The Social Impact of House Party 30 Years Later

On March 9, 1990, one of the greatest and most memorable black directed films, House Party came out in selected theaters. One of the chief reasons that this film holds up so well, even 30 years later, is that wasn’t just another teen movie. While most teen films prior to that were centered on a white, suburban existence such as The Breakfast Club, Outsiders, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, black teens had no quintessential social equivalent. Let’s take a closer look at some of the financial and social impact that the movie did for the world today.

  • It was a box office surprise that made over $26 million on a mediocre $2.5 million budget.
  • It was the first teen movie in the 1990’s decade.
  • This movie became the “black precursor” for other amazing films released by New Line Cinema. Nightmare on Elm Street was New Line Cinema’s most successful film prior to this film. Movies like Friday, Rush Hour, and Straight Outta Compton wouldn’t be possible if Reginald Hudlin’s House Party hadn’t first changed the trajectory in 1990.
  • It skyrocketed Martin Lawrence’s and Tisha Campbell’s career.
  • The Kid’n Play dance was birthed from this movie.
  • It repudiated the belief that black teen movies don’t have an audience.


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The historical impact of this movie and the icons from it cannot be understated, and whether you choose to listen to Luther Vandross’s Bad boy/Having a party, do the dance, or go check out the movie today like me for the 231st time, celebrate it. This movie was and will forever be the benchmark of unmitigated black youth and teen spirit.