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The Top 10 Grossing Black Films Of 2013

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act December 30, 2013 at 1:47PM

The Top 10 Grossing Black Films Of 2013
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Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines in Lee Daniels’ THE BUTLER
Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines in Lee Daniels’ THE BUTLER

Part 2 of my 2013 Black Cinema summary. 

If you missed Part 1, the intro to it all, click HERE to catch up.

Once again, I'm defining "black films" simply as cinema in which the central character (or characters) that the stories revolve around, are of African descent - regardless of whether the filmmakers are all of African descent. If it's a documentary, the same definition applies. People of African descent have to be central to whatever unfolds.

So, for example, a film like 2 Guns didn't make the cut. And neither did Captain Phillips. Both featured black characters in significant roles, but, ultimately, both films weren't centered entirely around those characters.

Today, I've narrowed the 48 total "black films" released theatrically in 2013 (48 out of 669 total films), down to the 10 highest theatrical money makers.

Yes, I know, box office isn't/shouldn't be the only mark of success for any film; but, as already noted, this is one post (the second) in an ongoing series of posts that will look back on the year 2013 in black cinema. Meaning, there'll be other posts that consider other factors, so stay tuned.

I should note that of the year's top 10 grossing black films, Tyler Perry-directed films take up 2 slots.

The highest grossing (domestic) black film of the year is Lee Daniels' The Butler at $116 million, making it the only black film to gross over $100 million this year. 

And total box office (domestic) for all 48 black films is around  $670 million, or about 6.2% of the total 2013 box office for all films ($10.8 billion). Figures are of yesterday's results; with 2 days left to go until the year ends, I wouldn't expect those figures to change much at all.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 grossing black films (as I defined above) released theatrically in 2013), from last to first:

10 - Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, $32,244,051 

9 - 12 Years a Slave, $37,814,000 

8 - A Haunted House, $40,041,683 

7 - Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas, $43,719,000 

6 - The Call, $51,872,378 

5 - Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor, $51,975,354 

4 - After Earth, $60,522,097 

3 - The Best Man Holiday$70,279,000 

2 - 42, $95,020,213 

1 - Lee Daniels' The Butler, $116,146,955

My source for box office figures for each film was Box Office Mojo.

More on the year in black cinema coming...

This article is related to: Box Office, FYI, Lists


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