Are black audiences behind the success of ‘Django Unchained’?

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Jamie Foxx in "Django Unchained'

Jamie Foxx in "Django Unchained'

African-American moviegoers have been going out to see director Quentin Tarantino’s newest film Django Unchained in large numbers, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The controversial slavery-themed film has ranked in the top three at the box office over the last two weeks alongside The Hobbit and Les Misérables.

On its Christmas Day opening, 42 percent of Django’s audience was black, according to exit polling data.

The Weinstein Co., or TWC, estimates that this number is steady at about 30 percent now, confirming nonetheless that the movie has successfully crossed over to both black and white audiences.

Django is playing well to African-Americans and to audiences across the board,” TWC president of distribution Erik Lomis said. “You can’t have these kind of numbers otherwise. It’s getting everybody.”

Django has grossed nearly $80 million to date in North America and is on pace to surpass Tarantino’s most successful film, Inglorious Bastards, which raked in $120 million during it’s 2009 run in theaters.

Most of the reaction of the film has been positive, but African-American filmmaker Spike Lee has been most vocal in his disapproval of Django. Lee called the movie “disrespectful” of black people and has called for a boycott of the film.

Tarantino has continued to stand behind his film and its content and will not be influenced by what he calls social criticism.

“I believe in what I’m doing wholeheartedly and passionately,” Tarantino said. “It’s my job to ignore that.”

Follow Marquise Francis on Twitter @mKfly