What Women Want (2000)
Domestic Box Office Total: $183 million
Inflation-Adjusted Total: $255 million
In a long-ago era when Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt were both bankable movie stars, the pair teamed up for this romantic comedy, which depicted Gibson as a male chauvinist who becomes capable of psychically hearing women’s thoughts after an accident with a hair dryer.
There’s Something About Mary (1998)
Domestic Box Office Total: $176 million
Inflation-Adjusted Total: $259 million
This 1998 comedy starred Ben Stiller as a man vying for the affections of Mary, played by Cameron Diaz, years after a derailed first date. The movie pushed the boundaries of gross-out jokes to new heights, but less-squeamish audiences flocked to see it—making “Mary” a sleeper hit of that year.
Coming to America (1988)
Domestic Box Office Total: $128 million
Inflation-Adjusted Total: $260 million
“Coming to America” tells the story of an African prince (played by Eddie Murphy) who comes to Queens, New York in search of a woman to marry but hides his true identity. Also starring a pre-talk show Arsenio Hall, some sharp-eyed viewers might recognize a cameo from Samuel L. Jackson.
Pearl Harbor (2001)
Domestic Box Office Total: $199 million
Inflation-Adjusted Total: $270 million
A love triangle set against the events of the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor, this romance starred Kate Beckinsdale, Josh Hartnett and The Batman himself, Ben Affleck. Helmed by “Transformers” director Michael Bay, it earned scathing reviews and was nominated for six Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Picture.
Twilight (Franchise) (2008-2012)
Inflation-Adjusted Franchise Average: $296 million
Based on the novels of the same name, the teen-themed epic tells the story of Bella and her sullen vampire boyfriend Edward. The entire franchise was good for approximately $1.4 billion at the domestic box office, and an inflation-adjusted average of almost $300 million per movie.
Pretty Woman (1990)
Domestic Box Office Total: $178 million
Inflation-Adjusted Total: $327 million
The move that made Julia Roberts a household name was originally conceived as a dark film about the dangers of working as a prostitute. Also starring Richard Gere as Roberts’ well-to-do John, audiences ate it up and turned it into the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time…for a while, at least.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
Domestic Box Office Total: $241 million
Inflation-Adjusted Total: $322 million
The story of a mousy woman who falls for an upper-class dreamboat, it took four months and lots of word of mouth before it became a hit. With a production budget of $5 million, its $369 million worldwide box office take also meant it had one of the best returns on investment of any movie ever made.
An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)
Domestic Box Office Total: $130 million
Inflation-Adjusted Total: $323 million
This 1982 romantic drama stars Richard Gere as a Navy trainee and Debra Winger as his love interest. The movie also stars Louis Gossett, Jr. in an powerful performance as the drill instructor. The final scene included the hit song,”Up Where We Belong” by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, which was nearly as memorable as the movie itself.
Domestic Box Office Total: $218 million
Inflation-Adjusted Total: $400 million
A murdered man (played by Patrick Swayze), trying to communicate with his girlfriend (played by Demi Moore) became the surprise hit of 1990. It was the second-highest grossing movie of the year, and left such blockbusters as “Dances with Wolves” eating dust. The film featured an erotic pottery wheel scene which has been parodied countless times.
Domestic Box Office Total: $659 million
Inflation-Adjusted Total: $985 million
“Titanic” isn’t just the highest-grossing romantic movie of all time – it was the highest-grossing movie of all time—until director James Cameron made “Avatar” 12 years later. A love story set against the backdrop of the famous shipwreck, the movie earned critical raves and won 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. “Titanic” was re-released in 3D in 2012, and it remains a popular favorite today.