By The Numbers: “Black Panther”‘s Audience Breakdown

Shuri (Letitia Wright) in 'Black Panther, 2018 (ESPN FiveThirtyEight)

Shuri (Letitia Wright) in ‘Black Panther, 2018 (ESPN FiveThirtyEight)

As you no doubt have heard by now (and if you haven’t, where are you?!), “Black Panther” is breaking records left and right: It has the second-highest box office gross in its first four days, and is the highest-grossing movie to open over President’s Day weekend (among other records).

One thing that’s happened with the release of the movie is that the audience makeup is slightly different than the usual. Here’s the breakdown!

First, let’s look at race:

Typical Superhero Movie (2016 Average):

  • African-American: 15%
  • Caucasian: 52%
  • Hispanic: 21%

“Black Panther:”

  • African-American: 37%
  • Caucasian: 35%
  • Hispanic: 18%

For those of you who need a visual:

'Black Panther' Audience Make-Up by Demographic (Quartz)

‘Black Panther’ Audience Make-Up by Demographic (Quartz)

Check that out!! The percentage of African-Americans seeing “Blank Panther” was more than double that of the average superhero movie.

The Typical Superhero numbers were pulled from a Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) Theatrical Market Statistics report from 2016. “Black Panther” numbers came from audience tracking platform comScore.

Gender:

Typical Superhero Movie’s Opening Weekend:

  • Male: 60-65%
  • Female: 35-40%

“Black Panther” Opening Weekend:

  • Male: 55%
  • Female: 45%

This is big too! More women wanted to see “Black Panther” on opening weekend than the usual superhero fare. One explanation is that the movie positions many strong, dynamic female characters front and center: Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), Shuri (Letitia Wright) and Okoye (Danai Gurira).

There you have it, folks: Hard data on the fact that representation matters in media. If you represent inclusivity in your movie, you’ll give a more inclusive audience. And that will translate to bigger bank.

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Google Trends: “Black Panther”

Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong'o in 'Black Panther' (Geeks of Doom)

Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong’o in ‘Black Panther’ (Geeks of Doom)

As you may have heard, “Black Panther” comes out in less than a month (!!!). Tickets went on sale a little over a week ago, and Fandango has already reported that the movie’s pre-sales have set a new record for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), beating previous record-holder “Captain America: Civil War.”

I was curious to see how Google was affected by this record. Let’s take a look!

First, here’s a general search for “black panther” over the last 12 months:

Google Trends: 'black panther' search term over the past 12 months (Google Trends)

Google Trends: ‘black panther’ search term over the past 12 months (Google Trends)

See that spike in June? The movie’s teaser trailer dropped on Jan. 9, and received 89M views within its first 24 hours. And you can see the spike at the end within the last few weeks.

How many people searched for “black panther tickets?”

Google Trends: 'black panther tickets' from the past 12 months (Google Trends)

Google Trends: ‘black panther tickets’ from the past 12 months (Google Trends)

Check out that spike!! Everyone wanted in (no surprise, because this movie looks AMAZING!).

Since Fandango reported the new record, let’s see what the trend for searching “black panther fandango” looks like:

Google Trends: 'black panther fandango' search term for the past 12 months (Google Trends)

Google Trends: ‘black panther fandango’ search term for the past 12 months (Google Trends)

Once again, we see a drastic spike with the last week. One interesting thing is that while the search term “black panther tickets” projected a drop in the search term for the current week (see second graph), the search phrase that includes Fandango does not.

One thing is clear: The excitement surrounding this movie is definitely affecting search, so make sure that SEO is on point!

“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.

#ThrowbackThursday: Lupita Nyong’o, Oscars 2014

Lupita Nyong'o Oscar acceptance, 2014 (CBS News)

Lupita Nyong’o Oscar acceptance, 2014 (CBS News)

The Oscars are this weekend (Sunday, Feb. 28). If you’ve been following awards season this year, you know that the #OscarsSoWhite reared its ugly head again. This is the second year in a row that there have been no non-white nominees in the four acting categories. Shameful isn’t a strong enough word.

So I’m throwing it back to the last time we had a non-white winner in an acting category. That was back in 2014, at the 86th Annual Academy Awards. Lupita Nyong’o won Best Supporting Actress for her role in 2013’s “12 Years A Slave.” She’s both the most recent POC nominee and winner.

And because I couldn’t choose just one photo of Nyong’o, here’s another one that showcases her incredible Prada dress:

Lupita Nyong'o backstage at the Oscars, 2014 (Fiction Diversity WordPress)

Lupita Nyong’o backstage at the Oscars, 2014 (Fiction Diversity WordPress)

 

All of the Oscar Acting Nominees Are White. WTF?

 

Oscars 2016 Best Actress Nominees (Reuters)

Oscars 2016 Best Actress nominees (Reuters)

Last week, the Oscar nominations were announced. Selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the winners will be revealed Feb. 28. But this year continued a disturbing trend that began last year: Not one of the nominees in any of the acting categories (Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor) were people of color (POC).

I use the word “disturbing” as it seems the Academy is determined to ignore stories and narratives that don’t fit within their very narrow worldview. It’s becoming increasingly clear that non-white stories are not only valuable (as we knew already), but make bank, both in terms of box office and in social influence. (See this past year’s examples of TV smash “Empire,” and movies “Straight Outta Compton” and “Dope.”) The Academy needs to wake up and see that rewarding diverse stories can only help their bottom line.

In terms of the numbers, here are some of the most recent POC nominees (counted if they didn’t win) and winners:

Best Actress:

Winner: Halle Berry (“Monster’s Ball,” 2001)

Nominee: Quvenzhane Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild,” 2012)

Best Actor:

Winner: Forest Whitaker (“The Last King of Scotland,” 2006)

Nominee: Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave,” 2013)

Best Supporting Actress:

Winner: Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave,” 2013)

Nominee: Taraji P. Henson (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” 2008)

Best Supporting Actor:

Winner: Djimon Hounsou (“Blood Diamond,” 2006)

Nominee: Barkhad Abdi (“Captain Phillips,” 2013)

 

Black Stars on “Vogue” Covers in 2014: By The Numbers

Lupita Nyong'o, 'Vogue' Magazine Jul. 2014 (IB Times)

Lupita Nyong’o, ‘Vogue’ Magazine Jul. 2014 (IB Times)

A recent “Daily Mail” article points out that (American) “Vogue” had more black cover stars during 2014 than during any previous year.

While this still isn’t ideal in terms of diversity, it seems the magazine is on the right path in including equal representation, both on the cover and within its pages. Let’s just hope things keep progressing upwards.

Here’s how the numbers break down:

Number of “Vogue” issues in 2014: 12

Number of cover stars in 2014: 15

Number of black cover stars: 4 (26%+)

Number of black models: 1 (Joan Smalls, who shared the cover with Cara Delevingne and Karlie Kloss)

Number of black actresses: 1 (Lupita Nyong’o)

– Number of black musicians: 2 (Rihanna and Kanye West)

 

Number of black cover stars in recent years:

– 2013: 2 (Michelle Obama and Beyoncé)

– 2012: 1 (Serena Williams)

– 2011: 1 (Rihanna)

 

Most recent time the September issue featured a black star: 2010 (Halle Berry)

Previous to 2010, the last time the September issue featured a black star: 1989, 21 years previously (Naomi Campbell)

 

Number of “Vogue” publications that did not use any black/people of color cover stars in 2014: 5 (“Vogue UK,” “Vogue Paris,” “Vogue Ukraine,” “Vogue Netherlands,” “Vogue Russia”)