Sunday, April 18, 2010

Audiences pour out billions for comedy

Comedy always laughs to the bank.

Each year, millions of Americans and billions of dollars are spent on comedy movies.

Whether we go to escape the reality of the cruel world or visit the theaters to change our lousy moods, Hollywood can always count on comedy to rake in the big bucks.

Just recently, 2009 breakout movie "The Hangover" received the distinction of being the top-grossing, R-rated comedy film ever. The movie brought in $277 million and ranks third among all R-rated movies ever.

Movies use the term "gross," which means the total income generated from the movie prior to deducting expenses such as production and actor costs.

Other 2009 movies ranking grossing high include "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" with $177 million, "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" with $146 million, "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" with $122 million and "Couples Retreat with $107 million.

"Julia & Julia," "Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail," "Zombieland," "Hotel for Dogs," and "I Love You, Man" grossing $71 million round out the top ten from last year.

Outside of "The Hangover," 2009 fails in comparison to other comedy movies in years past.

Here is a list of the top-grossing comedies of all time with the figures adjusted for inflation, according to

One note of interest: No. 10's "Meet the Fockers" is the only movie in the top 10 from the past decade.
RankTitleGross Domestic Box OfficeAdjusted Gross Domestic Box Office1
1Beverly Hills Cop (Paramount / 1984)$234,760,478$433,887,669
2Home Alone (20th Century Fox / 1990)$281,493,907$413,257,012
3Tootsie (Columbia Pictures / 1982)$177,200,000$409,075,093
4Blazing Saddles (Warner Brothers / 1974)$119,500,000$404,656,100
5National Lampoon's Animal House (Universal Pictures / 1978)$141,600,000$383,297,700
6Mrs. Doubtfire (20th Century Fox / 1993)$219,194,773$321,796,582
7Three Men and a Baby (Touchstone Pictures / 1987)$167,780,960$310,095,167
8Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me (New Line Cinema / 1999)$205,444,716$305,218,107
9Beverly Hills Cop 2 (Paramount Pictures / 1987)$151,663,265$280,306,213
10Meet the Fockers (Universal Pictures / 2004)$279,167,575$279,167,575
11Liar Liar (Universal Pictures / 1997)$181,395,380$269,489,309
12There's Something About Mary (20th Century Fox / 1998)$176,484,651$262,193,704
13My Big Fat Greek Wedding (IFC Films / 2002)$241,437,427$258,059,625
14Porky's (20th Century Fox / 1982)$111,289,673$256,917,795
15Home Alone 2 (20th Century Fox / 1992)$172,676,450$253,503,724
16Look Who's Talking (Tristar Pictures / 1989)$136,950,770$253,114,370
17Bruce Almighty (Universal Pictures / 2003)$242,589,580$249,831,060
18Big Daddy (Columbia Pictures / 1999)$163,479,795$242,873,093
19The Waterboy (Touchstone Pictures / 1998)$161,487,252$239,912,879
209 to 5 (20th Century Fox / 1980)$103,290,500$238,451,303
21Coming to America (Paramount Pictures / 1988)$128,113,607$236,781,399
22Stir Crazy (Columbia Pictures / 1980)$101,300,000$233,856,134
23Austin Powers in Goldmember (New Line Cinema / 2002)$213,079,163$227,748,985
24Trading Places (Paramount Pictures / 1983)$90,404,800$208,704,018
25Stripes (Columbia Pictures / 1981)$85,297,000$196,912,405

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