A report from the Motion Picture Association of America found that the number of African-Americans who go to the movies frequently (at least once a month) hit its highest mark in 2016 with 5.6 million, up nearly two million from 2015. Coincidentally, 2016 saw a wave of critically and commercially successful films starring African-Americans, including Hidden Figures, Fences, I Am Not Your Negro, The 13th, and Best Picture winner Moonlight.
Although the report doesn’t draw a direct correlation between the spike in African-American moviegoers and the amount and caliber of films that represent them, c’mon. It’s hard to think of the MPAA’s findings as anything but concrete validation that if Hollywood doubles down on its efforts in creating movies with nuanced characters and stories that deftly reflect African-American communities ipso facto African-Americans will go to the movies more often.
Here’s hoping that Jordan Peele’s box-office crushing debut Get Out is an indication of an even better showing out from African-American moviegoers in 2017.