4. The Fate of the Furious (F. Gary Gray, 2017: $208,638,555)
While this is a very solid domestic entry in the “Furious” franchise, you have to savor the irony: African Americans comprise a tiny portion of film directors; we all know the argument that African-American movies don’t play overseas. And now we have the first billion-dollar movie from an African American director… and it was driven overwhelmingly by the overseas gross. (Read more here.)
3. The Fantastic Four (Tim Story, 2005: $213,340,600)
With “The Fantastic Four,” Story became the first African-American director of a major super hero movie — and with over $300 million gross on a $100 million budget, earned the right to direct the sequel.
2. Scary Movie (Keenen Ivory Wayans, 2000: $257,524,100)
This satire of the “Scream” genre was the first in what became a five-film franchise for Miramax/Dimension. Although Wayans only directed the first two, he established a satirical tone that reflected the public appetite for wall-breaking meta commentary — stock and trade today in a meme-driven comedy world, but groundbreaking at the time.
1. Stir Crazy (Sidney Poitier, 1980: $332,896,700)
A serendipitous group of factors led to this Richard Pryor-Gene Wilder R-rated comedy becoming the third-biggest hit released in 1980. (Read more here.)
Note: This is the first in an occasional series looking at top grossing films across history. Box-office rankings will be by adjusted; figures are from Box Office Mojo, and based on annual industry ticket price averages.