“The Best Man Holiday” topped the box office on Friday, outperforming the reigning #1 movie, “Thor: The Dark World,” with a $10.7 million opening night. “Thor,” which was projected to end on top on Friday, fell slightly behind “The Best Man,” at $10.4 million.

The superhero film took the number one spot at the end of the weekend, with $38.5 million, which isn’t surprising as it’s in 1,817 more theaters than “Best Man Holiday,” and many of those theaters are 3D and Imax.

The big story at the box office, however, is that “The Best Man Holiday” exceeded the low expectations set by movie critics, ending the weekend with an outstanding $30.5 million. That’s way ahead of projections, which were about $20 million. This translates to a big win for Universal, given the movie’s modest $17 million budget.

It’s a bigger win for black Hollywood as it finally communicates to the powers-that-be that audiences will come out in droves to support quality films with a stellar all-black cast. We’ve known all along that there’s a market for well-written movies featuring black actors and maybe the success of “The Best Man Holiday,” touted as a “box office shocker” will serve as a wake up call to the powers-that-be.

If you haven’t seen “The Best Man Holiday” yet, are you planning to catch the film while it’s in theaters? Head over here to discuss in our Open Thread. And check out 5 reasons you should see the film here.


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  • New Jemima

    One more comment: The only thing to NOT celebrate is the way that the film distribution system keeps underestimating the performance of black films at the box office, which is why Steve McQueen only made 12 Years a Slave on a $20 million budget (with the help of Brad Pitt as a producer) while The Best Man Holiday was made on a $17 million budget.

    Both films showcase how you can get quality production despite the powers-that-be refusing to invest heavily in these types of films. As you can see, both films have already earned back their $$, but no thanks to a tepid distribution system that is “stunned” that Best Man Holiday did so well while Fox Searchlight is still slowly creeping out the release of 12 Years a Slave.

    It’s actually insulting, really, that the film studios are still treating black film in this manner. So, I don’t believe as some have said, that the success of these films will mean a thing for black filmmakers and black cinema. These films can still triumph, and studios will still come up with all kinds of excuses why they won’t offer bigger budgets for black films (even though the audience is there for them).

    I just want black filmmakers to just keep making their films, and I as a black audience member will always give them a chance (without quibbling about WHICH stories need to be told about us), especially if they’re going to be entertaining (Best Man Holiday) or profound (12 Years a Slave).

    As for more slavery films, heh: I’m just eternally grateful that, after 12 Years a Slave, no one in Hollywood would DARE to give us some sugarcoating nonsense concerning the theme. Thanks to Steve McQueen, any such slave movie would be laughed off the screen (Quentin Tarantino is VERY LUCKY his film got released the year before).

  • recola

    Very true. I would love a movie that took place during the Harlem Renaissance. I love that era. It seemed so positive, uplifting,FUN.. and Fabulous!

  • Beauty_in_Grace

    12 years a slave took an African American story and filled it with non-African Americans. I personally could not support that. I believe that African Americans need to be in control of our own stories.

    Other groups of blacks don’t seem to understand our community nor our struggle. And stories such as this is too important, not to be portrayed by AAs.

    • Do they teach anything in school?

      Did you really go there? Did you actually post this ignorant vitriol? Why was Terrence Howard playing Nelson Mandela? Why was Jennifer Hudson playing Winnie Mandela then? ALSO genius Einstein: using people born on the African mainland to portray slaves is MORE accurate given that in many instances, the newly arrives slaves would have been born in Africa. Are you just looking for a reaction or are you this simple and glib? Wow, just wow.