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The 10 Highest Grossing R-Rated Movies of All-Time


The MPAA's ratings are pretty straightforward. R stands for Restricted, which means that the movie can't be seen by children under the age of 17 unless they are accompanied by either a parent or some other adult guardian. This is because these movies contain adult material. Due to this, parents are supposed to look into a R-rated movie in order to determine its suitability for their children. Theoretically speaking, these movies have smaller target audiences than, say, their PG or PG-13-rated counterparts. In practice, R-rated movies can still bring in a lot of money at the box office.

10. Fifty Shades of Grey - $569,651,467

Fifty Shades of Grey is based on the book of the same name. As such, it is a romance movie with BDSM-themed content. Fifty Shades of Grey was received in much the same manner as the rest of the franchise, which is to say, it was panned by the critics but nonetheless managed to sell very well.

9. The Hangover Part II - $586,764,305

Every single movie in The Hangover trilogy has managed to do very well for itself. However, The Hangover Part II is the clear winner out of the lot, seeing as how it managed to make $586,764,305 compared to the other two movies' $467,483,912 and $362,000,072. It is similar to its predecessor in a lot of ways, as shown by how it covered a pre-wedding brunch gone wrong in Bangkok versus a bachelor party gone wrong in Las Vegas. Even so, The Hangover Part II managed to surpass what had come before, which was no small achievement.

8. The Passion of the Christ - $612,054,428

The Passion of the Christ is exactly what it sounds like, which is to say, a Biblical movie about the final period of Jesus Christ's life. It was rather controversial in its time. On the one hand, there were a lot of people who thought that it was a religious experience. On the other hand, there were also a lot of people who were critical of the movie's extreme violence. Regardless, The Passion of the Christ was very successful. As a result, it is perhaps unsurprising to learn that there is a sequel focused on the resurrection in the works.

7. Logan - $619,021,436

Logan is one of the numerous superhero movies that have been released in recent times. Still, it managed to stand out because it had a story that was unusual by the standards of the genre, so much so that it was sometimes compared with westerns rather than other superhero movies. In fact, it is worth mentioning that Logan was the first live-action superhero movie to be nominated for an Oscar on the basis of its screenwriting, which says much about how it was regarded at the time.

6. Detective Chinatown 3 - $686,257,563

Detective Chinatown 3 is a rather unusual name on this list. That is because it is a product of the Chinese film industry rather than the American film industry. Despite that, the movie managed to make $686,257,563 at the box office, which is an interesting reminder of the sheer size of the Chinese market for movies.

5. It - $700,381,748

There are numerous adaptations of Stephen King's works, which to be fair, makes sense because he is one of the greatest horror writers of the modern age. In fact, It isn't the first adaptation of its source material, though its predecessor was a mini-series rather than a movie. In any case, the movie managed to make more than ten times its budget. Moreover, It Chapter One was followed by It Chapter Two, which was still very successful by any reasonable standard because it managed to make $473,093,228 at the box office.

4. The Matrix Reloaded - $741,847,937

The Matrix had a huge cultural impact at the turn of the millennium. Thanks to that, there was a lot of momentum for its immediate follow-up The Matrix Reloaded, which managed to earn $741,847,937 at the box office. Combined with the rest of the original trilogy, it is no wonder that the Warner Bros. had so much interest in seeing a revival for the series. Unfortunately, the fourth movie The Matrix Resurrections seems to have fared poorly, though to be fair, it was always going to be a hard sale.

3. Deadpool - $782,612,155

Generally speaking, when people think of Marvel movies, they think of the Marvel movies made by Marvel itself. However, it is important to remember that there are Marvel movies made by other companies that have purchased the movie rights for Marvel characters. Strictly speaking, Deadpool can be considered a spinoff of the X-Men movies, as shown by how the character showed up in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine before taking the starring role in this 2016 release. Having said that, it is very much capable of standing out in its own right.

2. Deadpool 2 - $786,470,484

Speaking of which, Deadpool 2 managed to beat its predecessor by just a bit, which was quite impressive considering that its predecessor managed to make $786,470,484. Unsurprisingly, there is a third movie in the works, which was delayed quite a bit because of the Disney buy-out of 21st Century Fox. Something that resulted in the cancellation of the X-Men movies that were already in development at the time, meaning that there was a reset.

1. Joker - $1,074,251,311

There was a fair amount of skepticism before Joker came out. However, the movie managed to become both a critical success and a commercial success, with the result that it went on to earn more than a billion dollars at the box office. That made Joker the first R-rated movie to ever pass that marker, though it was still just the sixth highest-grossing movie in its year. Amusingly, while the movie was always pitched as a one-time thing, its success seems to have ensured a follow-up. Time will tell whether that movie will live up to the Joker or not.

Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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