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The 20 Highest Grossing Films Featuring Female Action Heroines In a Lead Role (Adjusted for Inflation)

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | November 25, 2013 | Comments ()


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Hunger Games: Catching Fire poured it on in its opening weekend, setting records for best November opening, best Holiday weekend opening, and the fourth best opening weekend of all time with $161 million, besting the opening weekend for its predecessor by nearly $10 million. The numbers are even more impressive internationally, where Catching Fire added another $146 million, which is half of what Hunger Games raked in during its entire international run.

It was also the highest grossing opening weekend ever for a film featuring an action heroine in a lead role, and is expected to eventually surpass Hunger Games for the highest grossing film of all time with a lead female action heroine. The top 20 in that category, adjusted for inflation, are as follows:

1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ($420 million estimated by the end of its run)

2. Hunger Games — $409 million

3. Terminator 2 — $390 million

4. Gravity — $270 million (estimated)

5. Alien — $255 million

6. Mr. and Mrs. Smith — $234 million

7. Charlie’s Angels — $186.9 million

8. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider — $186.5 million

9. Aliens — $184 million

10. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon — $182 million

11. Miss Congeniality — $153 million

12. Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle — $134 million

13. Salt — $119 million

14. The Fifth Element — $111 million

15. Alien 3 — $107.6 million

16. Courage Under Fire — $107.5 million

17. Kill Bill Vol. 1 — $93 million

18. Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life — $87 million

19. Thelma and Louise — $86 million

20. Kill Bill Vol. 2G.I. Jane — $84 million

If you’re curious, Angelina Jolie has four appearances in the top 20, along with Lucy Liu; Sigourney Weaver is represented three times; and Sandra Bullock, Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Jennifer Lawrence appear twice (although, the latter will undoubtedly take up the top four spots by 2015, once all the Hunger Games’ sequels are accounted for).

Elsewhere, Thor: The Dark World took an expected 61 percent tumble in its third week, with competition from Catching Fire, landing in second place with $14 million. Best Man Holiday fell to number three with $12 million, and Vince Vaughn’s Delivery Man opened poorly, with only $8.2 million. Vaughn now hasn’t had a hit in four years (Four Christmases) and hasn’t had a good film in seven or eight (depending on what you think of The Break-Up). Is this the end of the era of lovable losers?



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  • e jerry powell

    Crouching Tiger is best. Zhang Ziyi should have a lot more spots than she does.

  • manting

    Miss Congeniality is that high?!!

  • Arran

    Bullock should have three, really—if Miss Congeniality counts as an action movie, then surely The Heat does too.

  • kirivinokur

    The Charlie's Angels franchise just did not deserve that $320m in receipts.

  • chanohack

    The Charlie's Angels movies are ridiculous (especially Full Throttle, damn) but they're probably my favorite bad movies. What? I like watching hot ladies be "spies" who fly helicopters and speak Chinese and have choreography to "U Can't Touch This" in their back pockets! And Sam Rockwell dances in the first one and John Cleese is in the second! They're nowhere near smart or realistic, but they're funny, pretty, and diverting, and there's a market for that.

  • kirivinokur

    I think this shows my age, but I thought it was too loud. Like a Baz Luhrmann piece, but even louder (to try to hide the fact that there wasn't much there). Obviously, millions of people disagree.

  • AudioSuede

    I wasn't sure about going to see Catching Fire on opening weekend, because I knew the theater would be packed, but I'm so glad we did. It was a great movie, and the audience was surprisingly quiet for how crowded it was.

    I'm just happy that a really good movie is breaking records, because hopefully it'll make a lot of these epic budget garbage blockbusters think a little harder about the quality of their script department.

  • Tatertot

    Silly rabbit! Don't you know that no one wants to see women in lead roles (let alone lead action roles)?
    [/sarcasm font]

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