Last weekend a movie called Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close expanded into over 2600 theaters after playing in just 6 theaters for the past month. That movie marks the return of Sandra Bullock to the big screen after more than two years.
When you’re a woman well into your 40’s in Hollywood, you tend to either be forgotten or downgraded to supporting roles. There are exceptions to this rule and Sandra Bullock is definitely one of those. At age 45 she exploded in 2009 with two big back-to-back hits, a Golden Globe and an Oscar, something not even her most optimistic fans could have anticipated. Today we take a look at the top 10 biggest Sandra Bullock box office hits in North America, adjusted for inflation.
10. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002) $95.1 million ($69.6M unadjusted) – Based on a novel sharing the same weird name, this film starred Ashley Judd and Maggie Smith among others (and obviously Sandra Bullock). I can’t say I’ve seen this one.
9. Hope Floats (1998) $101.6 million ($60M) – A little film directed by Forest Whitaker about a recently divorced woman trying to find love again. I saw this flick way back and I recon it deserves a look even if you’re not a fan of Sandra Bullock.
8. Demolition Man (1993) $111.3 million ($58M) – Loved this movie as a kid and at the time I had no idea who Sandra Bullock was (and frankly, very few did) but I knew Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes, which was more than enough for me. Very fun action flick featuring a 29-year-old Sandra Bullock, can’t go wrong with that.
7. Two Weeks Notice (2002) $124.3 million ($94.3M) – Sandra Bullock in full romantic comedy mode here and as charming as she’s ever been starring alongside a helpless Hugh Grant. Sure, it was very by-the-numbers but I still enjoyed Two Weeks Notice, mainly thanks to the two great leads.
6. While You Were Sleeping (1995) $147.9 million ($81M) – Forget what I said above, this is Sandra Bullock at her most charming. A funny little story about a lonely fare collector (Sandra Bullock) and her crush on a guy (Peter Gallagher) that she never spoke to. He gets mugged, she saves him, he goes into a coma, and she takes him to the hospital. One thing leads to another and his family now thinks she’s his fiancé. The rest you’ll have to find out yourself, trust me, it’s worth it.
5. Miss Congeniality (2000) $151.7 million ($106.8M) – This film has Sandra Bullock playing an FBI agent forced to go undercover as a contestant for the Miss United States beauty pageant. Thing is she’s not exactly the feminine type so her beauty couch, played by Michael Caine, has a though task ahead of him. They made a sequel five years later, one that’s best forgotten.
4. The Proposal (2009) $174.4 million ($163.9M) – Can you believe she was 43 when this was filmed? Anyway, starring alongside Ryan Reynolds (assistant/slave), she plays a pushy editor faced with deportation to Canada unless she does something about it. Her idea is to force her assistant (slave) to marry her, thus comedy ensues. Great chemistry between the leads and sharp writing make this one of the best comedies of 2009.
3. A Time to Kill (1996) $195.3 million ($108.7M) – I’m ashamed to admit that, as far as I remember, I have not seen A Time to Kill. According to IMDB, this is the plot: “A young lawyer defends a black man accused of murdering two men who raped his 10-year-old daughter, sparking a rebirth of the KKK.” Now that I know of this, I’ll definitely check it out and so should you.
2. Speed (1994) $230.3 million ($121.2M) – The movie that made Sandra Bullock and one of my all-time favorite action flicks. A simple idea, city bus rigged to explode must be kept at all times above 50 mph, is masterfully executed here by director Jan de Bont. Keanu Reeves plays a young cop that must prevent the bomb from exploding while Sandra Bullock drives the bus. Non-stop action and a must see for everyone. They made a Keanu Reeves-less sequel two years later, best not remembered.
1. The Blind Side (2009) $264.4 million ($255.9M) – In a year that had Avatar becoming the highest grossing movie of all time (unadjusted), The Blind Side was arguably the bigger surprise. Based on the true story of NFL player Michael Oher, this is one of those rare movies that just gets everything right, a must see. Sandra Bullock won a well deserved Oscar in 2010 for her role in this.
Finally I’d like to mention a movie that missed this top 10, The Lake House. This reunites Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves once again and at least in my opinion, it’s one of the best films of 2006. A perfect date movie that stays with you even after the credits stopped rolling. So what is your favorite Sandra Bullock flick?