I grew up watching Kevin Costner movies and there was a time when he was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. This weekend you can see him in the new drama Black or White so it’s as good a time as ever to look back at some of his biggest hits.
I’m having a hard time thinking of a Kevin Costner movie I didn’t find at the very least entertaining (yes, even Waterworld, I thought it was a blast) so while he’s not as popular today as he once was (sadly not even close), I say the man can do no wrong (at least in my book). Maybe I’m a fan and I never knew it until now, maybe.
Today we’ll be looking at the top 10 highest grossing movies of his career and because some of this titles are quite old, we’re doing US numbers adjusted for ticket price inflation (with the unadjusted figures in parenthesis).
10. Tin Cup (1996) – $101.1 million ($53.9M)
As you will soon find out (in case you didn’t already know this), Kevin Costner likes his sports movies. He’s got a bunch on here starting with this one, Tin Cup, about a washed up golf player. It was the 28th most successful movie of 1996 in the US.
9. Bull Durham (1988) – $102.8 million ($50.9M)
With Bull Durham we switch to baseball and move all the way to 18th for the year 1988. Nominated for an Oscar (Best Writing) Bull Durham is among Kevin Costner’s best movies.
8. Field of Dreams (1989) – $134.7 million ($64.4M)
“If you build it, he will come“. How do you top Bull Durham? Why with the now classic Field of Dreams, the 19th highest grossing movie of 1989 in the US (despite making quite a bit more money than Bull Durham). Field of Dreams was nominated for three Oscars including Best Picture and Best Writing. This was Kevin Costner at his best.
7. JFK (1991) – $140.5 million ($70.4M)
Oliver Stone’s conspiracy drama about the assassination of the American president was the 17th movie of 1991 domestically. It also won two Oscars (out of a total of eight nominations including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor for Tommy Lee Jones). JFK is another must see in Kevin Costner’s library.
6. The Untouchables (1987) – $161.9 million ($76.3M)
Up to this point we’ve only had great to fantastic movies starring Kevin Costner, this one is no different. The Untouchables is a crime drama set during the prohibition years in Chicago. Yeap, it’s about catching Al Capone and won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor (Sean Connery). The Untouchables finished 1987 in 6th and it was the first time a Kevin Costner movie made it into the top 10, it would not be the last.
5. Waterworld (1995) – $168.4 million ($88.2M)
His luck had to run out at some point, right? While I still enjoyed Waterworld for what it was, this is without a doubt an epic box office flop. But wait, Waterworld came in 12th in the US and 9th worldwide ($264.2 million), how is that a flop? Well it is because Waterworld was the most expensive movie of all time in 1995 with a reported budget of $175 million. To give you an idea, Guardians of the Galaxy, a film made 19 years later, cost less ($170 million).
4. The Bodyguard (1992) – $244.2 million ($122M)
A lot would probably swear by this movie, I’m not one of them. I would rank Waterworld or The Postman above this any day. Regardless of what I think The Bodyguard is one of Kevin Costner’s most successful films, finishing 1992 in 7th in the US and 2nd worldwide (behind Aladdin).
3. Man of Steel (2013) – $288.3 million ($291M)
Not a lot of Kevin Costner in Man of Steel but he does the absolute best he can with what he’s got. Turns out Mr. Costner is a great Jonathan Kent. Man of Steel was 5th in the US and 9th worldwide.
2. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) – $326.3 million ($165.5M)
Just like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Terminator, when I see Kevin Costner I immediately associate him with this movie. I guess because I’ve watched it so many times when I was little, for me Kevin Costner was Robin Hood. Then obviously I discovered better Robin Hoods, but there’s still a spot in my heart for his version. There’s also that Bryan Adams song which was nominated for an Oscar (good luck getting it out of your head anytime soon). Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves finished 1991 in 2nd both in the US and worldwide (behind Terminator 2 of all things).
1. Dances with Wolves (1990) – $362.7 million ($184.2M)
Kevin Costner’s masterpiece ends up being his most successful movie, not surprising. Winner of 7 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director (Kevin Costner), this was the 3rd highest grossing movie in the US and the 4th worldwide in 1990. Even without adjusting for inflation, Dances with Wolves is still is the top Western of all time in the US.
What is your favorite Kevin Costner film?