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Classic Western Box Office Hits: 10 Films That Made the Most Money

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By    |   Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 11:40 AM

The Western movie simply doesn’t have the power it used to in the days of John Wayne and the Spaghetti Westerns. Animated films, sci-fi, romantic comedies, and action thrillers have all moved their way up in popularity while Westerns that make big money are becoming less frequent.

According to domestic gross totals from Box Office Mojo, you have to go down the list through 1,334 films before reaching the least highest-grossing Western.

Still, those movies certainly have mass appeal and name recognition. Check out which 10 classic Western box office hits have made the most money.

1. “Dances With Wolves”: $184,208,848

The 178th movie on the Box Office Mojo list was released in November of 1990 and was Kevin Costner’s directorial debut, according to Turner Classic Movies. The film was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and took home the victory in seven categories, including Best Director for Costner and Best Picture.

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2. “True Grit”: $171,243,005

The Coen Brothers feature, using the same name as a 1969 Western, became their most profitable film up until that point, according to What Culture. Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and Josh Brolin starred in the film, which ranks 217th on Box Office Mojo list.

3. “Django Unchained”: $162,805,434

According to The Guardian, this Jamie Foxx-led film became director Quentin Tarantino’s highest-grossing film. It was released in December of 2012 and surpassed his film “Inglorious Basterds” at the box office. It is ranked 240th on the list.

4. “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”: $102,308,889

This is the oldest film on the list, with a 1969 release. Robert Redford and Paul Newman star in the fictional film, ranked 567th. The movie takes place in Bolivia after the outlaws leave America, according to IMDB.

5. “Unforgiven”: $101,157,447

Ranked 584th on the Box Office Mojo list, this 1992 Western was directed by Clint Eastwood and also stars Eastwood in the lead role. According to Box Office Mojo, it won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Gene Hackman), and Best Editing at the Academy Awards.

6. “The Lone Ranger”: $89,302,115

Johnny Depp’s popularity in 2013 helped drive this film to the 690th spot on the list. According to Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian, it was, “A family film, but too bloodless and archly self-aware to be a through-and-through Western.”

7. “Brokeback Mountain”: $83,043,761

“Brokeback Mountain,” which was released in 2005, elicited controversy due to the fact that the two male characters in it had a homosexual relationship. According to Rolling Stone, it’s a “defiantly erotic love story” and a “classic in the making.” It ranks 759th on the Box Office Mojo list.

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8. “Open Range”: $58,331,254

Another Kevin Costner-directed film, Open Range ranks 1,211th on the list. Robert Duvall starred in the 2003 gunslinger film along with Costner. According to Roger Ebert, it’s “An imperfect but deeply involving and beautifully made Western.”

9. “Tombstone”: $56,505,065

Right behind Open Range at 1,265th, Tombstone tells the story of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, two ubiquitous names when it comes to Western culture. According to IMDB, Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer were the main stars in the 1993 release.

10. “3:10 to Yuma”: $53,606,916

The final Western in the Top 10 comes in at 1,334th. According to Box Office Mojo, the movie was nominated for two Academy Awards in 2007: Best Sound and Best Original Score. Russell Crowe and Christian Bale starred in the film.

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The Western movie simply doesn't have the power it used to in the days of John Wayne and the Spaghetti Westerns. Animated films, sci-fi, and romantic comedies have all moved their way up in the box office while Westerns that make big money are frequent.
classic, westerns, box office, movies, films, hollywood
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Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 11:40 AM
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