Why Box Office Tracking Is Still Off for Diverse Movies Like ‘Crazy Rich Asians’

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As with other groundbreaking films featuring diverse casts, tracking projections underestimated the opening weekend — the same thing that happened with “Black Panther,” “Wonder Woman,” “Girls Trip,” “Coco,” and others over the last few years.

Estimating the opening haul for any film is an inexact science, part market research and part gut feeling. Films with black, female, Asian-American, or Latino leads — groups grossly underrepresented in Hollywood — can be even harder to predict because of the lack of comparable films, or comps, some box office trackers say. Of course, studios are also conservative in their estimates, eager to not look bad by over-shooting the potential opening number.

Other films with diverse casts have also had their box office appeal severely underestimated. “Coco,” the 2017 Disney-Pixar film set in Mexico, saw early estimates for its Thanksgiving five-day opening of $55 million and up. It ended up with a much stronger $71 million for the five-day period. “Girls Trip,” last year’s No. 1 comedy, saw early estimates of $25 million for its opening weekend and instead went on to make $31.2 million. Before “Black Panther,” the disparity in tracking black films was often so far off, that observers coined the expression “Black don’t track.”

Read more at Variety.com

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