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The 20 Highest Grossing Creature Features of All Time

By Dustin Rowles | Boozehound Cinephile | January 29, 2012 |

By Dustin Rowles | Boozehound Cinephile | January 29, 2012 |

Joe Carnahan’s creature-feature, The Grey opened this weekend and became a rarity among January releases: A film that fared well with critics and at the box office. Made for only $25 million, The Grey debuted at the top of the box office, opening with a tidy $20 million. It did not, however, get great notices from audiences; it received a B- from Cinemascore, but that’s because mainstream audiences do not like bleak or thoughtful films. I confess that I was surprised by how much I ended up enjoying a survival film about a group of men battling wolves in the snow, but it is nice to see that Carnahan is back on his game after the preposterous (but preposterously entertaining) A-Team movie.

My guess is that The Grey, which probably won’t have tremendous legs thanks to dim word of mouth from the dim masses, will end its box-office run with something around $60 million, which would place it around 15th all time among creature features. It’s also interesting to note that only seven creature films have broken $100 million. Here’s the complete top 20.

1. Jurassic Park: $357 million

2. The Lost World: Jurassic Park: $229 million

3. King Kong: $218 million

4. Jurassic Park III: $181 milion

5. Gremlins: $153 million

6. Godzilla: $136 million

7. Super 8: $127 million

8. Aliens: $85 million

9. Congo: $81 million

10. Alien Vs. Predator: $80 million

11. Cloverfield: $80 million

12. Deep Blue Sea: $73 million

13. Anaconda: $65 million

14. Species: $60 million

15. Predator: $59 million

16. Alien 3: $55 million

17. Arachnophobia: $53 million

18. Predators: $52 million

19. Mighty Joe Young: $50 million

20. Alien Resurrection: $47 million

In second place over the weekend, Katherine Heigl’s One for the Money slightly exceeded expectations, landing at number three with $11.7 million behind last week’s number one film, Underworld Rising ($12.5 million). Heigl’s film undoubtedly benefited from a Groupon campaign and a Janet Evanovich fanbase, so it’s difficult to tell how much of its box-office can be attributed to the star power of Heigl, whose career is either over or she just needs better parts, depending on who you ask. I hope she has a few bad movies left in her, because I’d hate to think that One for the Money was my last opportunity to slam Heigl in review. She didn’t give me much to work with on that film, damnit.

It was’t good news for all the new releases, however, as Man on a Ledge opened with a lackluster $8.7 million, good for only 5th place. What does that say about Sam Worthington’s career? Nothing, probably, since the Charmless Potato still has a couple of ongoing franchises in Clash of the Titans and Avatar, so moviegoers are stuck with him whether we like it or not.

The Oscar nomination bump didn’t do much for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, as it fell from fourth to sixth, adding $7 million. As Scott Mendelson also noted on Twitter, Extremely Loud may be the worst reviewed movie of all time to be nominated for an Oscar (it’s at 48 percent on RottenTomatoes). War Horse, likewise, didn’t benefit, falling from 12th to 18th. However, The Descendants did have a nice jump, from 16th to 7th, although that had a lot to do with the addition of 1400 screens over the weekend. The Artist, likewise, added 300 screens and saw a decent jump, from 17th to 12th, although — even if it ultimately wins the Oscar — it’s not the kind of film that will probably fare well at the box office. It will, however, surpass 2009’s Oscar winner, The Hurt Locker, which made only $17 million at the box office (The Artist is up to $16 million already).

(Source: Boxoffice Mojo)

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.