Tag Archives: Black

An Especially Diverse Audience Lifted ‘Black Panther’ to Record Box Office Heights
February 21, 2018 6:01 pm|Comments (0)

Black Panther sprung into the record books with a massive opening weekend that came at the hands of a mostly non-white audience—not to mention with more women than your typical superhero flick.

The trailblazing superhero movie from Walt Disney’s Marvel Studios easily topped Hollywood’s box office with one of the biggest theatrical debuts ever, grossing more than $ 426 million worldwide over the President’s Day holiday weekend. Millions of people around the world lined up at their local movie theater to watch Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther battle for the throne in the fictional African country of Wakanda.

In the U.S., 37% of the movie’s overall audience was African-American, which is well above the norm as the average movie audience is about 15% African-American, according to box office tracking company ComScore. White moviegoers made up just 35% of Black Panther‘s audience over its opening weekend. That an exceptional percentage of African-American viewers turned out for the highly-anticipated movie’s debut is not so surprising, considering that the movie had generated considerable buzz, thanks to its overall critical acclaim and the fact that it boasts an African-American director (a first for a Marvel superhero movie) and a mostly black cast led by Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, and Angela Bassett.

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The real surprise from Black Panther‘s huge arrival was just how high its box-office totals have climbed in only a few days. The movie is the latest and largest rejoinder to outdated and extremely misguided Hollywood concerns over the ability of movies featuring black-led casts and storylines to become legitimate blockbusters. Following recent strong box-office showings from movies like last year’s Get Out and Girls Trip, along with 2015’s Straight Outta Compton (all three of which were distributed by Universal Pictures), Black Panther‘s roaring success serves as yet another lesson that increased diversity on the big screen can also provide a boost at the box office.

Paul Dergarabedian, ComScore’s senior media analyst, raised the idea of Black Panther as “a game changer in terms of its ability to erase outdated perceptions of what can constitute a blockbuster/superhero movie,” in an e-mail to Fortune. “The across the board appeal of the film reflects that there are no apparent cultural limitations on the interest and love that people have for Black Panther,” he added.

Meanwhile, a higher percentage of women also showed up for Black Panther‘s opening weekend. Women represented 45% of the movie’s audience, which is less than the average moviegoing population but more than the typical female turnout for a superhero movie. The average superhero movie (many of which are led by mostly male characters) draws a 62% male audience, though Black Panther and last year’s Wonder Woman have bucked that trend.

Warner Bros.’s Wonder Woman scored box-office success with a majority female audience when it opened last summer. While Black Panther‘s main character is male, the movie features several lead female characters—including Nyong’o, as well as T’Challa’s sister, Shuri, played by Letitia Wright. And, like Wonder Woman‘s island of female warriors, Black Panther‘s fictional Wakanda features the Dora Milaje, an elite squad of women fighters sworn to protect the country’s king.

Whether the issue is finding more screen time for minorities and women in Hollywood, Black Panther is the latest example that diversity and inclusion can be sound investments in the movie business.


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Top Cybersecurity Firm Carbon Black Names Chief Cybersecurity Officer
February 20, 2018 6:01 pm|Comments (0)

Carbon Black, a private cybersecurity firm headquartered in Waltham, Mass. that is rumored to be seeking an IPO this year, has appointed a chief cybersecurity officer.

The company has hired Tom Kellermann, a former executive at Trend Micro, a rival Japanese firm, where he held the same title. Kellermann most recently served as CEO and co-founder of Strategic Cyber Ventures, a cybersecurity-focused venture capital firm based in Washington, D.C., which is backed by Hudson Bay Capital, a New York-based hedge fund.

“I decided I needed to stop armchair quarterbacking and get back into the fight,” Kellermann tells Fortune. He says he had an epiphany while hiking in Boulder, Colo. last summer.

Kellermann, who started in the new role on January 22, says he will remain on at Strategic Cyber Ventures as vice chair of the board. The company has invested millions of dollars in a number of startups, including TrapX, E8 Security, ID DataWeb, and Polarity.

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Patrick Morley, Carbon Black’s CEO, said in a statement that Kellermann’s “experience perfectly matches the balance between innovative technology, security, and evangelism that we’re looking for at Carbon Black.”

Carbon Black, which sells subscriptions to software designed to detect and defend against digital threats, filed confidential paperwork in the fall for an initial public offering, the Wall Street Journal reported last year. The company has also been in talks with possible acquirers, such as IBM, VMware, and Microsoft, The Information reported at the beginning of the year.


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Black Desert Online’s big sales show premium-priced MMOs aren’t dead yet
April 6, 2016 12:40 am|Comments (0)

Black Desert Online is finding its audience.

Most publishers have stopped making premium-priced massively multiplayer online games, but the industry still has a number of consumers who want to pay for that content.

Korean developer Daum Games has sold more than 400,000 copies of its Black Desert Online MMO role-playing game after only a month on the market in Europe and North America. The developer brought the fantasy game to the West in March at $ 30, $ 50, and $ 100 pricing tiers, and it has instantly clicked with a large audience. Daum thinks the game will likely even keep growing its momentum moving forward, which is proof that the MMO market can support more than World of Warcraft and an endless pile of free-to-play competitors. In a gaming market worth $ 99.3 billion, Black Desert is showing that studios have different paths to profitability.

“Considering the upward trend, I expect that the game will achieve over 1 million sales this year,” Daum Games Europe chief executive Min Kim said in a statement. “What’s impressive is these figures far exceed those in the domestic market.”

One of the big takeaways about Black Desert Online is that free-to-play in its home territory of Korea. Players in that country are much more accustomed to having to pay to make decent progress in their online RPGs, but Daum points out that Western audiences are different. Many of them would rather pay up front so that they don’t have to think about spending money.

Of course, Black Desert does still have in-game purchases in the West, but a lot of that content is cosmetic. That could potentially find a lot of success here because Daum’s game is one of the better looking MMORPGs to debut in quite some time.

“A game with a buy-to-play business model normally has a much lower conversion rate for paid in-game items compared to free-to-play games,” said Kim. “But Black Desert Online is recording a much higher pay ratio than the average 11 percent normally seen in free-to-play games.”

Moving ahead, Daum will continue to support Black Desert with more content and more in-app purchases. If it brings in 1 million people, that could turn the game into an enormous success.

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