Turns out inclusivity also means more people want to give you their money! The early box office figures for the new Spider-Man film — and the demographic data of moviegoers — paint a vivid picture.
Who is he? There are plenty of variations on who Spider-Man is, and now Miles Morales is getting the spotlight.
You might be familiar with the original web slinging New York-based hero named Peter Parker. Miles is another variation of the hero in a different universe. He's a Puerto Rican, afro-Latino teenager from Brooklyn.
While he's been part of the Marvel universe for years, he arguably made his biggest splash as the protagonist of the recent Spider-Man animated films, starting with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, a sleeper hit from 2018 that won an Oscar for best animated feature and earned nearly $400 million worldwide at the box office.
What's the big deal? The most recent film in the series, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has made even bigger headlines and received rave reviews.
And while in his review Mondello cites the inventive animation and plot as contributing to the success, he says that the diversity on screen was a huge draw for audiences.
That ranges from the main hero portrayed by Shameik Moore, to the several Spider-women featured, as well as the India based Spider-guy, Pavitr Prabhakar.
According to Mondello's reporting, the film opened strongly in 59 countries. In North America, exit tracking found that the audience was about one-third Latino and another third Black and Asian, diversity percentages far higher than for most superhero films.
If the last film was a major reset for genre expectations, Across The Spider-Verse is an expansion for artistic ones, rich enough in feeling and character and innovative visuals to warrant — and I'm kind of astonished to be saying this — the second or even third visit that fans will want to give it. I may just join them.
Want more on movies? Listen to Consider This speak with actor Michael J. Fox on his career, and struggle with Parkinson's.
So, what now?
Across The Spider-Verse's numbers put it alongside the big live action superhero blockbusters, something Mondello says is "mildly astonishing" for an animated film not made by Pixar or Disney.
The release of the next sequel, Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse is slated for March 2024.
Manuela López Restrepo is a producer and writer at All Things Considered. She's been at NPR since graduating from The University of Maryland, and has worked at shows like Morning Edition and It's Been A Minute. She lives in Brooklyn with her cat Martin.