation. “Elle” has a a great piece where 16 Black women aired their reactions to the engagement news; it’s well worth reading in full, so go check it out!

The engagement is also a powerful step towards revolutionizing the British monarchy and the public’s perception thereof. Princes Harry and William have spoken out about their mental health and its importance, and seem to want to make the monarchy more progressive. Along with the fact that Prince Harry will be marrying a biracial woman, he’ll also be marrying a divorcee: Markle was previously married to film producer Trevor Engelson from 2011 to 2013. The last time a British royal married a divorced woman, he had to abdicate the throne. This happened in 1937 when the Duke of Windsor married Wallis Simpson, which caused quite a scandal.

One thing is for sure: this engagement is hurtling the British royal family into the 21st century. As “The New York Times” puts it:

With one heady announcement, it seems, Harry and Ms. Markle have thrown out generations’ worth of quietly repressed tradition and presented a new royal model to a country that will have to adjust to it, whether it wants to or not.

 

The Academy’s New Class is 39% Female and 30% POC

Priyanka Chopra, Donald Glover, Naomie Harris, and John Cho (The Hollywood Reporter)

Priyanka Chopra, Donald Glover, Naomie Harris, and John Cho (The Hollywood Reporter)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently announced its new class of members. The 2017 class numbers 744, which is a new record. This breaks the 2016 number of invitees at 683, which had previously held the record.

This new class might also hold the distinction of being the most diverse (so far). Of the 744 members, 39% are women and 30% are people of color (POC).

Here’s how the new class will influence the gender makeup of the Academy:

Overall Female Membership (Variety/AMPAS)

Overall Female Membership (Variety/AMPAS)

Notable women invited include “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot, comedian Amy Poehler, and French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg.

POC comprise 39% of this year’s class. Here’s what that looks like with respect to the Academy’s full voting body:

People of Color in Overall Membership (Variety/AMPAS)

People of Color in Overall Membership (Variety/AMPAS)

Notable POC invitees include Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key of “Key & Peele,” Indian actor Salman Khan, and Hong Kong actor Tony Leung.

Of course, there’s a lot of intersectionality happening for women of color (WOC). Prominent WOC in this year’s Academy class include Priyanka Chopra, Sanaa Lathan, and Nazanin Boniadi.

The Academy’s new class is part of an effort to increase the numbers of women and POC members by 2020.

Hopefully the new influx of fresh faces and perspectives will allow more diverse and inclusive narratives to come to the forefront, and prevent another #OscarsSoWhite fiasco.