Africa’s Top Box Office Hits Through Time

Africa's Top Box Office Hits Through Time

Africa’s Top Box Office Hits Through Time has a global audience resulting in rising investment from around the globe. Kenya is known for documentaries and historical films. Nigeria’s film industry, ‘Nollywood’, is the biggest in Africa in volume, revenue, and popularity. Moreover, it is the world’s second-largest film producer. And South Africa is known for its Box office releases.

As with the rest of the globe, the African entertainment industry has witnessed significant shocks in the last 2 years. With the closing of cinemas and the postponement of most production activities, it has been a time of immense struggle for the global film and audio-visual sector. As things get back to normal Africa’s film and audio-visual sectors are expected to reach their potential to generate over 20 million jobs and $20 billion in annual income.

Given the history of the industry in the continent no doubt we can expect even more of Africa’s Top Box Office Hits. Let us know what you think of this list through time and which one have we forgotten?

1. Mr Bones

Director: Gray Hofmeyr

Box-Office Collection: $3.6 million

Both Mr Bones movies make it to Africa’s Top Box Office Hits Through Time. Mr Bones King’s slapstick comedy film set in South Africa that released in 2001. Leon Schuster played the title role. He also wrote the screenplay and co-wrote the story. The African box office movie is about a medicine man dispatched to find his tribe’s king’s son, however, he returns with an American golfer and a posse of goons keen on keeping him in the competition.

2. Mr Bones 2: Back From The Past

Director: Gray Hofmeyr

Box-Office Collection: $4.9million

Mr Bones 2 is the second part of the Mr Bones series. Mr Bones 2 : Return to the Past released in 2008. A box office smash, surpassing Mr Bones to become South Africa’s most commercially successful picture. It tells the account of Hekule, the King of Kuvukiland, who goKinggemstone from Kunji Balanadin, who is dying. Also, the cursed stone enables Hekule to be seized by the spirit of the nefarious Kunji, described by Bones as a wild rider. Mr Bones must journey 130 years into the future to Durban to cure his King and rid himself of the cursed stone.  

3. The Gods must be crazy II

Director: Jamie Uys,

Box-Office Collection: $6.2 million

Its no surprise that The Gods Must Be Crazy II makes it on this list of Africa’s Top Box Office Hits Through Time. The God’s must be crazy II is a sequel to the 1980 comedy The Gods Must Be Crazy. Jamie Uys not only wrote but also directed both movies. The movie is about two children abducted while their bushman father is out hunting, causing him to start a race to find them.

4. Sarafina!

Director: Darrell Roodt

Box-Office Collection: $7.3 million

All time favourite Sarafina acted by Leleti Khumalo) is also on Africa’s Top Box Office Hits Through Time, Sarafina is a young black South African woman fighting for independence during apartheid. While she has been relatively mute in her opposition to her country’s racist administration, the effort to make Afrikaans the official language in her school has prompted her to demonstrate in the streets with her classmates.

5. Tsotsi

Director: Gavin Hood

Box-Office Collection: $12 million

Tsotsi is another South African Block buster that made the likes of Presley Chweneyagae famous. Tsotsi is a movie adaptation of Athol Fugard’s novel ‘Tsotsi’ then criminal drama film from 2005. It is about a teenage street thug, who steals a car and then discovers a baby in the back seat. He spends the next six days in a violent and stressful environment, which eventually leads to an emotional attachment.

Director: Anthony Silverston

6. Khumba

Box-Office Collection: $28.42 million

Africa is not short of amazing digital creations because Khumba is a computer-animated comedy film making it on our list of popular box office hits.

Khumba, a half-striped zebra, is responsible for the drought in his herd’s territory. So, he embarks on a quest to save all animals and gain acceptance from his herd. The film released in honour of Reinhold Rau. He was the founder of The Quagga Breeding Project and died on February 11, 2006. Rau was also well-known for his efforts to resurrect the extinct quagga, a near relative of the plains zebra, by selective breeding. 

7. Mandela: A long walk to freedom

Director:  Justin Chadwick

Box-Office Collection: $27.3 million

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” is a British-South African biographical film. Justin Chadwick was the director it also features Idris Elba. The movie was released in 2013. It tells the story of how a then not so famous South African lawyer, Nelson Mandela, enters the struggle against apartheid. Later, after the Sharpeville Massacre, he is sentenced to life in jail for his role in the armed resistance.

8. Zambezia

Director:  Wayne Thornley

Box-Office Collection: $34.4 million

South Africa in English.

Kai, a young and daring falcon, travels to Zambezia, a massive bird city, where he learns a few lessons in teamwork while he uncovers a secret about himself. Also, It earned nominations for Annie Awards for Music in an Animated Feature Film and Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Film. In 2012, the movie got the Durban International Film Festival’s Best South African Feature Film award. It also won Best Animation at the 9th Africa Movie Academy Awards and Best Animation at the South African Film and Television Awards,

9. The Gods must be crazy

Director:  Jamie Uys

Box-Office Collection: $100 million +

The Gods Must Be Crazy is a comic film series from 1980 featuring Nxau Toma. The movie takes place in Southern Africa. It follows Xi, a Namibian San farmer, a Kalahari Desert hunter-gatherer whose tribe finds a glass bottle dropped from an aeroplane they believe it to be a gift from their gods. While Xi heads out to give the bottle to the gods, his path crosses with that of a biologist, a recently hired village school teacher, and a group of guerrilla terrorists. Despite being one of the biggest box office hits, the film had hostile critics due to its portrayal of race and perceived ignorance of South African discrimination and apartheid.

10. District 9

Director:  Neill Blomkamp

Box-Office Collection: $210.8 million

Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell wrote the science fiction action film District 9 in 2009. This movie is an adaptation of Blomkamp’s Alive in Joburg, a short film earlier released in 2006. Parts of the film are in documentary-style, with fake interviews, news footage, as well as surveillance camera footage. On Earth, a few aliens have no choice but to live in deplorable conditions. They do, however, discover assistance from a government agent in charge of their move.

The movie has mixed themes of Xenophobia, Segregation and humanity.

Also, read: Chief Daddy 1 & 2


  • Samayala

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