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It was a big, history-making weekend for black filmmakers. Here's why that matters.

For the first time ever, black filmmakers with $100M+ budgets landed the top two box office spots.

It was a great weekend at the box office for Disney — and an even better one for black filmmakers.

Director Ava DuVernay's "A Wrinkle in Time" opened at the #2 slot over the weekend, bringing in more than $33.3 million, behind the $41.6 million earned by "Black Panther."

What makes this such a big deal?


For one, it's the first time that two films by black directors with more than $100 million budgets took home the #1 and #2 slots at the box office — ever.

Additionally, "Black Panther" joined a very exclusive club in its fourth weekend in theaters, hitting $1 billion total in worldwide box office receipts, a feat that just 32 other films in all of cinematic history have accomplished.

[rebelmouse-image 19398046 dam="1" original_size="750x319" caption="Image via "A Wrinkle in Time"/Disney/YouTube." expand=1]Image via "A Wrinkle in Time"/Disney/YouTube.

"Black Panther" director Ryan Coogler recently wrote an essay about "A Wrinkle in Time" and why representation matters.

"Ava is the past, present, and future," wrote Coogler in a flattering ESPNW blog post. "She is all of these things, but sometimes I forget she is human."

Heaping well-earned praise on DuVernay for "adapting a book that many people called unfilmable," Coogler touched on why it's so important for everyone to be able to see people who look like them in the movies.

"But above all, it's a film about a little black girl with glasses — like my mom, like my wife, like my big sister Ava — who refuses to accept that her dad is lost. The main character in the film, Meg, uses her love, her hope, and her kickass skills as a scientist to bring him back, and maybe she saves the universe along the way."

[rebelmouse-image 19398047 dam="1" original_size="750x469" caption="Ava DuVernay and Ryan Coogler arrive at the world premiere of "A Wrinkle in Time." Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney." expand=1]Ava DuVernay and Ryan Coogler arrive at the world premiere of "A Wrinkle in Time." Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney.

For too long, marginalized filmmakers simply haven't been given a chance to helm big-budget blockbusters. DuVernay and Coogler's successes might change that.

It's interesting to see what we've determined to be the "default" in popular culture. The majority of big-name movies are written and directed by men (usually white); they also overwhelmingly star men (again, usually white). Over time, our culture has simply accepted this as the default, and anything that challenges this is viewed as suspect.

One example that comes to mind is a tweet from Grace Randolph, a film critic who runs the YouTube page Beyond the Trailer. In late February, Randolph tweeted out a photo of the "A Wrinkle in Time" poster, writing, "This is a GREAT poster — but don't they want little boys to see this too ... ?"

The poster shows a silhouette of actress Storm Reid's Meg, surrounded by a burst of colors. It's breathtaking, and as Randolph said, "a GREAT poster."

So why is the immediate reaction that a movie featuring a young girl is somehow alienating young boys? People (especially women) of color, women generally, disabled people, and LGBTQ individuals have always been expected to overcome their differences from what they see portrayed in the media, and it's fascinating to see what happens anytime that same expectation is placed on the default.

If someone can understand why a poster or a movie that doesn't center this default audience might alienate that group, then it shouldn't be too hard to understand why it's so necessary to create art that targets those outside of it.

[rebelmouse-image 19398048 dam="1" original_size="750x311" caption="Image via "A Wrinkle in Time"/Disney/YouTube." expand=1]Image via "A Wrinkle in Time"/Disney/YouTube.

Not every film by a marginalized person will be a box-office smash, and that's OK.

What's important is that studios are finally coming to realize that stories told by (and even, occasionally, primarily for) underrepresented groups have big earning potential and can be some of the finest art in the world — especially when combined with the budgets and resources so often allocated to films helmed by white men.

Studios should let marginalized people tell their stories, encourage them to take chances, and show the rest of us what we've been missing out on all these years.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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