Abstract

Never before has a film earned blockbuster status while presenting a formerly enslaved African as a heroic lead, as in Django Unchained. Using a political economy analysis, this commentary addresses Django Unchained’s complex counterhegemonic media representations and production and distribution system. For the first time, box office revenues indicate the global market appeal of a defiant Black hero with appropriate production and distribution budgets and strategies. Django Unchained’s 425 percent return on a $100 million investment suggests that audiences are ready to explore high-quality counterhegemonic narratives that challenge conventional media representations of cultural minorities. Such staggering popularity warrants a historical reception study of this film and its context; for analyzing media industries’ texts within their political economy calls attention to the fact that the production, distribution, and reception of culture take place within a specific economic and political system, constituted by relations between the state, the economy, social institutions and practices, culture, and the media.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1947-4237
Print ISSN
1536-3155
Pages
pp. 88-93
Launched on MUSE
2016-06-08
Open Access
No
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