People love sports, and when they can’t get their next hit of the good stuff, they look for something else that provides the same drama. While the pure suspense and tension is hard to replicate, there have been several hugely successful sports movies that did well at the box office. These are the highest grossing sports movies since 1980.
Rocky III – $124 million
After his comeback to win the world title in Rocky II, people couldn’t get enough of the bromance between Rocky and his old foe Apollo Creed. This time the big bad enemy was none other than Mr. T, and fans rushed to movie theaters to see how Rocky would fare against this flamboyant enemy. The film would launch Mr. T into stardom, and he got the A-Team gig off the back of this performance.
Rocky IV – $128 million
By Rocky IV we all knew the formula for these boxing films and people seemingly couldn’t get enough of watching Sylvester Stallone getting beaten up. In this fourth installment to the movie franchise, Rocky goes up against the iconic villain Ivan Drago, a seemingly lab-grown experiment from Russia determined to conquer the boxing world. The movie captured the fear of the Cold War between Russia and the USA, but somehow we all knew that Rocky would find a way to win.
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby – $148 million
Sport and comedy appear to be a winning combination as people couldn’t get enough of this Will Ferrell and John C. Riley classic. Ferrell must compete in NASCAR against a skilled French driver played by Sacha Baron Cohen, and the funnyman does everything he can get across that finish line first.
The Longest Yard (2005) – $158 million
This retelling of a classic made $158 million at the box office and beyond. It featured a ragtag bunch of prisoners who were challenging the guards to a game of football. Despite the corruption of the guards, the inmates did everything they could to lie and cheat their way to victory.
The Waterboy – $162 million
Adam Sandler brings the story of the humble waterboy who becomes the hero of his football team after keeping them all well hydrated. The film drew in the crowds as it was an homage to football but also had people in stitches while laughing at Sandler’s antics. His humor might not be as popular as it once was, but during the 1990s this was the must-see sports movie alongside Space Jam.
The Blind Side – $256 million
Sandra Bullock starred in The Blind Side, a rags to riches story about how football changed the life of Michael Oher. Bullock actually gave the performance of a lifetime in the film, and she won the Oscar for Best Actress thanks to her onscreen portrayal.
These movies proved just as popular at the box office as the sports are all over the world. People were lining up around the block to watch these films, and they have become the highest grossing sports movies of all time.