Fourteen years after the original hit theaters, the sequel to Malcolm Lee’s 1999 film “The Best Man” made a big splash at the box office. The Best Man Holiday collected $30.6 million on its opening weekend, more than twice what analysts projected, according to USA Today.
The film had a budget of just $17 million and was marketed almost exclusively to African American women. For compairson’s sake, the Marvel sequel “Thor: The Dark World” had a total budget of $170 million and took in $38.5 million over the weekend.
The original Best Man film, which was released in 1999, took in only $17 million on its opening weekend. USA Today also notes that it’s just the latest in a series of films with black casts that have done remarkably well this year at the box office, including Ryan Coogler’s “Fruitvale Station” and “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”
But USA Today also managed to put itself at the center of the story over the weekend when it ran a controversial headline that read, “‘Holiday’ Nearly Beat ‘Thor’ as Race-Themed Films Soar.” The headline set off a social media firestorm with many people pointing out that just because the film sported a majority black cast — including Nia Long, Sanaa Lathan and Terrance Howard — it was a story of love and friendship, not racial injustice. The headline was ultimately changed to”‘Holiday’ Nearly Beats ‘Thor’ as Ethnically Diverse Films Soar.”