Diversity on the Big Screen
THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY
1999’s groundbreaking comedy The Best Man launched the career of writer and director Malcolm D. Lee and initiated the careers of now A-List African American actors Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut, Harold Perrineau, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Monica Calhoun, Melissa De Sousa, and Regina Hall. The all-star cast and filmmaking team returned for 2013’s highly anticipated sequel The Best Man Holiday, which scored the second-highest opening for an urban romantic comedy ever at the box office. Eighty seven percent of the audience was African American. Its success continued throughout the holiday season, and the film ultimately grossed a solid total of $72.7 million worldwide.
The team developed dedicated grassroots promotions for The Best Man Holiday at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), including homecoming events, football games, and the creation of The Best Man Holiday scholarship in partnership with Jet magazine and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Strategic national event and talk show appearances, along with pervasive publicity features in African American female-targeted magazines, also helped to promote the film.
THE FAST & FURIOUS FRANCHISE
For more than 12 years now, Universal’s homegrown series, Fast & Furious, has consistently featured an ethnically diverse lead cast and filmmaking team that reflects the changing demographics of a worldwide audience. Led by global superstar Vin Diesel and Asian American director Justin Lin, who directed the last four installments, Fast & Furious 6’s spectacular box office success helped make Fast & Furious the biggest franchise in Universal Pictures’ history, with $2.38 billion in worldwide grosses since the first film debuted in 2001. The 2013 hit was one of the biggest films of the year and the highest-grossing film of the series, with global box office receipts of more than $788 million.
Fast & Furious 6 was promoted across multiple Hispanic-facing platforms via the tireless efforts of the Universal Pictures Multicultural Marketing team, with the support of our media agency and diverse supplier Lopez Negrete Communications. Efforts included Telemundo’s Premios Billboard Awards, the launch of Fandango Cine, the new Hispanic ticketing venture between NBCUniversal’s Fandango and Telemundo, an integration in Univision’s tentpole primetime Sunday program Nuestra Belleza Latina, and a dedicated "mun2 Presents" television special.
Universal’s commitment to maintaining the diversity of the series, while at the same time serving the needs of diverse communities, clearly paid off: 33% of the audience for Fast & Furious 6 was Hispanic, 22% African American, and 13% Asian. The seventh film in the franchise, which just went back into production, is directed by Australian director James Wan, who is of Asian descent.