Saturday, 17 November 2018

How funny — the Top 10 comedy grossers

How funny — the Top 10 comedy grossers
20 Sep

I’ve been wanting to write a column about the history of comedy films since the 1970s for some time, and while doing research I came across a list of the top-grossing comedy movies of all time. So I had to stop what I was doing and write about that!

I could have named a couple of them, but this list is something else. I was happy to see one of the all-time comedies, “Tootsie,” was at No. 11. I probably couldn’t have named half the list, though.

Without peeking, try to think what the top 10 grossing comedies domestically are. See if you can come up with more than three. In any event, here they are in reverse order.

10. “Liar Liar” (1997), and 5. “Bruce Almighty” (2003)

Here are two funny films starring Jim Carrey at the height of his comedic powers. From 1992’s “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” he dominated the box office for over a decade. He has really slowed down in the last decade, but he does have a new TV show, “Kidding,” on Showtime. He is one of the all-time great funny men on screen.

After “Bruce Almighty,” Carrey started to take on edgier fare, which didn’t have the success of his past efforts. My favorite Carrey film, though, is his serious turn in “The Truman Show.” Oddly enough, the sequel to “Almighty” — “Evan Almighty” — is one of the biggest box-office bombs of all time, with a loss around $88 million. (It does return Morgan Freeman as God, but Carrey didn’t return.)

9. “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” (1999), and 7. “Austin Powers in Goldmember” (2002)

The big surprise here: How in the world is there no “Austin Powers 4”? (Maybe Mike Myers’ colossal bomb, “The Love Guru,” was the reason).

Myers had a modest hit with the original “Austin Powers” in theaters, but it caught fire later on home video and cable. I really liked the original, but these sequels seemed to be squeezing the juice a little hard out of the joke.

The start to “Goldmember,” though, is hilarious, with Tom Cruise starring as Austin Powers in a film about his life, with Steven Spielberg directing.

8. “Wedding Crashers” (2005)

I know this was only 13 years ago, but it was heralded as the return of the R-rated comedy after many years of PG-13 fare. I always like Owen Wilson, and Vince Vaughn is at his rapid-fire best in this one. It also features a great cameo by Will Ferrell.

Wilson and Vaughn re-teamed years later for the very lame and thinly veiled Google commercial, “The Internship.”

6. “Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993)

Almost the oldest movie on the list, which adds to its impressive take at the box office. I must say it’s also the only film on this list I have not seen. Cross-dressing high jinx was never my thing. (Unless it was Monty Python, of course.)

4. “The Hangover Part II” (2011), and 3. “The Hangover” (2009)

When I went to see “The Hangover,” I was SO excited. In my mind they created a new genre, the suspense comedy. It was a breath of fresh air at the movies. I was over the moon about the picture, — but then they immediately made deals for parts 2 and 3.

Part 2 is on this list because of the greatness of the first one, but so many people hated it that it tarnished the original forever. Don’t get me started on Part 3. 


2. “Meet the Fockers” (2004)

This made almost $280 million?!?!??!?!?

1. “Home Alone” (1990)

It’s the classic Christmas tale of a sadistic kid taking revenge on some home robbers. I saw this in the theater, and at the time I said it was good — but not $200 million good! Still, Macaulay Culkin mania was a real thing in the early ’90s. The sequel is No. 12 on the list.

I recently saw Culkin on the Joe Rogan podcast, and he seems to be intelligent and well-adjusted.

A lifelong movie fanatic, Jason Valentine is the weather anchor for KAPP 35 evening news and reviews movies on the 5 p.m. Friday news. He has professionally reviewed films since 1994. Email him at



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