June 25, 2011

Minorities buy more movie tickets

Another posting demolishes the "Hollywood cares only about money" argument we've heard over and over. For instance, in Jet's Film Financing Story and No Bottom Line for Native Movies?

Minorities At The Movies Fill Seats, But Not Screens

By Karen Grigsby BatesA recent BET study says blacks go to exactly the same kind of features as their white counterparts, with one surprising difference, according to Barnhill:

"We see movies 21 percent more often than the general market, and we're 22 percent more likely to have multiple repeat dealings of a movie."

"Simply put, blacks spend more money on movies," says Marlene Towns, a professor at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. "We consume what the mainstream consumes, as African-Americans, but we also consume things that are particular to us as a segment."
And:It's not just black audiences who get short shrift on theater screens. Several recent studies also have shown that Latino audiences buy a lot of movie tickets. They might buy even more if Hollywood could go beyond its one-size-fits-all approach to reaching various segments of the Latino market.

"It's sort of like comparing somebody from Texas to somebody from New York," says Ivette Rodriguez, president of American Entertainment Marketing.

AEM specializes in marketing and promotion to the several Latino communities that Hollywood often lumps into one. Rodriguez says Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans and Dominicans may all speak Spanish, but they're different.

Industry executives might understand these differences better, says Rodriguez, if they had more meaningful peer interactions with Latinos.

Blacks and Latinos do buy more movie tickets than their white counterparts, but studio execs are going to have to better school themselves on how to reach these important, lucrative audiences. If Hollywood manages to do that, it might profit from those ethnic audiences that are going to be discriminating about how they spend their movie money.
Comment:  Blacks and Latinos buy more tickets but star in fewer movies. There goes the "bottom line" argument that Hollywood cares only about making money.

Fact is that studios are biased against minorities in general and ignorant about Indians in particular. White executives make movies about white people because that's who they know. Which is another way of saying the system is racist.

In other words, "better school themselves" is code for "get over their racial bias for white people like themselves and see our multicultural country as it really is."

Many minorities on TV?

"Justin" posted this comment on Facebook:I dont know. I guess I agree about the Latin not being represented but it's been along time since I've seen a movie or television show without black people and black American culture represented.It's true that most movies and TV shows include minorities, Justin. That's a measure of how far we've come. But minorities are 36% of the US population, but take only 20-25% of the acting slots. And virtually none of the starring roles. That's a measure of how far we have to go.

Especially when it comes to Native actors, of course.

For more on the subject, see "Bottom Line" Argument Is Racist and Patel's Struggle Shows Hollywood's Racism.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looking at the movies from before my time, the sheer racism in movies marketed to children is ridiculous. One could even say rated G for racism.