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Those who make films that appeal to niche markets in some way (by niche, I mean specific audiences of some sort: gay, black, Hispanic, female, etc.) have a good news/bad news issue in moviedom.
The good news is that they have a preset group of people who are inherently more interested in seeing the movie because it is about them and their lives.
The bad news is that they have a preset group of people who are more inherently interested in seeing the movie because it is about them, but it is very difficult to convince anyone outside of that niche to buy tickets because they assume the movie can’t possibly have anything to say to them since it is about the “other” in their lives.
Which is why blockbuster movies often appeal to young straight white males, and many mainstream films that have a niche component, i.e. concerns in some way the other, either have a non-other central character (Cry Freedom, Glory) or if the central character is an other and can’t be gotten around, they surround him with non-other characters (Gandhi, 12 Years a Slave). Continue reading