Friday, April 19, 2024

Box Office Firsts: Black Directors Have #1 (“Black Panther”) and #2 (“Wrinkle in Time”), Ryan Coogler Second Black Director in Billion Dollar Club


A lot will be written this morning about Ava Duvernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time” finishing second at the box office to Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther” in its opening weekend. “Panther” made $41 mil to “Wrinkle”‘s $33 million.

But there are two firsts here that are more important. The first first: the top 2 movies of the week are made by black directors.

The second first: One of them (Duvernay) is a woman.

The third first: Coogler is the second black director to score a billion dollar movie worldwide. The first was F. Gary Gray with “The Fate of the Furious” last year, total $1.2 billion.

Coogler, 31, is now on a trajectory for a long, confident, and successful career following the award winning and much praised “Fruitvale Station” and the studio powered hit “Creed.”

Duvernay has already become a symbolic leader for women in general, female directors, you name it. She was really screwed on “Selma,” a movie that needs to be seen over and over. But she’s made her name with “Wrinkle.”

Keep refreshing for hard numbers…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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