As you probably know, a big controversy erupted in Hollywood in the last couple of weeks because no African-American actors were nominated for an Academy Award this year, for the second year in a row. A lot of the news coverage focused on the fact that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is made up largely of older white men.

But scant attention has been paid to this fact: Hollywood simply didn’t produce many movies last year in which African Americans played central roles. As a result, the academy didn’t have much to choose from.

I’m looking at Box Office Mojo’s list headlined “2015 Worldwide Grosses” and it’s surprising. Of the top 60 grossing movies last year, I’m seeing only one, “Straight Outta Compton,” that was fundamentally about the black experience. “Creed,” “Focus,” “Get Hard” and “Furious 7” had substantial roles for black actors, but beyond that, I’m not seeing many flicks in which African-Americans were featured prominently.

Now you can argue that the academy shouldn’t have overlooked the black actors in that handful of movies, and maybe they shouldn’t have. But again, the point is this: The academy didn’t have many to choose from. I mean, the few black actors in those few movies were numerically overwhelmed by literally scores of non-black actors in the rest of the movies.

But that brings up an obvious question: Why so few black movies?

Well, there’s the old suspicion that Hollywood may be reluctant to make “black” movies because they supposedly don’t play well overseas. That was a belief that came to the fore a few years ago but seems to have receded. However, I’m looking again at the Box Office Mojo list, and, unfortunately, that suspicion seems to be borne out by the numbers.

While many movies make 50-70 percent or so of their gross receipts overseas, “Straight Outta Compton” made a very low 19.6 percent overseas. Likewise, “Get Hard” made only 19.1 percent overseas and “Creed” 21.9 percent. Those are among the lowest on the list, by far. “Focus” did well, grossing 66.1 percent overseas, but it starred Will Smith, who is an international star. “Furious 7,” with an ensemble cast, did even better, with 76.7 percent.

Looking at those numbers, it does make you wonder if Hollywood execs, these days wanting to make more than half of their money overseas, are reluctant to greenlight films in which African-Americans are featured prominently. That may go a way toward explaining why opportunities appear to be cut off for black movie actors.

It’s just a thought, but since there’s so much interest in this topic now, this may be a good time for Hollywood to reach across the oceans and try to figure how to encourage foreign movie-goers to be more open to attending films with African-American themes and actors.