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The 10 Highest Grossing "Saturday Night Live" Alums of All Time

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | October 14, 2012 | Comments ()


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It was an exciting weekend at the box office, as the well received Sinister led the Friday box office, but was bounced to number three for the weekend after a Saturday surge from Ben Affleck's Argo, a movie that received a rare A+ Cinemascore (and 93 percent of whose audience was over 25, and therefore a harder audience to please). Argo ($20 million) ended the weekend as the number two film right behind Taken 2 ($22 million), and expect Argo to have long legs, hanging around the rest of the year and perhaps even getting a re-release after it racks up a ton of Oscar nominations (and unlike another early Oscar contender, The Master, Argo was actually entertaining).

Meanwhile, Sinister wildly overperformed, racking up $18 million on a $3 million budget. I'm stoked for co-writer C. Robert Cargill (Massawyrm at Ain't It Cool News) because, despite his affiliation with a site that uses Comic Sans, the little I know of him suggests he's one of the nicest, most genuine guys in the movie blog world, and I like it when good people succeed. Congratulations, Mr. Cargill.

I'm also happy to see that Sinister beat out Here Comes the Boom, which came in at number five with a soft $12 million opening weekend. That's two underperforming Kevin James films in a row now (Zookeeper), although both James and Adam Sandler provided voice work on Hotel Transylvania, the number four film on the weekend, crossing the $100 million mark.

Speaking of Sandler, he is expectedly among the 10 highest grossing "Saturday Night Live" alums of all time. Here's that list.

1. Eddie Murphy -- $3.8 billion lifetime gross

2. Ben Stiller -- $2.61 billion lifetime gross

3. Robert Downey, Jr. -- $2.59 billion lifetime gross

4. Dan Aykroyd -- $2.42 billion lifetime gross

5. Mike Myers -- $2.21 billion lifetime gross

6. Adam Sandler -- $2.18 billion lifetime gross

7. Will Ferrell -- $1.51 billion lifetime gross

8. Bill Murray -- $1.47 billion lifetime gross

9. Chris Rock -- $1.44 billion lifetime gross

10. Chevy Case -- $997 million lifetime gross

Elsewhere at the box office, Pitch Perfect put up another $9 million ($36 million cumulative), Looper crossed the $50 million mark, and sadly, Martin McDonaugh's Seven Psychopaths came in at only number nine with $4.2 million. I saw a double feature of Seven Psychopaths and Argo on Friday night, one of the best movie nights I've had in a very long time.




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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Pookie

    Good going Affleck, you got beat out by “Taken2,” I said you got beat out by “Taken2” which is in its second week by the way. Maybe you should have made “Jason and The Argonauts” you fucking douche you.

  • Micah

    I was planning on a double feature of Seven Psychopaths and Argo tomorrow. Glad to hear it's a good mix.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    Bill Murray is still way cooler than any of the rest of those guys.

    And what about Julia Louis-Dreyfus, surely she is way up there?

  • He's also cooler than a cucumber blasted into deep space in a chamber designed to maintain a temperature of 1K above absolute zero. Bill Murray = the notable exception to the law of conservation of energy.

  • Blake
  • e jerry powell

    And that's just movie money. Julia is getting most of her coin from the television back catalog. She's still getting residuals from VH1 for the SNL back catalog, from Lifetime for Old Christine, syndication on three episodes of Simpsons, all things Seinfeld, and, believe it or not, that "Day by Day" sitcom she did 33 episodes of back in the late eighties (a couple of years after Hannah and Her Sisters) with Courtney Thorne-Smith and Thora Birch is still getting the occasional airing.

  • Xtacle Steve

    Number nine? God dammit. Good to see that we'll probably get a Tak3n, but not another McDonagh movie.

  • AudioSuede

    I really wanted to see Seven Psychopaths this weekend, but I only had time for one movie, and we chose Argo. Talk about your Sophie's Choice for movies.

    I'm part of the problem.

  • e jerry powell

    Hmm. And chronologically, Ackroyd, Murray, and Chase should have MORE money than Eddie Murphy, since they had significant head starts (Murphy was still a teenager when he started at SNL in 1980) on feature film careers.

  • Morgan_LaFai

    Well frak me swinging, I had no idea RDJ was an SNL cast member.

  • e jerry powell

    For a whole year. "The Second Lost Year," I like to call it (after the 1980 season). I think only two or three people came out of that unscathed: Nora Dunn, Jon Lovitz, and Dennis Miller. All the other credibles (and a few non-credibles) got thrown on the pile: Joan Cusack, Anthony Michael Hall, RDJ, Randy Quaid, Danitra Vance (first black woman/first lesbian, though she wasn't outed until she died years later), and Terry Sweeney (first out gay man). Damon Wayans was also a featured player, but they didn't use him for much, and they dumped him a week before they pulled Senator Franken out of the writer's room and threw him back onto the stage.

  • Blake

    I feel the same way about Stiller...

  • e jerry powell

    Another dude that was never more than a featured player; never actually part of the repertory company.

  • jM

    I swear, I can never remember that Robert Downey Jr. was on SNL. And I'm sure he'd much rather I forget that he was in The Shaggy Dog.

  • gerta89

    god, I just hate eddie murphy so much. but my love for le murray more than trumps that, so it's all good. :)

  • BendinIntheWind

    "And 93 percent of whose audience was over 25, and therefore a harder audience to please."

    Seriously? The same audience that keeps CBS' ratings way up? No disrespect to Argo, but this seems like such an odd conclusion to me...

  • Bert_McGurt

    As opposed to the target demographic of Twilight?

  • BendinIntheWind

    I'm not saying young people have excellent taste, it's just a strange conclusion to draw from one movie's success.

  • Bert_McGurt

    That's a fair point. But categorizing "audiences over 25" as "the people who keep CBS ratings up" is a stretch as well. Especially when a healthy chunk of those same audiences are keeping the ratings up for the Breaking Bad's and Justified's.

  • BendinIntheWind

    I don't disagree - there's a BIG middleground between CBS and Twilight, neither of which are successful solely based on age. Let's just agree that Dustin's scientific analysis was dumb.

  • Blake

    Where's Amy Poehler??? Domestic Box Office: $1,246,206,730

    http://www.the-numbers.com/per...

    Kristen Wiig: $678,442,583
    Tina Fey: $427,221,174

  • e jerry powell

    And the poor women who came before got bupkus. Jane Curtin, I feel for you. Gilda Radner, I feel for you.

    Maybe if Victoria Jackson were on this list, she'd never have joined the Tea Party and eaten her own brain.

  • Brdkelli

    Technicality asshole says Steve Martin doesn't belong on the list.

  • pajiba

    Damn. I always forget he's technically not a cast member. Corrected! Unfortunately, it means Randy Quaid replaces him on the list.

  • Don't mock Randy Quaid. He'll hunt you down in your dreams with a Bowie knife and surgically remove your hope gland.

  • e jerry powell

    Just the hope gland?

    I'm thinking that Randy Quaid could be up for the remake of Deliverance at this point.

  • ed newman

    How does Chris Rock get on this list? Did the Madagascar series really do that well? The only other big movies I can recall him in were Lethal Weapon 4 and Grown Ups. Neither was anything to be proud of. Is he just the Sam Motherfucking Jackson of this list?

  • Arran

    Going by this, they've actually UNDERestimated his total box office.

    http://www.the-numbers.com/per...

    Of course, it's debatable how much of a part he played in the grosses for most of these.

  • space_oddity

    Yeah, I don't know if the above totals are just from movies or what, but Chris Rock has been writing/exec. producing lots and lots of TV over the last 15 years or so.

  • Bert_McGurt

    He's also got those five HBO specials. Just about everyone I knew had a copy of Bigger & Blacker in the early 00's.

  • AudioSuede

    Uh, Dogma?

  • e jerry powell

    With Rock, I'd be inclined to inquire as to whether that's all just gross box office receipts, or if all his other stuff (producing, writing, directing, inclusive of TV projects) adds in.

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