10:57pm PT by Chris Gardner
'Coming 2 America' Premiere Supported Black-Owned Businesses
Amazon Studios delivered the world premiere of Coming 2 America on Wednesday night for cast, press and VIPs by supporting black-owned businesses in the process.
Ahead of the virtual unveiling, attendees received a pair of boxes containing gifts for a viewing party that included dark chocolate salted caramel pretzel bark by Zac's Sweet Shop, artisanal popcorn by Pop's Kernel and chocolate bars by Harlem Chocolate Factory. A second box revealed a gold crown atop a velvet pillow with a bed of roses underneath, a decadent surprise in line with the film's royal plot.
Set in the country of Zamunda, the film follows newly crowned King Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and his trusted confidante Semmi (Arsenio Hall) as they embark on an adventure from their great African nation to the borough of Queens, New York. It is a sequel to 1988's successful comedy.
Those who logged on included stars Murphy and Hall, director Craig Brewer, costume designer Ruth E. Carter and castmembers Jermaine Fowler, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, KiKi Layne, Wesley Snipes, James Earl Jones, John Amos, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Garcelle Beauvais, Louie Anderson, Luenell, Nomzamo Mbatha, Akylie Love and Bella Murphy.
Per Amazon, "friends of the royal court" that were also in the virtual room: Martin Lawrence, Tiffany Haddish, Taraji P Henson, Marlon Wayans, Cameron Diaz, Lena Waithe, Storm Reid, Cedric the Entertainer, Malcolm Jamal-Warner, Kirk Franklin, Ken Jeong, Jay Pharoah, Whitney Cummings, Eli Goree, Kemp Powers, Christina Aguilera and Gina Prince-Bythewood.
The film is now streaming on Prime Video, and it's also being advertised on a fleet of Amazon's transportation vehicles. For eight weeks, Amazon is showcasing the anticipated sequel on one plane, four trucks and 220 delivery vehicles in a first-of-its-kind partnership with Amazon Transportation in eight key regions.
Also as part of the film's rollout, Prime Video will support Black-owned business in another way in those areas by partnering with local Black-owned restaurants to provide over 5,000 meals to those in need. To execute the community meals aspect, Prime Video is working with Grandchamps (New York), Poppy + Rose (Los Angeles), Wing Quarter Daiquiris & Creole Kitchen (Houston), Phlavz Bar and Grille (Chicago), Busy Bee Cafe (Atlanta), House of Mac (Miami), Mr. Braxton Bar & Kitchen (Washington, D.C.), and Riddim N Spice (Nashville).
“Prime Video is elated to celebrate Black excellence by honoring this iconic film in an epic way,” said Ukonwa Ojo, global chief marketing officer of Amazon Studios and Prime Video. “Our team wanted to create an unforgettable moment for our customers and communities that not only highlighted our important Amazon transportation partners, but also intimately touched consumers in their own backyard."