The 10 Biggest Movies From 1991 - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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The 10 Biggest Movies From 1991

What was your favourite film from 1991? And did it make the end of year top 10? Find out below...
1991 was quite a diverse year for cinema goers and film in general. One of the big releases would go on to sweep the Big Five Oscars at the Academy Awards and in doing so become only the third film to achieve that feat, and even more rarely the only movie catagorised in the horror genre to win Best Picture. Disney also made waves at the Oscars when their 1991 offering became the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture. But it was the groundbreaking special effects work within a big-budget science fiction tale which ruled the summer that year, and had everyone grateful that Arnold Schwarzenneger had made good on his promise of "I'll be back."

Outside of the top 10, films like Thelma & Louise, The Doors, City Slickers, Point Break, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, and The Commitments all found varying degrees of success, many becomming bigger hits when released on home video. 1991 also saw some later household names make their cinematic debut in, what was often, no more than a bit part; Steve Carrell appeared in Curly Sue, Halle Berry in Jungle Fever, Philip Seymour Hoffman in Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole, Reese Witherspoon in The Man in the Moon, and Leonardo DiCaprio in his masterpiece (a-hem) Critters 3.

But what of the big 10? Without further ado, let's count them down. How many of these did you go and see at the cinema in 1991?
10. Hot Shots!
Yeah. I wouldn't have thought it either. Directed by Jim Abrahams, the co-writer and co-director of Airplane! who also clearly likes to use exclamation marks in his movie titles (see also Top Secret! and The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!), I'm not sure Hot Shots! is now considered as much of a comedy classic as his earlier spoof masterpiece, but boy did it do the business in 1991.

Starring Charlie Sheen, Hot Shots! is primarily a parody of Top Gun, with some scenes spoofing other popular films, including 9+1⁄2 Weeks, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Dances with Wolves, Marathon Man, Rocky, Superman and Gone with the Wind. Debuting at number one in the United States, Hot Shots! was both a critical and commercial success, grossing over $180 million worldwide on a $26 million budget. The Rambo-spoofing sequel Hot Shots! Part Deux arrived two years later, it didn't quite match the original in box office but still netted in excess of $100 million profit, so what do I know?
9. Cape Fear
Martin Scorsese's 1991 psychological thriller Cape Fear was a remake of the 1962 film of the same name which was based on John D. MacDonald's 1957 novel, The Executioners. Starring a chillingly terrifying Robert De Niro, alongside Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange, Joe Don Baker, and an impressive performance by young Juliette Lewis. Also appearing in Cape Fear were Robert Mitchum, Gregory Peck (in what would be his final theatrical film role) and Martin Balsam; all three starred in the original film.

An unsettling watch, Cape Fear tells the story of a convicted rapist, who, mostly by using his newfound knowledge of the law and its numerous loopholes, seeks vengeance against a former public defender, whom he blames for his 14-year imprisonment because of the purposefully faulty defense tactics used during his trial. Several scenes stay with you long after the credits have finished rolling, meaning there were many nightmares taking place back in 1991 as Cape Fear proved to be a huge box-office success, making $182,291,969 worldwide on a $35-million budget.
8. The Addams Family
Their creepy and their kooky... And they were back! Back in a full-length supernatural black comedy from director Barry Sonnenfeld (in what was his screen directing debut). Starring Anjelica Huston, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance as Morticia Addams, Raul Julia as Gomez Addams, and Christopher Lloyd. The film focuses on a bizarre, macabre, aristocratic family who reconnect with who they believe to be a long-lost relative, Gomez's brother Fester Addams, but is he? No spoilers!

The Addams Family also featured Christina Ricci as Wednesday Addams in what may just be the most perfect piece of casting, among an incredibly well cast film. The production wasn't exactly a smooth one, and budget's balooned throughout filming, but with a final worldwide box office of $191.5 million against a $30 million shooting cost, The Addams Family did more than enough business to garner a sequel, 1993's Addams Family Values.
7. The Naked Gun 2+1⁄2: The Smell of Fear
Jim Abrahams had quite a year. The team of Zucker, Abrahams, Zucker not only scored big with Hot Shots! but brought Leslie Nielsen's comically bumbling Police Lt. Frank Drebin of 1982s Police Squad! and 1988s The Naked Gun back to the big screen in the sequel The Naked Gun 2+1⁄2: The Smell of Fear.

David Zucker returned from the first entry as director (with Abrahmas and Jerry Zucker acting as Executive Producers) and he was no doubt disappointed when almost all initial reviews for The Naked Gun 2+1⁄2: The Smell of Fear were negative, with some stating that the funniest things were the poster, end credits and title! The movie, though, was said to be short on laughs. Good job for Zucker that the public widely disagreed with the critics and The Naked Gun 2+1⁄2: The Smell of Fear proved a huge success, knocking Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves from the top spot at the U.S. box office upon release, the movie grossed a worldwide total of $192 million against a budget of just $23 million. Guaranteeing itself a threequel, in the form of 1994's Naked Gun 33+1⁄3: The Final Insult (but let's not go there).
6. JFK
Oliver Stone's epic political thriller that examined the events leading to the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 and alleged cover-up through the eyes of former New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison does not exactly sound like box-office gold. More a small screen docu-drama (which it would likely be if made today). But having just won his second Best Director Oscar for 1989's Born on the Fourth of July, Stone was given carte-blanche on projects and attracted a who's who of Hollywood quality to JFK.

Starring Kevin Costner as James "Jim" Garrison, the ensemble also featured Kevin Bacon, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman, Donald Sutherland, John Candy, Laurie Metcalf, Sissy Spacek, Joe Pesci, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ed Asner and many many more. Running in excess of three hours, and produced on a budget of $40 million, JFK proved that there was still massive interest in the truth behind the events of November 22nd 1963 as the final box-office gross of $205.44 million attests. Whether that truth was uncovered within JFK or not is still to be discovered.
5. The Silence of the Lambs
This is the movie that won the Big Five at the Academy Awards. The Silence of the Lambs took home Best Picture, Best Director (Jonathan Demme), Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins), Best Actress (Jodie Foster), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Ted Tally), and is one of only three film's in history to accomplish that feat. It is also the only Best Picture winner widely considered a horror film, and one of only six horror films to have been nominated in the category. I'd say it's more a psychological thriller, like Cape Fear, but potato potahto.

The 1991 box-office took everyone by surprise, with a final total of $272.7 million against just a $19 million budget. Hannibal the Cannibal took his place in pop-culture, and Hopkins returned to the role a decade later for a sequel, followed by two prequels. In my humble opinion, all are interesting viewing but none ever quite match this 1991 masterpiece. Indeed, The Silence of the Lambs is still regularly cited by critics, film directors and audiences as one of the greatest and most influential films of all time.
4. Hook
Steven Spielberg's oddly updated take on Peter Pan was the Christmas hit of 1991, but I find it a missed opportunity from the usually great filmmaker, and a movie which really hasn't aged that well. Starring the late great Robin Williams as the boy who never grew-up but then did grow-up (!), Hook saw an impressive collection of acting talent in the supporting roles; including Dustin Hoffman as the titular Captain James Hook, Julia Roberts as an uncomfortably sexualised Tinker Bell and an underutalised (but exceptional when allowed to be) Bob Hoskins as Smee.

All this said, Hook certainly did the business back in 1991 as it took $300 million at the worldwide box-office, although this was against a excessive-for-the-day $70 million budget, meaning the final profit for the film would be lower than some of the other movies we've covered already in the top 10.
3. Beauty and the Beast
Walt Disney first attempted to adapt the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast into an animated film during the 1930s and 1950s, but was unsuccessful on both occasions. Following the success of 1989's The Little Mermaid, Walt Disney Pictures returned to the idea. What a fortuitous decision it proved to be. Beauty and the Beast returned the House of Mouse to cinematic glory, with a huge take of $440 million worldwide against at $25 million budget.

Beauty and the Beast featured Disney's first use of 3D CGI animated rendering, within the stunning ballroom scene, used to compliment the traditionally hand-drawn and animated characters dance. A quantum-leap in animation, Beauty and the Beast became the first animated film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture at the 64th Academy Awards, where it won the Academy Award for Best Original Score and Best Original Song for its title theme.
2. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Yes it's that film featuring that song. 1991's ubiquitous movie and pop hit didn't quite top the end of year cinema charts but nobody involved in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves will be complaining about the $390.5 million final figure against a $48 million budget.

Kevin Costner, who would score four huge box-office hits within the space of 18 months between 1990 and 1992 (Dances with Wolves, JFK, this and The Bodyguard), stars in Kevin Reynolds take on the English folk tale of Robin Hood. He's backed by a cast featuring Morgan Freeman, Christian Slater, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and a scene stealing Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham. Costner's performance received poor reviews from almost every critic, and he went on to win the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor, but the public seemingly didn't care as the film stayed in cinemas for months, no doubt helped by it's theme. Bryan Adams (Everything I Do) I Do It for You which hit the number-one position on the music charts of at least nineteen countries, most notably in the UK where it spent sixteen consecutive weeks at number one, the longest uninterrupted run ever to date. Sigh.
1. Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Your number one film of 1991 is Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Schwarzenegger always said he'd be back, and when he made good on that promise, he made good BIG time! The sequel to the 1984 film Terminator saw the star reunite with director James Cameron and followed Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and her ten-year-old son John (Edward Furlong) as they are pursued by a new, more advanced Terminator: the liquid metal, shapeshifting T-1000 (Robert Patrick), sent back in time to kill John and prevent him from becoming the leader of the human resistance. A second, less-advanced Terminator (Schwarzenegger) is also sent back in time by the "Resistance" to protect John.

A critical success upon its release, with praise going towards the performances of its cast, the action scenes, and its visual effects, Terminator 2: Judgement Day is widely regarded as superior to the original film and one of the best sequels ever made. The film influenced popular culture, especially through the use of its groundbreaking visual effects, and grossed a massive $520 million worldwide, against an approximate $100 million budget - making it the most expensive film produced at the time.

Not only is Terminator 2: Judgement Day the highest-grossing film of 1991 it is also the highest-grossing of Schwarzenegger's career. It went on to receive several accolades, including Academy Awards for Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Sound, Best Makeup, and Best Visual Effects, and the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation - Long Form. And of course spawned a multitude of lessor received sequels, prequels and alternates - but let's not go there today.

And there you have it, the ten highest grossing movies of 1991. How many of them did you go and see at the cinema? And which was your favourite?

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