To those of you who might think that The Hunger Games’ meteoric success will usher in a new age of female-driven, big-budget studio films … you’re adorable.
Look at it this way:
Tyler Perry’s films have made a billion dollars. Are we in the midst of a black cinema boom? No.
The Bodyguard made $400 million in 1992 dollars. Did we start to see lots of color-blind romances? No.
Every year, there’s a romantic comedy that “breaks out” and makes a ton of cash. Does that translate into more work for the female writers and directors who make those romantic comedies — or, hell, more romantic comedies (which are cheap to make and deliver a good return on investment)? No.
There are 1.6 billion Asian people in the world, give or take a hundred million. And Hollywood has given us precisely one Asian, leading-man movie star in the past hundred years: Bruce Lee*. Wouldn’t you think that people in the business of making money would play to that gigantic audience by creating another Asian movie star the way we create Orlando Blooms? You might, but you’d be wrong.
In an industry where, famously, no one knows anything, conventional wisdom rules the day. Anything else is an anomaly to be thankful for, but not to be repeated.
* Jackie Chan was already a massive star before he came to Hollywood. And, lest we forget, they paired him with a black dude.