MUST SEE MOVIES - DISTRICT 9 + THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY + ZAMBEZIA: Highest Grossing South African Movies Of All Time | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

MUST SEE MOVIES – DISTRICT 9 + THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY + ZAMBEZIA: Highest Grossing South African Movies Of All Time

22 June 2020

Photo by Kilyan Sockalingum on Unsplash

As the 24th largest country in the world, South Africa has its own version of almost anything. From languages, culture and history to its own cuisine and celebrations. There’s even a dedicated roulette casino site for South African players to enjoy!

Of course, that includes plenty of movies about the country, or simply set in its vast expanses. In this post, we’ll look at the top highest grossing South African movies of all time. Whether you’re looking to broaden your movie knowledge, or simply to relax into a great story, these box-office record-breakers are the perfect place to start.



• District 9 – $210.8 million
Released in 2009, ‘District 9’ is a science fiction horror film that was written and directed by Neill Blomkamp. It’s set in the year 1982, in an alternative reality where aliens pay a visit to the city of Johannesburg. These aliens are insect-like creatures which the South African government banishes to an internment camp: District 9.
The film includes elements of a mockumentary, with fictionalised interviews and ‘real-life’ footage. Despite its (then) relatively unknown cast, the film was a box office hit. It ranked first at the box office during the weekend it was released, thanks in part to its innovative marketing campaign.

Sony Pictures developed marketing material with the tagline ‘Humans Only’, to be displayed on billboards, posters, and banners around South Africa. The signs even featured toll-free numbers to report any ‘non-human’ activity – inspiring more than 33,000 phone calls with reports of alien sightings.



• The Gods Must Be Crazy – over $100 million
The Gods Must Be Crazy’ is a comedy movie written and directed by Jamie Uys. Although it was released forty years ago, in 1980, it remains the second-highest grossing South African movie to this day, amassing a cult following and inspiring an official sequel.

The movie is set in Botswana, where the main character Xi lives in the Kalahari Desert. He and his tribe are unaware of the world beyond – until a glass Coca Cola bottle falls from an aeroplane overhead. They initially assume the bottle is a gift from the gods, but when it starts to cause conflict between the members of the tribe, Xi offers to take it to the edge of the world in order to dispose of it. The movie follows Xi on his journey to God’s Window, a sheer cliff in a region of Eastern Mpumalanga.

Released by the South African cinema company Ster Kinekor, ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy’ grossed more than $100 million worldwide and was dubbed “a nice little treasure” by the film critic Roger Ebert.



• Zambezia – $34.4 million
Zambezia’ is the highest-grossing computer animated South African movie. Starring the voices of Jeff Goldblum and Samuel L. Jackson, this award-winning movie was released in 2012 and follows a young peregrine falcon, Kai, who leaves the desert for a new life in the city of Zambezia.

Populated entirely by birds, Zambezia is situated on the edge of Victoria Falls. Here, Kai discovers the secrets of his father’s past and learns the value of community, as he joins a team to help defend the city against a lizard invasion.

The movie was crowned the Best South African Feature Film at the Durban International Film Festival and won Best Animation at the South African Film and Television Awards. It grossed $34.4 million worldwide – a $14 million profit on its original budget.



Not seen all of these movies already? It’s time to grab some popcorn, kick back, and settle down with one of these award-winning South African masterpieces.

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