While La La Land has taken the US by storm this Oscar season, it appears that another movie is quickly on the rise. After the last box office weekend, Hidden Figures has officially surpassed the film by becoming the highest grossing Oscar-nominated film with a current earning of $119.4 million.
Hidden Figures stars Taraji P. Henderson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe and follows the story of three African-American mathematicians who worked at NASA to help launch space missions.
The news of the film’s success has been a huge step forward for diversity in film, especially as we enter a new Oscar season. Last year, Will and Jada Smith along with many others boycotted the Oscars and criticized it with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite due to the fact there wasn’t a single non-White actor nominated. This year, the nominations include six African-American themed films and at least 10 Black actors and filmmakers. Actors like Viola Davis have been making history after she became the first Black women to receive three Academy Award nominations due to her role in Fences.
With the news of Hidden Fences surpassing La La Land in box office sales, users were quick to take to Twitter to express hopes that Hollywood will continue to diversify its films in the future.
Oh, what’s that? Movies about black people slaying the scene are incredibly profitable? Is that what you said? That’s what I thought. https://t.co/GK8UMx8pnv
— Brandon (@brandonlgtaylor) February 7, 2017
@IndieWire BLACK = BANKABLE. Also? Hopefully, Hollywood will now deliver onslaught of QUALITY black movies (script, content, CLEAN, smart) ?
— Sylvia Williams (@sylviasees) February 7, 2017
After all the backlash in previous years for lack of diversity, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made a pledge last year to double its membership of women and minorities by 2020. Creator of the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag April Reign, reached out on twitter to say while things appear to be changing, “one year of films doesn’t make up for 80 years of underrepresentation.”
— April (@ReignOfApril) January 24, 2017