Advertisement
Share

11 global hits that busted the myth that black films don’t travel

In Hollywood, just four words are needed to end the prospects of a film with a predominantly African American cast: Black films don’t travel. Such a mantra has dead-ended countless scripts and limited diversity on and behind screens.

The belief is that films with black casts will be seen only by black audiences.

But black films — no matter how one defines the term — can and do perform well at the international box office.

Here are 11 films and film franchises led by black casts that became global hits, with at least $40 million in sales at the international* box office.

‘Coming to America,’ 1988

Advertisement

Domestic box office: $128.2 million

International: $160.6 million

Worldwide: $288.8 million

‘Boomerang,’ 1992

Domestic box office: $70.1 million

International: $61 million

Worldwide: $131.1 million

‘Bad Boys’ franchise, 1995, 2003

Domestic box office: $204.4 million

International: $210.3 million

Worldwide: $414.7 million

‘Blade’ franchise, 1998, 2000, 2004

Domestic box office: $204.8 million

International: $210.3 million

Worldwide: $415.1 million

‘Big Momma’s House’ franchise, 2000, 2006, 2011

Domestic box office: $225.7 million

International: $169.3 million

Worldwide: $395 million

‘Ray,’ 2004

Domestic box office: $75.3 million

International: $49.4 million

Worldwide: $124.7 million

‘Dreamgirls,’ 2006

Domestic box office: $103.4 million

International: $51.6 million

Worldwide: $155 million

‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler,’ 2013

Domestic box office: $116.6 million

International: $60 million

Worldwide: $176.6 million

‘Straight Outta Compton,’ 2015

Domestic box office: $161.2 million

International: $40.4 million

Worldwide: $201.6 million

‘Creed,’ 2015

Domestic box office: $109.8 million

International: $63.8 million

Worldwide: $173.6 million

‘Hidden Figures,’ 2016**

Taraji P. Henson, background left, Octavia Spencer, center, and Janelle Monae, background right, in a scene from "Hidden Figures."
(Hopper Stone / wentieth Century Fox via AP)

Domestic box office: $165.5 million

International: $48.8 million

Worldwide: $214.7 million

*Numbers according to Box Office Mojo

**Still in theaters

Get your life! Follow me on Twitter (@TrevellAnderson) or email me: trevell.anderson@latimes.com.

ALSO:

Disproving the ‘black films don’t travel’ Hollywood myth

With ‘Love Jones,’ black love took center stage: An oral history

Black film critics predict end of #OscarsSoWhite, say 2016 is best year ever for black people in film


Advertisement