According to The Hollywood Reporter, a recent study from the Motion Picture Association of America found a significant increase in African-American attendance at movie theaters last year.
The MPAA estimates that more than 170 million African-Americans went to the movies in 2013, a 13 percent increase from 2012 as well as the first major year for year increase since 2009.
The surge is good, but wasn’t enough to top Hispanics as the minority group with the most purchasing power at the box office. The group ruled at the top spot with 25 percent of ticket sales, a fact that didn’t go unnoticed by National Association of Theatre Owners chairman-president John Fithian.
“Last year, I addressed the need to appeal to diverse audiences. Here again, we see progress,” he said this week at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. “The year 2013 in the U.S. brought the highest-grossing Spanish-language movie of all time with ‘Instructions Not Included.'”
“Perhaps even more telling, more movies in 2013 featured more black actors in important roles that drove more patrons to the theaters,” Fithian added. “That’s why we saw substantial growth in moviegoing for African-Americans and other minorities.”
More African-Americans at the theaters wasn’t the only highlight last year. 2013 also saw more movies focusing on black history and the black experience. Evidence of this was found in Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave,” which, according to Box Office Mojo, grossed more than $56 million in ticket sales domestically to go with an additional $116 million worldwide.
For more on the surge of African-American movie attendance in 2013, click here.