The Top 20 Grossing Comedy Movies of All-Time

The Hangover Part II

Who doesn’t love a comedy? While sci-fi and superhero franchises may dominate the top of the league table when it comes to the highest-grossing movies of all time, comedy still has its place, providing the perfect form of escapism that, let’s face it, we all like to indulge in from time to time. Whether your taste runs to rom-com, slapstick, family fun or adult humor, you’re sure to find at least a few things to tickle your fancy on this compilation of the highest-grossing comedy movies of all-time.

Green Book

20. Green Book – $323,049,824

  • Year of Release: 2018
  • Director: Peter Farrelly | Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini

Just making it onto our list is this biographical comedy-drama from director Peter Farrelly. In addition to picking up a slew of awards (including the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, and Oscars for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor), Green Book fared exceptionally well at the box office, grossing $85.1 million in the United States and Canada and $323,049,824 worldwide.

The Devil Wears Prada

19. The Devil Wears Prada – $326,073,155

  • Year of Release: 2006
  • Director: Daniel Franker | Cast: Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep, Adrian Grenier

Meryl Streep rarely hits a bum note in her film choices, and this comedy from 2006 proved no exception. Based on the 2003 novel by Lauren Weisberger, the film ranks as the 12th highest-grossing film worldwide in 2006 and the 19th highest-grossing comedy of all time.

Feng Kuang De Wai Xing Ren

18. Feng Kuang De Wai Xing Ren – $326,150,303

  • Year of Release: 2019
  • Director: Hao Ning | Cast: Matthew Morrison, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Tom Pelphrey

The 2019 hit Feng Kuang De Wai Xing Ren (or Crazy Alien, as it’s also known) tells the story of a monkey trainer who decides to use his skills to train the alien who put his usual monkey out of business after crash landing on earth. The sci-fi comedy has proved a massive hit in its native China and hasn’t fared too badly worldwide either, taking $326,150,303 in box office sales.

Crocodile Dundee

17. Crocodile Dundee – $328,203,506

  • Year of Release: 1986
  • Director: Peter Faiman | Cast: Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski Mark Blum, David Gulpilil

In 1986, the action-comedy Crocodile Dundee become the second-highest-grossing film worldwide at the box office. Such was its popularity that it generated 2 sequels (Crocodile Dundee II (1988) and Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (2001)), although neither quite lived up to the success of the hugely popular original.

Meet the Parents

16. Meet the Parents – $330,425,040

  • Year of Release: 2000
  • Director: Jay Roach | Cast: Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Teri Polo, Blythe Danner

It may not have achieved quite the same level of success at the box office as its 2004 follow up, Meet the Fockers (number 3 on our list) did, but with worldwide sales of $330,425,040, 2000’s Meet the Parents was hardly a disappointment. The film was just as much a hit with critics as it was with viewers, winning several MTV and People Choice awards along with several Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations.

22 Jump Street

15. 22 Jump Street – $331,333,876

  • Year of Release: 2014
  • Director: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller | Cast: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube, Peter Stormare

At number 12 is the 2014 buddy action comedy, 22 Jump Street. The film earned an overwhelmingly positive reception on release, with many calling out Jonah Hills dual role as writer and star for special praise.

Never Say Die

14. Never Say Die – $334,536,622

  • Year of Release: 2017
  • Director: Song Yang, Zhang Chiyu | Cast: Ai Lun, Ma Li, Shen Teng, Tian Yu, Xue Haowen

The 2017 Chinese comedy film Never Say Die is up next on our list, with worldwide box office sales of $334,536,622. The film received multiple award nominations on its release (including Best Picture at the Macau International Movie Festival, Best Film, Best Director and Best Young Director at the China Film Director’s Guild Awards, and Best New Director and Best Supporting Actor at the Huading Awards) and, as The Hollywood Reporter notes, ranks as the highest-grossing comedy film ever in a single box office market

The Mask

13. The Mask – $351,620,129

  • Year of Release: 1994
  • Director: Charles Russell | Cast: Jim Carrey, Cameron Diaz

For a spell in the 1990s, Jim Carrey was the biggest name in cinema, and with films like The Mask to his name, it’s easy to see why. Based on the comic book series by Doug Mahnke and John Arcudi, the film earned Carey a Golden Globe nomination for his performance, as well as a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for the crew.

The Flintstones - 1960-66

12. The Flintstones – $358,500,000

  • Year of Release: 1994
  • Director: Brian Levant | Cast: John Goodman, Rick Moranis, Rosie O’Donnell

The updated reimagining of the classic animation, The Flintstones, may have seen its characters learn that money can’t buy you happiness, but with $358,500,000 in worldwide sales to its name, it certainly made the executives at Universal Pictures smile. Critically, the film was a disaster, earning its star Rosie O’Donnell the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress and the film several awards for Worst Remake or Sequel and Worst Screenplay. On the plus side, Goodman managed to escape the criticism unscathed, while its visual effects, costume design, and art direction were all deemed worthy of praise.

The Hangover Part III

11 The Hangover Part III – $362,000,072

  • Year of Release: 2013
  • Director: Todd Phillips | Cast: Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha

Next up we have the third film in The Hangover Series. Despite underperforming in box office sales compared to its two predecessors, the film still managed to pick up enough of 2013’s audience share to make it to number 11 on our list.

Rain Man

10. Rain Man – $412,800,000

  • Year of Release: 1988
  • Director: Barry Levinson |Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino

What could go wrong in bringing two of the biggest movie stars of all time together in a bittersweet tale about a selfish yuppie and his autistic brother? In the case of 1988’s Rain Man, almost nothing. As well as giving both actors yet another hit to add to their list, the movie became the highest-grossing film of the year, and swept the board at the 61st Academy Awards, winning Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Actor in a Leading Role for Hoffman.

Sex and The City

9. Sex and The City – $415,247,258

  • Year of Release: 2008
  • Director: Michael Patrick King |Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, Chris Noth

Best way to guarantee a massive hit at the Box Office? Base the film on one of the biggest TV series of all time. That’s exactly what HBO did in 2008, and the result was a film that earned over $415 million worldwide against a $65 million budget. Critics may have hated it, but that didn’t stop a 2nd Sex and The City movie hitting the cinemas in 2010 (although given the animosity between some of the cast members, we’re unlikely to see a third).

Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

8. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) – $441.3 million

  • Year of Release: 1993
  • Director: Chris Columbus | Cast: Robin Williams, Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan, Harvey Fierstein

There had to be at least one Robin Williams movie to make our list, didn’t there? Grossing $441.3 million in worldwide sales against a $25 million production budget, Mrs. Doubtfire consistently ranks as one of Williams’ funniest (and most commercially successful) films of all time. In addition to winning the Academy Award for Best Makeup and the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, the film also secured a Golden Globe for Best Actor for Williams, and in 2000, a place on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years…100 Laughs list.

The Hangover

7. The Hangover – $467 million

  • Year of Release: 2009
  • Director: Todd Phillips | Cast: Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Justin Bartha, Ed Helms

It may not have performed quite so well as its 2011 sequel, but the original film in The Hangover series did well enough at the box office to pull in 467 million in worldwide gross regardless. Critics praised the film’s mix of raunchy humor, clever script, and interplay between the main characters, while award juries were enamored enough to award it a Golden Globe for best comedy, a Spike Guys’ Choice Award for Guy Movie of The Year, and a nomination for Best Original Screenplay at the Writers Guild of America Awards.

Home Alone

6. Home Alone – $476,684,675

  • Year of Release: 1990
  • Director: Chris Columbus | Cast: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard

Almost 30 years after its release date, Home Alone is still the go-to family film at Christmas. Starring a very young Macaulay Culkin as an 8-year old Kevin McCallister along with Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern as a pair of comedically inept burglars, the film was successful enough to spawn 4 sequels and unanimously positive reception from filmgoers and critics alike.

Bruce Almighty

5. Bruce Almighty – $484 million

  • Year of Release: 2003
  • Director: Tom Shadyac | Cast: Jim Carrey, Jennifer Aniston, Morgan Freeman, Philip Baker Hall

The highest-ranking movie starring Jim Carey comes with this entry from 2003, Brice Almighty. Despite Carey winning praise for his performance, most critics had mixed feelings about the film itself, with many criticizing its reliance on treacly sentiment. Nonetheless, it managed to become the fifth highest-grossing film of 2003, and the 5th highest-grossing comedy of all time.

Les Intouchables

4. Les Intouchables – $484,873,045

  • Year of Release: 2011
  • Directors: Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano | Cast: François Cluzet, Omar Sy, Anne Le Ny

This amiable 2011 French buddy movie proved a massive hit in its native France (earning the title of cultural event of 2011 in a poll by Fnax and a César Award for Best Film) and an equally positive reception worldwide, pulling in $484,873,045 in worldwide box office sales and a host of awards.

Meet the Fockers

3. Meet the Fockers – $516,567,575

  • Year of Release: 2004
  • Director: Jay Roach | Cast: Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Blythe Danner, Teri Polo

The sequel to Meet The Parents may have been slammed by critics (Rotten Tomatoes sums up the consensus with the quip “ (A) talented cast is wasted as the movie is content with recycling jokes from its predecessor” but the movie proved a smash hit with cinema-goers, pulling in $516,567,575 in worldwide gross and giving its star, Robert DeNiro, his highest-grossing movie ever.

The Hangover Part II

2. The Hangover Part II – $586,464,305

  • Year of Release: 2011
  • Director: Todd Phillips | Cast: Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha

The 2nd film from The Hangover franchise was it’s most profitable, turning $586,464,305 in box office sales on release. Set two years after the original, The Hangover II picks up on the story of Stu Price, Phil Wenneck, Alan Garner and Doug Billings as they prepare for Stu’s upcoming wedding to Lauren. Despite some controversies (which included allegations of animal abuse and the insensitive use of a famous photograph depicting a public execution in the Vietnam War), the film became the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time.

Ne Zha Zhi Mo Tong Xiang S

1. Ne Zha Zhi Mo Tong Xiang Shi – $626,910,000

  • Year of Release: 2019
  • Director: Yu Yang (as Jiaozi)

This Chinese animation may not be that well known in the west, but its massive popularity in Asia takes it straight to number 1. Equal parts thriller, fantasy, and comedy, this stunningly rendered animation from director Yu Yang hasn’t even been released in the States yet (look out for it in early September 2019) but already it’s taken $626,910,000 in worldwide sales.


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