For the past five consecutive weeks, movies starring African American actors in the lead role dominated the top spot at the box office.
"The Perfect Guy,” a romantic-thriller starring Sanaa Lathan, Michael Ealy and Morris Chestnut, debuted at no. 1 this weekend and earned nearly $27 million at the box office. The previous weekend, “War Room,” a Christian drama starring Priscilla C. Shirer, T.C. Stallings and Karen Abercrombie, among other black actors, earned $12.6 million as well as the lead status its second week in theaters. Prior to that, the N.W.A. biopic, “Straight Outta Compton,” secured its top spot for three weeks straight and is now the highest-grossing musical biopic.
This streak of success is significant because of Hollywood's ongoing lack of representation of actors of color among its films. The 2015 diversity report by UCLA’s Ralph J Bunche Center for African American Studies found that the top three talent agencies in the country, which are dominantly led by white executives, are to blame for the lack of minorities on the big screen.
Lathan recently told The Huffington Post that “Hollywood has a ways to go” before it truly becomes reflective of the real world.
“I think the language needs to change, the language about ‘Oh, this is an Urban film or this is a niche film,'" Lathan said. "No, these are Hollywood films."
At least, for now, these actors are showing Hollywood they can thrive on the big screen -- and earn major money while they do it.
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