Special Report

Highest-Grossing Sports Movies Ever Made

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Successful sports movies often conjure an effect that’s similar to the experience of the real thing. Indeed, watching something like “Rocky” or “Any Given Sunday” for the first time is not all that different from viewing an actual boxing match or football game, respectively. Throw in a good underdog story and some time-tested filmmaking techniques and an already gripping situation becomes all the more so, with serious ticket sales numbers to show for it. (It didn’t hurt the success of the Rocky franchise that its creator and principal was Sylvester Stallone, one of the most popular action stars of all time.)

To determine the highest-grossing sports movies ever made, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data from film industry site The Numbers, an online movie database owned by Nash Information Services. Sports movies were ranked based on inflation-adjusted worldwide ticket sales as of March 6, 2023. Ticket sales figures were adjusted for inflation using historical ticket prices from the National Association of Theatre Owners. Data on ratings IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes ratings are current as of March 2023. Cast credits are from IMDb.

Click here to see the highest-grossing sports movies ever made

While the majority of blockbuster sports movies focus on comebacks and competitions, the tone or style can shift wildly from one title to the next. Films such as “Major League” and “Caddyshack,” for example, feature traditional subgenre tropes but are mostly played for laughs. Compare that to “Creed” or “Remember the Titans,” which interweave intense personal struggles with epic showdowns and retain a primarily dramatic tone. (Some inspirational moments in such films count among the most movie speeches ever delivered in a movie.)

Then there are the movies that use sports as a recurring backdrop while arguably telling a largely character-driven story. Examples include everything from “Jerry Maguire” to “Field of Dreams” to “Heaven Can Wait.” It all goes to show that the sports movie subgenre is far more diverse than one might suspect.  

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

50. Major League (1989)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $114.3 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.2/10 (65,430 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 84% (91,250 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 83% (40 reviews)
> Starring: Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen

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Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

49. Slap Shot (1977)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $115.0 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10 (35,678 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 89% (39,996 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 85% (34 reviews)
> Starring: Paul Newman, Michael Ontkean, Strother Martin

Source: Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

48. Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $117.8 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.6/10 (107,098 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 73% (469,806 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 85% (157 reviews)
> Starring: Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

47. Rookie of the Year (1993)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $118.5 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.1/10 (26,813 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 52% (51,280 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 35% (20 reviews)
> Starring: Thomas Ian Nicholas, Gary Busey, Albert Hall

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Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures

46. The Rookie (2002)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $127.1 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.9/10 (35,440 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 70% (61,164 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 84% (155 reviews)
> Starring: Dennis Quaid, J.D. Evermore, Rachel Griffiths

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

45. Moneyball (2011)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $128.6 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (428,352 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 86% (92,018 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 94% (267 reviews)
> Starring: Brad Pitt, Robin Wright, Jonah Hill

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Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures

44. The Color of Money (1986)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $129.1 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.0/10 (78,707 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 73% (46,136 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 89% (47 reviews)
> Starring: Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

Source: Courtesy of TriStar Pictures

43. The Natural (1984)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $130.7 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.5/10 (46,699 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 88% (37,824 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 82% (45 reviews)
> Starring: Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

42. The Hurricane (1999)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $133.9 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (98,363 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 87% (55,668 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 83% (114 reviews)
> Starring: Denzel Washington, Vicellous Shannon, Deborah Kara Unger

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Source: Courtesy of United Artists

41. Rollerball (1975)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $135.4 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.6/10 (23,901 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 61% (12,309 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 67% (33 reviews)
> Starring: James Caan, John Houseman, Maud Adams

Source: Courtesy of Orion Pictures

40. Caddyshack (1980)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $135.7 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10 (111,106 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 87% (203,887 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 73% (59 reviews)
> Starring: Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray

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Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

39. Ali (2001)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $142.2 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.7/10 (101,040 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 65% (107,316 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 68% (156 reviews)
> Starring: Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Jon Voight

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

38. Field of Dreams (1989)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $147.9 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.5/10 (114,391 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 86% (193,036 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 87% (63 reviews)
> Starring: Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

37. The Fighter (2010)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $150.1 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (371,534 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 89% (121,585 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 91% (254 reviews)
> Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams

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Source: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

36. Cinderella Man (2005)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $150.1 million
> IMDb user rating: 8.0/10 (189,703 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 91% (282,263 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 80% (215 reviews)
> Starring: Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, Craig Bierko

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

35. Invictus (2009)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $152.1 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10 (161,444 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 75% (211,985 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 76% (246 reviews)
> Starring: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Tony Kgoroge

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Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

34. Bring It On (2000)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $153.7 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.1/10 (91,811 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 66% (767,699 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 63% (120 reviews)
> Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jesse Bradford

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

33. Tin Cup (1996)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $157.2 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.4/10 (48,138 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 65% (49,190 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 72% (53 reviews)
> Starring: Kevin Costner, Rene Russo, Don Johnson

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

32. Any Given Sunday (1999)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $181.4 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.9/10 (115,431 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 73% (138,971 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 52% (124 reviews)
> Starring: Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid, Cameron Diaz

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Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

31. The Bad News Bears (1976)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $182.1 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10 (21,675 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 80% (40,413 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 97% (33 reviews)
> Starring: Walter Matthau, Tatum O’Neal, Vic Morrow

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

30. Creed (2015)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $188.6 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (258,408 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 89% (76,266 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 95% (311 reviews)
> Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson

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Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

29. Blades of Glory (2007)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $193.8 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.3/10 (162,814 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 68% (1,403,104 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 70% (188 reviews)
> Starring: Will Ferrell, Jon Heder, Amy Poehler

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

28. White Men Can’t Jump (1992)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $200.3 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.8/10 (80,745 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 68% (161,822 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 77% (56 reviews)
> Starring: Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson, Rosie Perez

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

27. The Longest Yard (1974)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $208.4 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.1/10 (18,055 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 75% (81,360 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 79% (34 reviews)
> Starring: Burt Reynolds, Eddie Albert, Ed Lauter

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Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

26. Creed II (2018)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $214.8 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.1/10 (114,186 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 79% (5,818 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 83% (309 reviews)
> Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

25. Rocky Balboa (2006)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $218.5 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.1/10 (209,597 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 76% (515,467 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 77% (183 reviews)
> Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Tarver, Milo Ventimiglia

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Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

24. Ford v Ferrari (2019)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $224.4 million
> IMDb user rating: 8.1/10 (398,868 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 98% (24,159 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 92% (351 reviews)
> Starring: Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

23. Seabiscuit (2003)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $225.9 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10 (74,088 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 76% (118,456 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 77% (206 reviews)
> Starring: Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, Elizabeth Banks

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

22. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $227.8 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.6/10 (174,863 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 73% (554,569 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 71% (187 reviews)
> Starring: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Sacha Baron Cohen

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Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures

21. Remember the Titans (2000)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $232.4 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (218,344 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 93% (578,366 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 73% (135 reviews)
> Starring: Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

20. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $247.5 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.7/10 (237,668 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 76% (995,807 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 71% (165 reviews)
> Starring: Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, Vince Vaughn

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Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

19. The Karate Kid (1984)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $247.7 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10 (208,387 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 82% (316,745 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 89% (44 reviews)
> Starring: Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Elisabeth Shue

Source: Courtesy of MGM/UA Distribution Company

18. Rocky V (1990)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $260.4 million
> IMDb user rating: 5.3/10 (131,727 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 31% (268,285 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 30% (37 reviews)
> Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

17. The Longest Yard (2005)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $273.7 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.4/10 (169,218 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 62% (32,774,364 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 31% (170 reviews)
> Starring: Adam Sandler, Burt Reynolds, Chris Rock

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Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

16. The Karate Kid II (1986)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $284.2 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.1/10 (83,939 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 51% (122,106 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 44% (32 reviews)
> Starring: Pat Morita, Ralph Macchio, Pat E. Johnson

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

15. A League of Their Own (1992)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $292.3 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10 (111,120 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 84% (367,100 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 79% (72 reviews)
> Starring: Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Lori Petty

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Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

14. Million Dollar Baby (2004)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $342.1 million
> IMDb user rating: 8.1/10 (657,818 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 90% (405,182 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 90% (271 reviews)
> Starring: Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

13. Days of Thunder (1990)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $342.2 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.1/10 (83,639 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 60% (132,487 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 38% (65 reviews)
> Starring: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Robert Duvall

Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

12. Cool Runnings (1993)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $343.0 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.0/10 (106,274 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 81% (533,040 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 76% (42 reviews)
> Starring: John Candy, Leon, Doug E. Doug

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Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Distribution Company

11. The Love Bug (1968)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $344.0 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.5/10 (15,273 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 66% (39,860 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 76% (17 reviews)
> Starring: Dean Jones, Michele Lee, David Tomlinson

Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures

10. The Waterboy (1998)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $371.5 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.1/10 (154,911 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 71% (910,858 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 34% (76 reviews)
> Starring: Adam Sandler, Kathy Bates, Henry Winkler

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Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

9. The Blind Side (2009)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $373.4 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (336,377 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 85% (431,935 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 66% (206 reviews)
> Starring: Quinton Aaron, Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

8. Heaven Can Wait (1978)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $386.8 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.9/10 (19,919 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 68% (13,245 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 88% (42 reviews)
> Starring: Warren Beatty, James Mason, Julie Christie

Source: Courtesy of MGM/UA Entertainment Company

7. Rocky III (1982)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $389.6 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.8/10 (181,323 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 74% (345,635 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 63% (38 reviews)
> Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young

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Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

6. The Karate Kid (2010)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $408.4 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.2/10 (170,735 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 67% (283,195 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 66% (211 reviews)
> Starring: Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith, Taraji P. Henson

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

5. Space Jam (1996)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $518.5 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.5/10 (189,004 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 63% (656,092 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 44% (82 reviews)
> Starring: Michael Jordan, Wayne Knight, Theresa Randle

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Source: Courtesy of TriStar Pictures

4. Jerry Maguire (1996)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $566.9 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10 (252,443 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 79% (442,557 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 84% (87 reviews)
> Starring: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renée Zellweger

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

3. Rocky II (1979)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $742.4 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10 (199,232 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 82% (346,452 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 71% (31 reviews)
> Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young

Source: Courtesy of MGM/UA Entertainment Company

2. Rocky IV (1985)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $775.0 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.9/10 (194,615 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 75% (325,793 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 40% (48 reviews)
> Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young

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Source: Courtesy of United Artists

1. Rocky (1976)
> Worldwide ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $967.6 million
> IMDb user rating: 8.1/10 (539,768 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 69% (33,403,994 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 93% (67 reviews)
> Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young

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