Positive Latino Films & The Premiere Weekend Club

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Continued: Positive Latinos Films

The Premiere Weekend Club is lending a voice to the passion and pent-up emotions that exist on a widespread basis throughout much of the Latino community. This movement will be a lightning rod for Latinos and non-Latino supporters who will feel empowered by the ability of each individual to affect real, concrete change through strength in numbers.

Their members will be kept informed of positive Latino films that are in development, pre-production and production through their newsletter and web-site. They will be notified via fax, e-mail, mail, and/or by phone whenever Hollywood distributes a positive Latino film. The Million Moviegoer March will generate around $6 million for any endorsed film on its premiere weekend. These will be significant numbers for any lower budgeted studio or production company film. The numbers will be staggering for any shoestring independent film (a film with a budget under a million dollars) picked up for distribution given that Halloween holds the domestic box office record for a shoestring independent film at $17 million overall. Hollywood will not ignore these numbers.

The Premiere Weekend Club is providing a safety net for Hollywood by making the label, "Latino film" into a marketing hook. "Latino film" will become an element, similar to the casting of a star actor who has demonstrated an ability to draw an audience, that will guarantee a certain amount of box office success for a film. The Premiere Weekend Club is assuring Hollywood that the success positive Latino films have shown in the past will continue in the future.

The Premiere Weekend Club has conducted scientific research through the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences that conclusively demonstrates that Latino films have consistently made large profits for Hollywood. The majority of Latino films distributed over the last 15 years have been hits relative to their budget and most of the others have at least broken even. The films that did not deal in negative stereotypes and had likable lead characters have almost all been hit films. Out of 12 positive films, 11 were modest to major hits and just one film lost money. La Bamba, for instance, cost $6.5 million and made $54 million at the domestic box office. Stand and Deliver cost $1.4 million and made $14 million at the domestic box office and Like Water for Chocolate cost $2 million and made $23 million domestically. In addition, several Latino films have performed very well on home video. For instance, the $7 million budgeted Desperado made, in addition to $25 million at the domestic box office, $19.4 million on home video. This is despite the fact that Hollywood has usually marketed Latino films on a more limited basis than non-Latino films.

These research results were to be expected, since Latinos comprise such a large percentage of the movie-going audience. In fact, the MPAA reports that Latinos are the fastest growing movie-going audience in the United States, generating 15% of domestic box office monies, which translates into over $1 billion dollars spent at the box office each year. Furthermore, Latinos attend movies in larger numbers than any other minority group, including African Americans. (Hollywood makes several African American films a year, which indicates there is some degree of recognition that there is a considerable audience for these films, and Hollywood will soon recognize the large audience that exists for Latino films.) Latinos account for half of the movie tickets bought by the prime movie-going audience (people between the ages of 12 and 34) in Los Angeles theaters and make up a significant percentage of prime moviegoers in several large urban markets. The numbers also show that Latinos are more likely to see a movie on its opening weekend than non-Latinos, which will facilitate recruitment for the Premiere Weekend Club. 40 million Latinos live in the United States and the Latino population is growing so rapidly, it is projected that the total will reach 50 million within 6 years.

The Premiere Weekend Club represents a social movement that is generating considerable excitement in the Latino community. Due to the movement's positive focus, they will also benefit from the support of many non-Latinos as well. The Million Moviegoer March is similar to the Montgomery bus boycotts that were spearheaded by Dr. Martin Luther King in the 1950's. The business that owned busses discriminated against African Americans despite being dependent on their money for financial survival and profit. African Americans united and refused to ride the busses until the owners did the right thing and treated African Americans with the respect and dignity they deserved. 

The Premiere Weekend Club will enjoy widespread support inside and outside of Hollywood, because, instead of threatening to punish studios and production companies with boycotts, picket signs, and bad press, we are offering a reward for the recognition of the massive Latino market. Through the Premiere Weekend Club's efforts, Hollywood executives will understand the profound financial clout that Latinos have at the box office. Hollywood will profit immensely and will respond in an affirmative manner. This is a positive, win-win situation for all.

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