Do “African American” films make money or not?
This article investigates the box office performance of films defined as being ‘African American’, with respect to their cast and content material, against those which are not. Using a large sample of films released in the North American market from 1997 to 2007, the analysis shows that, in general, African American films earn higher revenues yet are typically produced on lower budgets. Regression results of revenues show that this difference is highly statistically significant. Further, the profit functions are also statistically different, leading to the conclusion that, ceteris paribus, African American films perform better at the box office.
Source: “Do ‘African American’ films perform better or worse at the box office? An empirical analysis of motion picture revenues and profits” from Applied Economics Letters
I did a deeper dive on the subject of discrimination here.
I’m curious to read this book: Race: How Blacks and Whites Think and Feel About the American Obsession. It’s by Studs Terkel, author of the classic, Working.
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