Hollywood doesn’t believe that Black America will support a movie like Red Tails, and many African-Americans are making it a point to make to see the film this weekend to help boost the box office numbers. But how is Red Tails doing?
So far, the movie is exceeding expectations. However, studio execs don’t expect the support to last. Red Tails is currently on track to make$15-$18 million this weekend, and $6-8 million today (January 20th). This would make Red Tails the No. 2 film in theaters, behind Underworld Awakening starring Kate Beckinsale and Michael Ely, which should bring in $24-$27 million.
George Lucas kicked out $93M (budget and marketing) of his own moneyto make “Red Tails,” a risky move especially because the mostly Black cast doesn’t include Will Smith or Denzel Washington.
If the film is #1 it’ll be a major victory not only for George Lucas but the Black community.
Lucas has been developing the project for about 20 years. None of the studios wanted to fund the war movie about the Tuskegee airmen, reportedly because they didn’t think a film with a mostly Black cast would make enough to justify the $58M budget. (the most EVER spent on an all black cast)
Red Tails (LucasFilm/Fox) NEW [2,512 Theaters]
Friday $6M, Saturday $8.6M, Weekend $19.4M
Reports say he covered the cost of production with his own money, then provided another $35M for distribution. In an interview on The Daily Show this month, Lucas claimed the majors balked at the all-black cast and predicted no overseas market for the film. Interesting that in the cast Terrence Howard in Hart’s War and Cuba Gooding Jr in an HBO film have portrayed Tuskegee Airmen previously.