Lee Daniels’ The Butler has reached a new milestone. According to reports, the drama is the first black film of 2013 to surpass the $100 million sales mark at the box office. In addition, it’s now the first “black film” directed by a black filmmaker to reach the achievement in the last 23 years. “You’d find very few films that tell stories about black people, and that were directed by black filmmakers, with grosses of over $100 million,” Indie Wire reports.
“Part of the reason for that is that, within the studio system, black directors just haven’t always been given the opportunity to direct “black films” – especially those that did gross over $100 million in recent years, like Django Unchained, Dreamgirls, The Pursuit Of Happyness, and even Big Mommas House, which all grossed over $100 million, in their years of release, un-adjusted for inflation.”
Thanks to the success of the film, Lee Daniels says big box office bucks are no longer a concern for his future projects. “I don’t think I’m going to have a problem now. I made $100 million for The Butler,” he said. “I’m in a rare group. So this is something I feel good about.”
Sources say the The Best Man Holiday, set for a November 15 release, has the potential to reach a similar height.