It’s official! Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” is now the highest domestic grossing film directed a black filmmaker. With $163.3 million so far domestically ($177 million total worldwide), the film beats the previous highest grossing film by a black director domestically, F. Gary Gray’s “Straight Outta Compton”, which grossed $162.8 million, and another $40.4 million overseas at the end of its theatrical run. But “Get Out” is far from done, as it has yet to open in some of the biggest foreign markets, including European territories like France, Spain and Scandinavia, as well as across South America, so it could eventually do very well and match or even top “Compton’s” overseas numbers.
As for the highest domestic grossing films made by black directors in film history, the list, in descending order after “Get Out” and “Compton”, are:
— “Scary Movie” Dir: Keenan Ivory Winans ($157 million)
— “Fantastic Four” Dir:Tim Story ($154 million)
— “Ride Along” Dir: Tim Story ($134 million)
— “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” Dir: Tim Story ($131 million)
— “2 Fast 2 Furious” Dir: John Singleton ($127 million)
— “S.W.A.T.” Dir: Clark Johnson ($116 million)*
— “Creed” Dir: Ryan Coogler ($109 million)*
— “The Italian Job” Dir: F. Gary Gray ($106 million)
— “Rise of the Guardians” Dir: Peter Ramsey ($103 million)
— and “The Equalizer” Dir: Antoine Fuqua ($101 million).
Close but no cigar are Fuqua again with “Olympus Has Fallen” ($99 million), and Tim Story again with “Ride Along 2” ($91 million).
Keep in mind these numbers are not adjusted for inflation. If we made the adjustment, a film like “Waiting to Exhale” (which grossed $67 million in 1995) would likely be in the top 10 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2017 dollars, its gross would be $107 million); although much of the above list will remain intact, even though they may swap positions.
So when it come to black directors, Tim Story is still the black director with the most $100 million grossers.
And what about black female directors? None yet has officially joined the $100 Million box office Club; Ava DuVernay could possibly be the first one with her sci-fi fantasy film “A Winkle in Time”, which Disney opens in 2018.
Also could Julius Onah join the club when his sci-fi movie “God’s Particle” (a.k.a “Cloverfield 3” – look for a possible title change) opens in October of this year from Paramount?
Of course there’s Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther” which is less than a year away, with a February 2018 premiere date set.*
For now, Jordan Peele can enjoy his seat at the top; but he will likely be unseated shortly after “The Fate of the Furious” (a.k.a “Fast and Furious 8”) – which is directed by F. Gary Gary (a black filmmaker of course) – opens this Friday. The last “Furious” movie, “Furious 5”, opened with $147 million, and went on to gross $353 million in just the US alone, and over $1.5 billion worldwide, so the others will have some catching up to do.
* Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article didn’t include Ryan Coogler’s “Creed” and Clark Johnson’s “S.W.A.T.” on the list of top grossing films. Also omitted was Coogler’s “Black Panther” as an upcoming film that will most certainly become a member of the $100 million club.