Ten seconds left, the crowd is going wild, cheering and screaming. The adrenaline is pumping and the heart is beating fast…it’s the last quarter, the final round…it’s the end of the movie. Sports Movies have been a staple of Hollywood, dating all the way back to the days of Charlie Chaplin. He starred in the 1915 silent film, The Champion. A sports movie can be based around any number of sports, ranging from soccer to baseball, to even dodge-ball and figure skating. They can be hard-hitting dramatic films, such as Raging Bull. They can also be comedies like, A League Of Their Own. One common element in the sports movie is usually centered around the underdogs and their up hill battle. They’re generally very inspiring and sometimes based on true stories. Regardless of what they are based on, here is a look at 10 of the highest grossing sports movies of all time worldwide.
10) Blades Of Glory March 29, 2007 – $145, 594, 548
Blades Of Glory is a comedy starring Will Ferrell and Jon Heder as two figure skating rivals that pair up as team mates. The film was directed by Will Speck and Josh Gordon. It received mostly positive reviews from critics with a lot of praise going to the exceptional cast. The movie also included Amy Poehler, Will Arnett and Jenna Fisher. Additionally, several well known figure skating stars had cameos including, Scott Hamilton, Dorothy Hamill and Nancy Kerrigan.
9) Seabiscuit July 22, 2003 – $148,715,342
Seabiscuit is the true story of a thoroughbred race horse during the Great Depression, who was too small and broken down to compete in racing competitions. His surprising success made him an inspiration and media sensation during that time. The film was directed by Gary Ross and was based on the non-fiction book, Seabiscuit: An American Dream. The film starred Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, Elizabeth Banks and William H. Macy. The movie received highly positive reviews and is considered to be one of the most inspirational movies ever made. It’s the ultimate underdog story, or maybe we should say, it’s the ultimate underhorse story.
8) Waterboy November 6,1998 – $190,191,646
Waterboy is a comedy that centers around Bobby Boucher, a stuttering and socially awkward waterboy who has anger issues. He’s forbidden by his overbearing mother to play football, but does anyway and becomes one of the most feared players. The film starred Adam Sandler, Kathy Bates and Henry Winkler. It did very well at the box office and at the time, was one of Sandler’s most financially successful movies at the box office. However, the film received almost universal negative reviews from critics.
7) The Longest Yard May 27, 2005 – $190,320,568
The Longest Yard is a comedy about a disgraced NFL quarterback, who is sent to prison. In prison, he is forced to form a football team made up of inmates to face off against the guards. It was a remake of the 1974 film starring Burt Reynolds. The remake starred Adam Sandler, playing the Burt Reynolds role. Burt Reynolds played a supporting role as coach in the remake. It also featured, Chris Rock, James Cromwell and singer/rapper, Nelly. The film received mixed reviews but was a massive success at the box office in its opening weekend. It was the largest opening of Adam Sandler’s career. The film also included former NFL players, Terry Crews, Michael Irvin, Bill Goldberg and Brian Bosworth.
6) Rocky II June 15, 1979 – $200,182,160
Rocky II is the sequel to the enormously successful, Rocky. Rocky II centers around the aftermath of the events from the first film. The film focuses on the return match between the ultimate underdog, Rocky Balboa, and the champion, Apollo Creed. The sequel was a massive success, receiving high praise from critics and is considered one of the best films in 1979. It also did tremendously well at the box office and was one of the top three highest grossing films of 1979. Sylvester Stallone wrote, directed and starred in the sequel. It also starred Talia Shire, Burt Young, Burgess Meredith and Carl Weathers, reprising their roles.
5) Rocky December 3,1976 – $225,000,000
Rocky is considered by many to be one of the greatest sports movies of all time. It’s the ultimate underdog story of a bottom of the card and struggling boxer, Rocky Balboa, who goes the distance with the greatest boxing champion to ever live, Apollo Creed. The film was a surprise hit and was universally, critically acclaimed. It’s considered to be one of the greatest films of 1976. It was also a massive commercial success and was the highest grossing film of 1976. The film won three Academy Awards at the Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Editing. It was written by and starred Sylvester Stallone and helped turn him into a mega star. It was directed by John G. Avildsen, and it was followed by 5 sequels.
4) Million Dollar Baby December 15, 2004 – $232,016,402
Million Dollar Baby revolves around a boxing trainer, who is trying to make up for mistakes from his past by helping a determined young woman realize her dream of becoming a professional boxer. Clint Eastwood both directed and did the score for the film. It was written by Paul Haggis. The movie was a box office hit and was universally, critically acclaimed. Many critics praised the plot twists and tragic ending. It won four Academy Awards including, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor. It starred Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman.
3) Space Jam November 15, 1996 – $250,200,000
Space Jam is an animated/live action sports comedy that is a fictional story of the first retirement and return to the NBA of basketball icon, Michael Jordan. In this version, he’s convinced to return by another icon, Bugs Bunny. The movie featured stars of the NBA and animated cartoon, Looney Tunes. The film was tremendously successful at the box office and opened at number one. Despite that, the movie has received mostly mixed to negative reviews. Regardless, it remains a favorite amongst many, including LeBron James, with rumors circulating that he might star in a sequel. The movie also featured the huge hit song, “I Believe I Can Fly” by R.Kelly, which peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The film starred Michael Jordan, Wayne Knight, Larry Bird, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
2) Rocky IV November 27, 1985 – $300,373,716
Rocky IV is the fourth film in the Rocky Series. It follows the now veteran World Champion, Rocky Balboa, seeking revenge for the in-ring death of his best friend, Apollo Creed. Yes, the same Apollo Creed that was once his greatest rival in the first two films and became his manager in the third. The American Hero, Rocky, battles the Russian monster and the man that killed Apollo, Ivan Drago, played by Dolph Lundgren. Sylvester Stallone starred, wrote and directed the film, once again. The film is the most financially successful film in the Rocky series and was a box office hit at the time. However, it received mostly mixed reviews with some feeling it was nothing more than a propaganda film. Regardless, it has gained a cult following and is considered by some fans to be the best film in the series.
1) The Blind Side November 20, 2009 – $305,705,795
The Blind Side is based on the life of linebacker for the Tennessee Titans, Michael Oher. The story follows his rise from poverty, to being adopted and to making it in the NFL. The film was written and directed by John Lee Hancock, and was based on the book, The Blind Side: An Evolution Of A Game by Michael Lewis. The film was a giant success at the box office. It received mostly positive reviews and Sandra Bullock received universal praise for her role. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress at the Oscars that year. It was also nominated for Best Picture. The film starred Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Quinton Aaron and Kathy Bates.