Malcolm D. Lee, the writer-producer-director behind several successful Black films had an amazing week. “Girls Trip,” which he produced and directed, beat expectations by earning $30.4 million domestically, landing in the number two weekend box office spot, CNN reports.
A few days earlier, Lee and his Blackmaled Productions signed a first-look production agreement with Universal Pictures, according to Variety.
Peter Cramer, Universal’s president of production, praised Lee for his “incredible track record telling resonant stories” that elicit emotions that make audiences simultaneously laugh and cry, Variety said.
“We are thrilled to formalize our long-standing relationship with Malcolm by welcoming his company to the lot, and we are excited about making many more films with him, starting with his next film, ‘Night School,’” Cramer added.
Under the deal, Universal get’s the first opportunity to produce, distribute or finance new projects that Lee develops before any other company.
Lee started in filmmaking under the tutelage of his famous cousin Spike Lee. His directorial debut, “The Best Man,” was a homerun. He went on to direct several other successful films with Universal.
“I am extremely gratified to officially be a part of the Universal family,” he said in a statement, according to Variety.
He continued: “This is a place I’ve always considered my home. They have respected and been supportive of my vision as a filmmaker, and I hope to continue the great success that I’ve had at Universal as we continue this fruitful partnership.”
His next film, “Night School,” features Kevin Hart and is scheduled for release in Sept. 2018.