2016’s Highest Grossing Films That Included Black Actors

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Poster of Southside With You released at the end of summer 2016. The movie chronicles president Obama’s courtship of Michelle Obama

The year 2016 will be Hollywood’s lowest grossing annual stretch at the boxoffice since 2008, President Obama’s first inauguration – America’s so called moment of post-racial unity (oh, ignorance was bliss).

Since that time though, films with black lead actors have been drastically reduced. Some say it is because more and more black film stars such as, Don Cheadle, Taraji P. Henson and Kerry Washington may have made very successful transitions to television.

Yet inversely, at the same time, movies’ have gotten more diverse, (yah really, a head scratcher).  More supporting roles have opened up for people of color mainly in front of the camera but still less so behind the scenes.

That said, even though only a few movies in 2016 had black headliners – Barbershop: Next cut, Suicide Squad, Magnificent Seven being the exceptions of course, films with a diverse talent base shone brightest – the best example of which is The Jungle book.

Interestingly some of the films here are also some 2016’s biggest blockbusters, proving the unquenchable demand for diversity in Hollywood is not DYING OUT.

If one peruse the most successful none sequel or comic book films of the past 10 years it will be evident that diversity is the one constant  that’s attributable to their successes with movie audiences.

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Here now is the most comprehensive list of 2016’s highest grossing films that also have an appreciable or significant black talent base. This list has been compiled from data available at, and


#1 – The Secret Life of Pets

Actors:  Louis C.K. (Voice), Kevin Hart (Voice)

Worldwide:  $868,162,199


#2 – The Jungle Book

Actors:  Idris Elba (Voice), Lupita Nyong’o (Voice), Bill Murray (Voice)

Worldwide:  $966,448,359

#3 – Suicide Squad

Actors:  Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Common, Jay Hernandez

Worldwide:  $745,275,416

#4 – Ice Age: Collision Course

Actors:  Ray Romano (Voice), Denis Leary (Voice), John Leguizamo (Voice), Queen Latifah (Voice), Keke Palmer (Voice)Wanda Sykes (Voice), Jennifer Lopez (Voice)

Worldwide:  $407,052,739

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#5 – Independence Day: Resurgence

Actors:  Jessie Usher, Vivica A. Fox

Worldwide:  $389,667,306

#6 – The Legend of Tarzan

Actors:  Samuel L. Jackson, Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz, Djimon Hounsou

Worldwide:  $356,743,061

#7 – Star Trek Beyond

Actors:  Idris Elba, Sofia Boutella, John Cho, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin

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Worldwide:  $341,899,641

#8 – Now You See Me 2

Actors:  Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco             , Sanaa Latham

Director: Jon Chu

Worldwide: $334,890,327

#9 – Ghostbusters (2016)

Actors:  Leslie Jones, Charles Dance, Michael K. Williams

Worldwide:  $229,122,047

#10 – Central Intelligence

Actors:  Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Amy Ryan, Aaron Paul

Worldwide:  $216,972,543


#11 – London Has Fallen

Actors:  Angela Bassett, Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Jackie Earle Haley, Melissa Leo, Radha Mitchell

Worldwide:  $195,725,584


#12 – The Magnificent Seven

Actors:  Denzel Washington, Haley Bennett, Matt Bomer, Lee Byung-hun, Luke Grimes, Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt

Worldwide:  $159,240,074


#13 – Ride Along 2

Actors:  Kevin Hart, Ice Cube, Benjamin Bratt, Olivia Munn, Ken Jeong, Bruce McGill, Tyrese Gibson

Director: Tim Story

Worldwide:  $124,246,152


#14 – Boo! A Madea Halloween

Director: Tyler Perry

Writer: Tyler Perry

Actors:  Tyler Perry, Bella Thorne

Producers:  Ozzie Areu, Tyler Perry

Worldwide:  $60,005,682 (so far)

#15 – Barbershop: The Next Cut

Director: Malcolm D. Lee

Actors:  Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Regina Hall, Anthony Anderson, Common, Nicki Minaj

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Worldwide: $55,030,051

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#16 – When the Bough Breaks

Actors:  Morris Chestnut, Regina Hall

Worldwide:  $30,244,633

#17 – Kevin Hart:  What Now?

Actor:  Kevin Hart, Halle Berry

Domestic:  $24,725,480


#18 – The Birth of a Nation

Director: Nate Parker

Writer: Nate Parker

Actors:  Jackie Earle Haley, Armie Hammer, Penelope Ann Miller, Nate Parker, Gabrielle Union

Domestic:  $15,382,191


#19 – Meet the Blacks

Actors:  Mike Epps, Mike Tyson

Domestic:  $9,097,072


#20 – Queen of Katwe

Director:  Mira Nair

Actors:  Lupita Nyong’o, David Oyelowo

Worldwide:  $8,897,869


#21 – Southside with You

Director:  Richard Tanne

Writer:  Richard Tanne

Stars: Tika Sumpter, Parker Sawyers, Vanessa Bell Calloway | See full cast & crew

Domestic: $6,304,223

#22 – Miles Ahead

Director:  Don Cheadle

Actors:  Don Cheadle, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Ewan McGregor, Keith Stanfield, Michael Stuhlbarg

Worldwide:  $2,610,896

#23 – Moonlight

Director:  Barry Jenkins

Writers:  Barry Jenkins (screenplay), Tarell McCraney (story by) (as Tarell Alvin McCraney)

Stars:  Mahershala Ali, Shariff Earp, Duan Sanderson,Janelle Monáe, Naomie Harris

Domestic:  $3,135,467