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African-American movie attendance doubled last year


2016 was a better-than-average year for African-Americans in movies, with films like Hidden Figures, Fences, I Am Not Your Negro, and Ava DuVernay’s The 13th all taking their place in the public consciousness, while Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight (eventually) won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. That increased recognition and representation might help explain why black movie attendance nearly doubled last year, according to a study quoted by Variety.

Conducted by the MPAA, the study found that 5.9 million African-Americans were “frequent moviegoers” in 2016—defined by going to the theater once a month or more. (Asian-American ticketbuyers also saw a bump, jumping from 3.2 million to 3.9 million, although Hispanic numbers apparently stayed stable.) It’ll remain to be seen whether these trends hold through 2017; Jordan Peele’s black horror film Get Out has already set box office records, but there’s a lot of year left, and Hollywood still has a long way to go in terms of giving minority viewpoints and artists equal consideration with whites.


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