It’s been an interesting year at the box office thus far and a year where several class ceiling appear to be breaking. We have Patty Jenkins directing the Wonder Woman movie that is shaping up to be a huge hit. We have Jordan Peele turning a tiny independent movie into a monster sized smash in Get Out. We have another one today as IndieWire pointed out; F. Gary Gray has become the first African American to direct a billion-dollar movie with The Fate of the Furious.
The eighth entry in the “Furious” franchise currently stands at about $1.2 billion, with more than 80% of that business outside North America — making this the unusual (and welcome) case of a black director’s film making the bulk of its money outside the U.S.
We all like to make fun of this series but it does so a lot of things right. It has always been wonderfully diverse with its cast which has helped it gain worldwide appeal F. Gary Grey has been a hard working director in the industry for years and who has had a lot of decent to good hits. He was shot onto the A-list when Straight Outta Compton walked away with not only an Oscar nomination but over twenty other awards before the year was up.
This couldn’t happen to a better guy and we wish Mr. Gray the best in his future endeavors.
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