Movie studios have been very cautious about releasing movies that are Rated R. Even though some kids that aren’t old enough to see R Rated movies do and some theaters let them, movie studios still realize that some people will not go to Rated R movies. Since movie studios care about nothing other than making money they don’t want to make a movie that some people won’t go see.
There is some truth to this theory since no movie that is Rated R is in the top ten grossing films of all-time. There have been some successful Rated R movies though. These are the ten R Rated movies that have grossed the most money.
1st Highest Grossing Rated R Film: The Passion of the Christ
Gross: $370 million
Even though all the Rated R movies on this list were successful at the theater, number one still won by a landslide. Passion of the Christ is the number one grossing Rated R movie by a good $90 million. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the Passion of the Christ came in first. The movie was brutally violent in its portrayal of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ but churches took buses full of people to the theaters anyway to support the movie.
2nd Highest Grossing Rated R Film: The Matrix Reloaded
Gross: $281 million
Many people list the Matrix among their favorite movies but it doesn’t rank as high as you would think. It’s actually the sequel that did better at the theaters because everybody was excited about it after the first Matrix movie. Unfortunately The Matrix Reloaded was bad enough that the third Matrix grossed the least out of the three.
3rd Highest Grossing Rated R Film: Beverly Hills Cop
Thanks to movies like Norbit we forget just how awesome Eddie Murphy was in the 80’s. Beverly Hills Cop might be another example of a movie that probably wouldn’t be Rated R today.
4th Highest Grossing Rated R Film: The Exorcist
Gross: $232 million
I’m sure just about everybody has heard of The Exorcist but I don’t think a lot of people my age realize how popular it was. The Exorcist hits its 35th anniversary next year. It made $200 mil long before it was a regular accomplishment and it’s the oldest movie on this list by 11 years.
5th Highest Grossing Rated R Film: Saving Private Ryan
Gross: $216 million
Saving Private Ryan is well-known for being the most accurately portrayed war movie. One of the reasons is because of how violent the movie is. The R Rating didn’t hurt Saving Private Ryan because of how many critics raved about it being one of the greatest movies of all-time and it never hurts to have Tom Hanks as your star.
6th Highest Grossing Rated R Film: 300
Gross: $210 million
300 was the only Rated R film in 2007 that makes the top ten. 300 is also one of only two Rated R movies that broke the record for the highest grossing film ever in the month it was released. The only other movie to reach that feat is the highest grossing Rated R film ever.
7th Highest Grossing Rated R Film: Wedding Crashers
Gross: $209 million
Many fans of comedies don’t like the notion that movies should be made PG-13 to be fan friendly. For some reason it seems if violent movies are Rated R then it’s not a big deal but if a comedy is Rated R then it must be pretty disgusting and vulgar. The rating didn’t seem to have effect on the Wedding Crashers’ gross.
8th Highest Grossing Rated R Film: Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Gross: $204 million
Considering how many of the top grossing movies of all-time are recent movies the 1991 hit Terminator 2 has held up pretty well, at least among the Rated R movies. Terminator 2 seems kind of mundane compared to today’s Rated R movies though. Perhaps it would have made more if was released today and was only PG-13.
9th Highest Grossing Rated R Film: Gladiator
Gross: $187 million
To truly make Gladiator properly there was no way it couldn’t be Rated R. A good gladiator movie has to have blood and gore and apparently the movie goers didn’t seem to mind too much.
10th Highest Grossing Rated R Film: Pretty Woman
Gross: $178 million
I’m surprised Pretty Woman was Rated R. I’m guessing it’s more for the topic and not so much anything that happened in the movie. It’s no surprise that Pretty Woman made some cash though. Back in those days Julia Roberts was still a great draw.