*One of those other films opening this weekend against the powerhouse “Thor,” “Jumping the Broom,” the African American comedy about two socioeconomically opposite families who clash when they meet at a lavish wedding appears at first glance to be a lightweight contender.

The low-budget Tristar Pictures release has no A-list stars, is not in 3-D and lacks any characters with the superhero strength of the hammer-wielding Norse god.

But the creative forces behind “Jumping the Broom” have their own hammer to throw down, determined to prove that black films with educated and ambitious characters belong in the mainstream Hollywood arena, even though most studios have dialed down development of films with predominantly African American casts.

They also want to demonstrate that black filmmakers can produce an alternative to the broader comedies, as well as the popular Tyler Perry brand, that have become perhaps the most dominant – and controversial – African American voices in popular culture.

“We attempted to raise the bar a little,” said Bishop T.D. Jakes, one of “Broom’s” producers. “There are images [of black people] that need equal time. That is not to negate the other images, because they exist in all communities.”

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