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Here’s The Top-Grossing Political Campaign Films, In Honor of “The Ides of March”

Here's The Top-Grossing Political Campaign Films, In Honor of "The Ides of March"

In honor of the release of George Clooney’s “The Ides or March” this weekend, indieWIRE is offering up this list of the top-grossing political campaign movies of all time.

If “March” — which stars Ryan Gosling, Evan Rachel Wood, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti and Clooney himself — wants to end up topping the list, it needs to aim for the benchmark set by Jonathan Demme’s remake of “The Manchurian Candidate,” which grossed respectable $65.9 million in 2004. Though if one adjusts for inflation, the film to beat is actually 1993’s Kevin Kline comedy “Dave,” which grossed $97,918,976 in 2011 dollars (even without adjusting, “Dave” is a closer second to “Candidate”).

Overall, the list suggests that the political campaign film is not exactly a big money maker, especially when the films aren’t comedic. Of the top 10, seven are comedies, featuring the likes of Chris Rock (“Head of State”), Robin Williams (“Man of the Year”), Eddie Murphy (“The Distinguished Gentleman”) and Chris Farley (“Black Sheep”) all running for office. Also notable is the fact that none of them feature women running for office,

Outside the top 10, things start getting a bit more eclectic: Alexander Payne — who directed Clooney in the upcoming “The Descendants” — saw his “Election” gross $14,902,041 back in 1999 (#16 on the list); Oscar nominees like “The Contender” and “Nixon” sit at #14 and #18 with grosses in the mid-teens, respectively; Jerry Schatzberg’s 1979 film “The Seduction of Joe Tynan (starring Meryl Streep, who also is in “The Manchurian Candidate”) is the only pre-1980s in the top 25 with a gross of $19,595,168, or just over $60 million if one adjusts for inflation.

One thing “The Ides of March” should definitely not hope for is the fate of 2006’s similarly star-studded “All The King’s Men,” which grossed only $7,221,458 and sits at #19.

Here’s the overall top 10; figures are for North America only and not adjusted for inflation.

1. The Manchurian Candidate (2004) – $65,955,630
2. Dave (1993) – $63,270,710
3. The Adjustment Bureau (2011) – $62,495,645
4. The American President (1995) – $60,079,496
5. The Distinguished Gentleman (1992) – $46,666,502
6. Wag The Dog (1997) – $43,061,945
7. Primary Colors (1998) – $39,001,187
8. Head of State (2003) – $38,125,247
9. Man of the Year (2006) – $37,327,390
10. Black Sheep (1996) – $32,417,995

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