20 Highest Grossing R-Rated Films of All-Time

The R-rated Deadpool defied conventional box office wisdom when it posted record breaking tickets sales. Now every superhero movie under the sun is attempting to cash in on this success including Batman v Superman which will get an R-rated director’s cut. Before this trend gets too old, here are the movies that helped pave the way for Deadpool‘s success.

The Matrix ($171,479,930)
The Wachowskis originally asked Warner Brothers for $80 million to film The Matrix. Warner Bros understandably balked at the suggestion and countered with a $10 million offer. The Wachowskis took this money and used every penny to film the movie's opening sequence with Carrie-Anne Moss, basically as test footage. The footage impressed Warner Bros so much, they agreed to green light the film with the full $80 million budget.
Rain Man ($172,825,435)
In the film, Dustin Hoffman's character remarks that Qantas is the only airline to never crash. This scene was cut from in-flight showings of the film on almost every airline... except Qantas. In fact, when one of the film's screenwriters traveled on a Qantas flight, the airline upgraded him to first class for free.
Air Force One ($172,956,409)
Speaking of flights, Air Force One director Wolfgang Petersen was denied access to the real Air Force One while doing research for the film. However, the White House agreed to let him board the plane after a call from Harrison Ford.
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There's Something About Mary ($176,484,651)
20th Century Fox was initially reluctant to let Ben Stiller to star in the lead role. After the Farrelly Brothers suggested the then unknown Owen Wilson, the studio relented and agreed to cast Stiller.
Pretty Woman ($178,406,268)
As you might already know, the famous scene where Richard Gere slams the jewelry box on Julia Robert's hand was improvised. Her reaction was real, but it wasn't the only authentic thing on set. The necklace itself was really worth a quarter of a million dollars and an armed guard was stationed on set just to protect the necklace
Gladiator ($187,705,427)
Speaking of improvised scenes, Joaquin Phoenix's line "Am I not merciful?" was ad-libbed and actress Connie Nielsen's frightened reaction was genuine.
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22 Jump Street ($191,719,337)
The follow up to 21 Jump Street is universally praised for its many in-jokes and meta-references. While discussing the operation's budget, Channing Tatum's character remarks "I thought we had Cate Blanchett for the budget?!" This is a reference to the Jonah Hill film How to Train Your Dragon 2, which opened the same day as 22 Jump Street and starred Cate Blanchett.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day ($204,843,345)
Terminator 2 is the only sequel in film history to win an Academy Award after the original film wasn't even nominated.
Wedding Crashers ($209,255,921)
While filming the dance scene at the engagement party, Christopher Walken kept whispering the word "fart" into Rachel McAdam's ear to keep her smiling.
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300 ($210,614,939)
Warner Bros had anticipated the film to perform at the same level as Sin City ($74 million), but were pleasantly surprised by is $200 million gross.
Saving Private Ryan ($216,540,909)
It's become a bit of a running joke that American has spent an inordinate amount of money trying to rescue Matt Damon in movies like The Martian and Saving Private Ryan. Originally director Steven Spielberg had decided to cast an unknown actor in the titular role, however before the movie was released Damon had become a household name for his Oscar winning film Good Will Hunting.
Ted ($218,815,487)
Ted marks the first live action project by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, however MacFarlane originally conceived of the idea for Ted as an animated series, similar to his past projects.
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The Exorcist ($232,906,145)
When adjusted for inflation, The Exorcist would be the highest grossing R-rated film of all-time. It was also the first horror film to be nominated for Best Picture (later followed by Jaws, The Silence of the Lambs, The Sixth Sense, and Black Swan).
Beverly Hills Cop ($234,760,478)
Beverly Hills Cop held the R-rated record for nearly twenty years until it was passed by 2003's The Matrix Reloaded. If inflation is taken into account, the movie would be the third highest grossing R-rated film of all-time behind The Exorcist and The Godfather.
The Hangover Part II  ($254,464,305)
The second Hangover film wasn't just a success for the studio, but for certain members of the cast and crew as well. Director Todd Phillips as well as actors Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, and Ed Helms all received a percentage of ticket sales in addition to their normal paycheck.
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The Hangover ($277,322,503)
Originally appearing on the 2007 edition of the Blacklist, The Hangover is still the highest grossing R-rated comedy of all-time.
The Matrix Reloaded ($281,576,461)
The Matrix Reloaded broke the 19 year record held by Beverly Hills Cop, but only held the record itself for less than a year, later being beat by The Passion of the Christ.
Deadpool ($285,639,009)
The R-rated blockbuster was almost never made. Deadpool was in development hell for nearly a decade. After some leaked test footage inspired an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response, the studio agreed to green light the project. When asked if he leaked the footage himself, Ryan Reynolds responded, "I would have, if I had known it would have caused that!... Now, we get to make the movie. We don’t get to make it with the budget of most superhero movies, but we get to make it the way we want to make it"
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American Sniper ($350,126,372)
After Bradley Cooper bought the rights to American Sniper, he considered giving the lead role to Chris Pratt before deciding to star in the movie himself. The real Chris Kyle once said that Clint Eastwood, and only Clint Eastwood, would be able to make a film about his life. In 2014, the Eastwood directed American Sniper received a Best Picture nomination.
The Passion of the Christ ($370,782,930)
The highest grossing R-rated film of all-time, The Passion of the Christ has still not been released in Israel. The film was not banned outright, but no Israeli distribution company would touch the movie.

All numbers are courtesy of Box Office Mojo.