Hollywood is slow to truly invest in the African movie industry
This list was based on cultural influence, cultural enlightenment, box office performance, engagement, a fan favorite, and critical acclaim
Now more than ever, there is an integration of culture between numerous regions, as the world inches ever closer to becoming a global village.
This is thanks in large parts to the arts, particularly music and movies, which allow people share their cultures in the universal language of entertainment.
With the level of cultural integration today, Hollywood producers are no longer as skeptical to invest in movies that touch on themes and tropes outside of America, as they were a decade ago.
Following the production and or distribution of successful projects like Narcos, Squid Game, Parasite, and more, all of which are performed in their indigenous language, it’s safe to say that Hollywood of late has no qualms with creating movies that stray far from its own culture.
For Africa, Hollywood still remains skeptical, as the continent’s movie industry seems too young and inexperienced to handle big-budget movies that command funds of up to $100 million.
However, Africa is, in itself not too young to be emulated on the big screen. Hollywood has continuously borrowed from African cultures in both significant and subtle ways. The continent is rich in history and stories from here can compel any audience to be thoroughly engaged.
Despite this, Hollywood remains reluctant to shoot high-budget movies that are completely African, in their approach, production, and delivery.
Needless to say, there are some Hollywood blockbusters that were inspired by African culture and experience, and below are ten of the best, blueprints to what may evolve to Hollywood’s confidence in investing in big-budget African films.
This list was decided by cultural influence, cultural enlightenment, box office performance, engagement, and critical acclaim
Queen of Katwe 2016 (10.4 million): A very beautiful tale about a Kenyan girl who escapes poverty with her talent for chess, this movie is a critical darling, with an IMDB score of 7.4/10 and a Rotten Tomatoes sum of 94%.
The Woman King 2022 ($50 million): A movie about the West African tribe of Dahomey, and the Agojie, warriors (an all female fighting unit) that served it, this film depicts the Agojie fighting for the freedom of its people, albeit the source material is a bit controversial. Read story here. This movie is not only climbing up in its box office number, it is also a fairly high acclaimed movie with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 94%, and an IMDB rating of 6.3/10. The movie also did well to display the beauty of Africa’s tenacity.
Hotel Rwanda 2004 ($33.9 million): Yet another uncomfortable journey to spectate, Paul Rusesabagina is a hotel manager, who saves the lives of many helpless refugees trapped in a brutal civil war. This movie is obviously a critical masterpiece as Rotten Tomatoes has it at 91%, while IMDB has it at 81./10, the highest ratings on this list.
The Mummy 1999 ($409 million): Not particularly the most critically acclaimed movie, and its reference to African culture is questionable at best, regardless this film manages to enthrall its audience as demonstrated by its box office success, and it does borrow from the age old myth of resurrecting mummies. Its IMDB rating is 7.1/10, while its Rotten Tomatoes score is 61%.