‘Black Panther’: When Will African-American Films No Longer be Considered Unicorns?

For as much as Hollywood loves a repeatable phenomenon, it is comforted by the anomaly, the unsolvable puzzle that deposits hundreds of millions in the bank while cutting against the grain of received wisdom and can’t possibly be replicated. The anomaly provides cover for executives to do what they’ve always done, to stay greenlight-complacent, to never have to chase the unicorn because the unicorn can never be caught.

When Get Out was released nearly a year ago and went on to make $255 million worldwide on a reported $4.5 million budget, it was viewed in many quarters — too many quarters — as a fluke. Jordan Peele’s film landed just after Donald Trump, who ran a divide-and-conquer presidential campaign, was sworn into office and spoke to the felt realities of a Black America confronting…

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