by TRN Staff
Serious Labor Pains for “Birth of a Nation” All the negative publicity surrounding former rape charges facing director/writer/actor Nate Parker was apparently too much drama for movie goers who shied away from the film on opening weekend. The movie came in a disappointing sixth spot in box office rankings… trailing three places behind Denzel Washington’s “The Magnificent Seven” which is in its third week in theaters. “Birth of a Nation” opened this past weekend in more than two thousand theaters, but still only managed to rake in a little over $7 million nationwide and in Canada. “The Birth of a Nation” tells the true story of slave Nat Turner who led a rebellion in 1831. The film met studio projections of $7-9 million…but barely. The movie not only had to battle negative publicity and protesters, but mother nature. The Southeast and Eastern seaboard spent the weekend heading for safety as Hurricane Matthew pounded the coastline. Some are speculating the soft box office returns may harm the movie’s chances of being a top contender come awards time.
Michael Ealy is the New Man Running Things on”Being Mary Jane” Season 4 Ealy and Gabrielle Union shared on-screen credits in “Think Like a Man”. So when it was time to come up with an actor to step into a lead role on Season 4 of her BET show “Being Mary Jane”, Union obviously thought of her friend and former cast mate Ealy. The 43-year old joins the popular drama series about the ups and downs in the personal and professional life of news anchor Mary Jane Paul as the latest addition to the news team. Ealy will play “Great Day USA” producer Justin Talbot on the rebound after recently being fired from CNN. It’s pretty obvious, Talbot is not there to make life any easier for Mary Jane. Ealy says at first he wasn’t interested in being tied to another TV series and had already declined other offers. He says he reconsidered after long thought, “…Gabrielle is a friend, I told her that I’d seriously think about it…At the end of the day, I felt like we all have a social responsibility to help elevate material with people of color in any way that we can, and if there was an opportunity for me to help my friend and the cultural perceptions of our work, then I would do my part.” Season 4 of “Being Mary Jane” began shooting in Atlanta this summer, the release date for the season premiere is still TBA.
Solange and Bey View from the Top of the Charts When your sister is a household name who’s been famous for singing practically her entire life, it’s hard to follow in her footsteps. But Solange Knowles finally knows what it feels like to have a #1 hit album on her hands. Solange’s “A Seat at the Table” hit the top of Billboard 200 and o now she literally joins her sister Bey for a seat at the table of chart topping albums. Beyonce has conquered the top of that particular chart six times and according to Billboard, the sisters join a pretty small club of singing siblings who share the honor. Michael Jackson and his sister Janet have reached number 1 repeatedly(6 times for Michael, 7 for Janet). And Master P and brother Sikk the Shocker also earned a seat at the table of this exclusive club of siblings at the top. One music reviewer calls Solange’s new album “stunning” and a “thematically unified musically adventurous statement on the pain and joy black womanhood.” It took Solange a while to carve out her own musical niche, but it sounds like at 30 years old, she’s finally earned her spot at table and a chance to be the star singer in the family for a moment.
For this week’s look at Black Hollywood, that’s a wrap!