The historic debut of Black Panther reinforced important themes–diversity in casting and content, emphasis on a 12-month release calendar–that we have emphasized for years. We saw this as an opportunity to magnify these themes by speaking with key media outlets:
National Association of Theater Owners CEO Calls ‘Black Panther’ Film Historic
National Association of Theater Owners CEO John Fithian says the release of Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” is historic due to its cast and mid-February release. He speaks with Bloomberg’s Vonnie Quinn and Shery Ahn on “Bloomberg Markets.”
With $218 Million Haul, ‘Black Panther’ Smashes Box Office Records
Phil Contrino, director of media and research for the National Association of Theater Owners, noted the power of seeing “Black Panther” in a communal setting on a big screen. “Hopefully someday we’ll look back at the release of ‘Black Panther’ as the turning point when diversity and positive representation in blockbusters switched from being an anomaly to being normal,” Mr. Contrino said.
‘Black Panther’ Box Office Success Has Theater Owners Asking for More Diverse Superhero Movies
More “Black Panthers” and “Wonder Womans,” please.
That’s the message that John Fithian, the top lobbyist for the exhibition industry, is hoping to convey to studios in the wake of the two superhero movies’ blockbuster success. Their massive box office hauls confirm something that Fithian, head of the National Association of Theatre Owners, has been pushing for years. Diversity is good for business.
“Theater owners have been asking for more diversity in movies for a long time, and by diversity we mean diversity in casting and diversity in times of the year when movies are released,” said Fithian, who notes that “Black Panther” is barreling toward the $1 billion mark at the box office, despite debuting in February.
Disney’s ‘Black Panther’ Playbook: A Peek at the Marketing of a Phenomenon
“The look and feel and timing of the marketing was extremely effective,” says Patrick Corcoran, vp of the National Association of Theater Owners. “It announced that this movie was different. Ryan Coogler was eloquent on how movies mattered to him. Everything about the way the movie was marketed built excitement and interest in seeing it. This mattered to the African American community. Diversity sells tickets.”
The February box-office success of ‘Black Panther’ is a rarity for the movie business — but industry insiders say that’s about to change
“We have struggled off and on with the distribution patterns of big movies concentrated on the summer when schools have vacation and the winter holidays, and often those big movies can cannibalize each other because they come right after the other,” John Fithian, the president and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners, the trade organization representing movie-theater owners, told Business Insider. “Strong content can play in any month and can have more room to play in the nontraditional months.”
What Black Panther‘s Success Means for the Future of Movies
“Black Panther crossed the must-see threshold very quickly over the weekend,” says Phil Contrino, head of media and research for the National Association of Theatre Owners. “Millions of people felt compelled to experience the film in a communal setting. Look at social media and you’ll see thousands of pictures of people with their friends and family at theaters.”