For decades, people have gathered into theaters around the country to escape the stresses of everyday life. We love our movies. And in recent years, we’ve had some blockbusters, putting African-Americans on the big screen and grossing hundreds of millions of dollars.
Check out Nielsen’s top 10 ranked African-American-themed movies. See if your favorite raked in the big bucks and made the list.
1) The Pursuit of Happyness ($162M): This 2006 tearjerker told the true story of on-and-off-homeless salesman-turned stockbroker Chris Gardner, played by Will Smith. With his son Christopher in tow, played by Smith’s son, Jaden, the story follows the two during a nearly one-year struggle with homelessness.
2) Bad Boy II ($138M): Will Smith hit the screen with comedian Martin Lawrence in the 2003 sequel to the 1995 film Bad Boys. Smith and Lawrence play two Miami police detectives investigating the flow of ecstasy in the sun-filled city. The film was a blockbuster despite mostly negative reviews.
3) Nutty Professor ($128M): This remake of the 1963 film of the same name featured the comedic genius of Eddie Murphy. Murphy plays Sherman Klump, a morbidly obese professor who invents a miracle weight-loss potion to win the heart of a young lady.
4) Coming to America ($128M): This 1988 classic stars real-life friends Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall. Both play several characters in the movie, from an African prince and his friend and assistant to barbers in a Queens, New York barbershop. The story follows Prince Akeem Joffer, played by Murphy, as he goes on a trans-continental search for his bride.
5) Nutty Professor II: The Klumps ($123M): In the sequel to the 1996 film, Eddie Murphy had audiences in awe and in stitches at his ability to play all five very different characters within the same family.
6) Big Momma’s House ($117M): In this 2003 film, Martin Lawrence, as FBI agent Malcolm Turner, puts on his fat suit and goes undercover as Hattie Mae Pierce and pursues an escaped criminal in the small town of Cartersville, Georgia.
7) The Princess and the Frog ($104M): This 2009 American fairytale featured Disney’s first black princess, Tiana. Set in New Orleans, this Broadway-style musical received three Academy Award nominations.