2017: A year of achievements for minority filmmakers and the year is not over yet

Over the past weekend I was reflecting on some of the films that have come out this year. I recently watched Wonder Woman and Get Out; both movies had reached critical and financial success. When doing some research I learnt that these 2017 films set some very impressive records for their filmmakers.

Wonder Woman was a success; in its opening weekend, Wonder Woman earned more than $100 Million at the US Box office. This means that Director Patty Jenkins holds the record for most successful film opening by a female filmmaker. Sam Taylor-Johnson who directed Fifty Shades of Grey previously held this title, with her film grossing $85.1 Million. It is a really good sign that a movie with a strong female lead dethroned a movie about an abusive relationship. Lets just hope we do not have to wait another 14 year for a Patty Jenkins movie.

Patty Jenkins
Image via Warner Brothers

Perhaps one of the biggest surprise hits of the year was from a first time director in Jordan Peele. People know Peele from his sketch comedy work on Key and Peele, so when he wrote and directed Get Out, a social commentary horror thriller, the world did not know what to expect. With the positive fan and critic response Get Out became a massive success drawing in $175 Million at the US box office and $250 Million World Wide total. Peele became the first African American to have their debut film cross $100 Million and Get Out became the highest grossing movie by an African American, beating out Straight Outta Compton Director F. Gary Gray. Gray would win back that title a few months later.

Jordan Peele
Image via Blumhouse

F. Gary Gray had previously head the title of highest grossing African-American filmmaker for Straight outta Compton until, Jordan Peele briefly achieved the record with Get Out. The Fast and The Furious franchise is not known for it’s cultural impact on society, but the 8th instalment in the series set a very impressive record. Gray, who came in to direct Fate of the Furious, became the highest grossing African American director and the first black director to have a film gross $1 Billion at the international box office. Not a bad feat for someone coming in to a popcorn franchise. Though it was not only popcorn movies that broke records this year.

F Gary Gray
Image via Universal

Despite all of the controversy around who won the Best Picture at the 2017 Academy Awards, the win for Moonlight meant a lot. It was the first movie with a cast of people of colour to win the award. Not only that it is also the first LGBT film to win Best Picture. The editor Joi McMillon was the first black woman to receive an Academy Award nomination for editing.

Barry Jenkins
Image via A24

Whilst Hollywood and the world has a long way to go in terms of equality and diversity there have been some amazing moments in cinema for minorities in the past year. I thought it might be time to celebrate some of the victories achieved by these great people.

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