If you’re black, chances are your mom, your aunt, your girl, or some woman of color you know went to go see Girl’s Trip this weekend. My timeline was flooded with pictures of whole caravans of women going to go see this film together. So, I wasn’t surprised to hear that the flick made $30.4 million this past weekend, making it the the largest opening for a live action comedy this year. I think there are two factors that made this happen.
Factor one: the product was strong af. There’s literally nothing new under the sun, and this is especially true in Hollywood. It’s not about whether or not an idea is original; it’s more about how you turn the trick. Girl’s Trip is a turn on the raunchy comedic class The Hangover. Most of the details are different, but at its core it’s a movie about a group of friends getting into a gang of shit the night before a major event. Director Malcolm Lee was all in with the ratchet, raunch angle and the result is legit comedy. Tiffany Haddish does most of the comedic heavy lifting and does it with aplomb. So, you put all these ingredients together into a smoking cauldron of star power and you get a solid movie product that you can market. We’ll talk more about marketing in a bit.
Factor two: Black women are a strong ass demographic. I don’t think people are too surprised that Girls Trip killed at the box office. After all, this isn’t the first “black movie” to do better than expected on opening weekend. Check any of the Tyler Perry joints, they made money and Black women made that happen. The natural hair care market, bare with me, is a billion dollar industry in the US and Women of Color make that happen. My point is that if Women of Color or Black Women particularly get behind something it’s going to make money. Girl’s Trip became a cultural event. Black women recognized that it was made for them and many of them took the opportunity to dress up, link up, and show up en masse to make a night of it.
Girl’s Trip works. Full disclosure here, I’m always hype when movies with majority Black casts do well because it further establishes that these films are good investments. Now, look at the social media buzz around Girl’s Trip and the money made at the box office. Then, scale that up by like a factor of 1,000 and you have what Marvel’s Black Panther could be in the Spring of 2018. Black Panther also has a majority Black cast and Black Women are well represented in all the marketing. Black Panther is also a major mainstream tent pole blockbuster, so yea, big tings ah bubble. So in summation, Girl’s Trip is funny go see it if you haven’t, and if Black women are feeling it, it’ll be cash.