The opening weekend is critical the success of a film. If a movie doesn’t explode on opening weekend with ticket sales, the studios consider it a failure. Because of this, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. started their Red Carpet movie series to encourage people to come out to support Black films when they first come out. Chapters throughout the country plan outings to celebrate Black and Brown filmmakers and this weekend was no exception.
In efforts to boost ticket sales, The Deltas painted the town red for Marshall. One chapter not only stormed the box office but created a program that would connect Reggie Hudlin’s new film to the young people interested in following his footsteps.
On Sunday, October 15, 2017, the Brooklyn Alumnae Chapter partnered with The Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA) hosted a private screening of Marshall at the United Artists Court Street Stadium 12 & RPX for a. By partnering with MBBA, the sorority could secure a 234-seat theater for members and guests and host an informative program to introduce Justice Marshall to attendees). MBBA sponsored 75 scholars from a community group in New York City, Legal Outreach program to see Marshall. The organization selected Legal Outreach as their youth cohort because the program services young people interested in careers in law and that they believed would best benefit from this program. Also invited were the Brooklyn Links and 10 of their youth scholars.
As a special guest speaker, noted entertainment attorney and Source chairman, L. Londell McMillan, stood before the crowd and lauded the work of Justice Marshall and why this film is so important for this generation of leaders.
“You may know me because of my work with Prince, Michael Jackson and many others,” McMillan stated “But it is my work towards the equitable treatment of our artists that puts me in the tradition of Thurgood Marshall. And there is much work for us as Black attorneys to do now. We can’t just rest on what he did years ago, we have a lot of work to do.”
Mr. McMillan charged the students to not only attentively watch this film to learn about Justice Marshall, but encouraged them to learn about the other Black attorneys that had shoulders broad enough for Marshall to stand on. Attendees enjoyed the film and as this sold-out event ended the air filled with a thunderous applause.
Marshall stars Chad Boseman as Thurgood Marshall, Josh Gad as Marshall’s co-counsel Sam Friedman, Sterling Brown as the accused rapist Joseph Spell and Kate Hudson as Eleanor Strubing— the rich socialite that created the entire drama. The film documents how Thurgood Marshall swooped in with his NAACP cape and laid out a flawless case that freed Spell from a web of deceit spun by Strubing.
Bridging generations, educating attendees and entertaining folk by the pound, this effort proved to be a success. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (with over 300, 000 members) is the largest African American sorority in the world. We wonder how much influence did the REDZ have towards the 3.5 million in sales the movie made in its first week? Let’s see if the film can keep it up its next week.