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These are the Highest Grossing Black Directors of Last Year

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Famous Black Director Ryan Coogler smiling on red carpet

Of the 1,200 notable movies released between 2007 and 2018 showcasing 1,335 renowned directors, African American movie directors in the list were barely 6%. However, 2018 saw a total of 16 top black movie directors responsible for Box Office hits.

Out of 100 top fictional films, those directed by African Americans account for $1.6 billion of the U.S. Box Office earnings. USC Annenberg Inclusion Institute says the 2018 Box Office movie list accounts for a 14% rise from 2017 total movies.  

Now, let’s explore the list of top 16 African American movie directors and the movies that took them to the box office in 2018.

16 African American Movie Directors from 2018 Box Office

Superfly by Director X

african american movie directors

Superfly, directed by Director X, is an American crime film about a career criminal and the Atlanta drug scene. Superfly release date was on June 13, 2018. The movie realized a total of $20.8 million at the Box Office. Director X won the BET Award for Video Director of the Year and nomination for MTV Video Music Award for Best Direction. He was also, nominated for Soul Train Music Award for Video of the Year.

The Hate U Give by George Tillman Jr.

african american movie directors

George Tillman Jr. directed the movie; The Hate U Give released October 19, 2018. The film is a 2h 13m sensational drama and crime movie showing intrigues in the world of the poor and rich. From the Box Office earnings, The Hate U Give grossed $34.9 million. George is also a screenwriter and producer. 


Slender Man by Sylvain White

african american movie directors

The Slender Man, directed by Sylvain White realized $51.7 million at the U.S. Box Office. It is a 1h 31m thriller and horror movie about four small-town best friends and the horrific slender man. The film was completed on a budget less than $28 million and released on August 10, 2018. Sylvain received a nomination for NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture. He also got a nomination for the Soul Train Music Award for Video of the Year.


Nobody’s Fool by Tyler Perry

african american movie directors

Nobody’s Fool is a drama and romance movie about an ex-con and her sister who gets herself entangled in a mysterious love affair. The film’s director is a sensational actor, comedian, playwright and filmmaker, Tyler Perry. Nobody’s Fool generated $33.5 million at the Box Office with the release date as November 2, 2018. 


Alpha by Albert Hughes

african american movie directors

Albert Hughes directed the 1h 36m drama and thriller movie, Alpha. Alpha revolves around an abandoned male figure and a wolf who formed an alliance for survival in the wilderness. It was released on September 14, 2018, and grossed a total of $99.6 million in the U.S. Box Office. Albert received nominations for the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature.


Widows by Steve McQueen

african american movie directors

Director, Steve McQueen put his skills to good use in the Widows, a drama and thriller movie released November 16, 2018. Widows tell the story of four widows of a dangerous armed robbery gang shot dead by the Chicago Police. The widows decided to stage a heist to keep things going. The movie generated $76 million at the Box Office. The film was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Steve won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Turner Prize.


Uncle Drew by Charles Stone III

african american movie directors

Uncle Drew is a comedy and sports movie directed by Charles Stone III and released on June 29, 2018. It realized a total of 46.7 million USD at the Box Office. Uncle Drew is a story set in Harlem and about the Rucker street ball tournament. Septuagenarians get back to the pitch for an impressive win. Charles’ nomination was for the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. He is also notable for movies like Drumline, starring Nick Cannon, Paid in Full and Mr. 3000, starring Bernie Mac.


Tyler Perry’s Acrimony

african american movie directors

Tyler Perry’s Acrimony is a 2h psychological thriller produced, directed and screenplay by Tyler Perry. Tyler Perry’s Acrimony film came into the scene on March 30, 2018. The movie depicts the theme of love, deceit, and revenge. The earnings for Tyler Perry’s Acrimony at the U.S. Box office was a total of $46.4 million. 


Blakkklansman by Spike Lee

african american movie directors

Blakkklansman, directed by Spike Lee, generated a total of 93.3 million USD at the US Box Office. It came out on September 7, 2018, and is a drama film that revolves around crime, detectives and the Colorado Springs Police. The film won the Academy Award for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay. It also received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Picture. 

Spike Lee is also a writer, actor, and producer. He has produced over 35 movies under his company, 40 Acres and Mule Filmworks. Notable movies in his kitten include ‘Do the Right Thing’- 1989, ‘4 Little Girls’- 1997, ‘Malcolm X’ with Denzel Washington – 1992, ‘She’s Gotta Have It with Samuel L Jackson – 1986.


The First Purge by Gerard McMurray

african american movie directors

First Purge is a thriller and crime movie directed by Gerard McMurray. The First Purge is one of the impressive films generating $137 million at the U.S. Box Office. It was released July 4, 2018, and revolves around the New Founding Fathers of America and the litmus test to fight crime. Other movies by McMurray include Burning Sands, Underground, Battle Buddy, and more.


Night School by Malcolm D. Lee

african american movie directors

Night School is a comedy story directed by Malcolm Lee and is one of the phenomenal movies at the Box Office. The film grossed 103.1 million USD at its release on September 28, 2018. Night School deals with a successful salesman’s attempt to go back to school to earn his GED. The director, Malcolm, is an actor, screenwriter, and producer as well. 


A Wrinkle in Time by Ava DuVernay

african american movie directors

Ava DuVernay is one of the few female African American movie directors to make the list of top 100 directors in the Box Office. The movie ‘A Wrinkle in Time,’ directed by Ava DuVernay is a science fiction and fantasy story released on March 9, 2018. The film has notable black stars like Oprah Winfrey and generated about 130 million USD at the Box Office. Ava won the 2012 U.S. Dramatic Competition Award at the Sundance Film Festival. This phenomenal director is the first African America female to receive the Sundance award. She also got the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award.


The Equalizer 2 by Antoine Fuqua

african american movie directors

Antoine Fuqua directed The Equalizer 2; which is a crime and thriller movie released on August 10, 2018. The Equalizer 2 follows after a T.V. series and as a sequel to The Equalizer 2014. Equalizer 2 is a distinguished and successful movie with over 190 million USD earnings at the Box Office. Antoine is a movie director, producer, and Academy Award Winner.


Creed II by Steven Caple Jr.

african american movie directors

Creed II is a drama and sports movie relating to high-tension, breathtaking fights, and revenge in the boxing ring. The film’s director was Steven Caple Jr. and released November 30, 2018. Creed II is one of the exceptional movies in 2018 amassing a significant 214.1 million USD at the U.S. Box Office. Steve is a screenwriter, film director, and producer.


Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

african american movie directors

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has three movie directors, and one of them is the African American movie director Peter Ramsey. Other directors are Rodney Rothman and Bob Persichetti. The movie is a fantasy and science fiction film revolving around the Spider-man. It premiered on December 14, 2018, as usual, Spider-Man always attracts great attention from the audience. It recorded a whopping 375.5 million USD at the U.S. Box Office. The Spider-Man won Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. Ramsey is a writer, illustrator and film director. Rodney received a nomination for NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture.


Black Panther by Ryan Coogler

african american movie directors

Ryan Coogler is a phenomenal African American movie director, screenwriter, and producer. The director of Black Panther started receiving awards from his first feature movie, Fruitvale Station. He won the top audience and grand jury award issued at the Sundance Film Festival, issued by the U.S. Dramatic Competition. 

However, the Black Panther also is a highly-placed movie directed by Ryan. It is a science fictional and fantasy movie with an epic setting, depicting rivalry and conflict. 

Black Panther amassed a staggering 1.344 billion USD at the U.S. Box Office as of May 2018. The movie premiered on February 16, 2018. It comes top of the list of African America movie directors and films in the Box Office. 

As the 2019 movie list gets rolling, we hope to see more African American movie directors, producers, filmmakers, and the likes take on the center stage. 

So, who in your opinion would make the box office list? And Where would African American movie directors be in the list of top 100 US box office films by end 2019? If you have an idea, then leave us a comment underneath.

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