The 40 Highest-Grossing Romantic Dramas of All Time

Samantha Sutton | Feb 11, 2019 Movies
The 40 Highest-Grossing Romantic Dramas of All Time
Image: Sony Pictures

The Vow movie
Sony Pictures

For some, date night happens on a weekly basis, but for others, that's just not the case. To-do lists are super long, our stress levels are through the roof, and particularly when it comes to parents, we're so busy taking care of our kids that it can be tough to find time for a night out on the town. For true romantics, however, the sky is the limit when it comes to squeezing in a little private time with the one they love. Even if there's no candlelit date night planned, or a fancy gift exchange, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate each other in the comfort of our own homes, cuddled up in pajamas.

One particular option that we're pretty into? Watching a movie, whether it's something from the Hallmark Channel, a hilarious rom-com, or even a gory, horror film.
There are also romantic dramas too choose from -- those movies that are packed with intense love stories, nail-biting challenges, ups and downs, and a handful scenes that will make us ugly-cry into a box of tissues. We can't help but love 'em, and with hundreds of options that fall into this category, we're bound to find something that everyone (as in, us and our significant other, the kids, or our friends) can enjoy.

And yet, we're still so indecisive. 

So, we decided to narrow things down in a very official way, compiling a list of the 40 romantic dramas that topped box office charts.

From classics, like The Notebook, to the super sexy Fifty Shades trilogy, it's time to be reminded of all our old favorites, as well as the stuff we haven't watched yet (but totally should).

  • 40. 'A Walk in the Clouds'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $50,008,143

    A married soldier (Keanu Reeves) returning from war pretends to be a pregnant woman's husband in order to save her from the ire of her strict family.

  • 39. 'Sommersby'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $50,081,992

    After being presumed dead, a man returns from war six years later. But the way he behaves soon leaves people suspicious and wondering if he's an impostor.

  • 38. 'If I Stay'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $50,474,843

    After a car crash, Mia, who's in now in a coma, gets the chance to reflect on her life and have an out-of-body experience. She now has a choice to make: Wake up and live a life that's different than the one she planned, or go.

  • 37. 'Up Close & Personal'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $51,088,705

    A young broadcast journalist rising in the ranks is mentored by her boss

    ... and the two also fall in love.

  • 36. 'The Lake House'


    Rated: PG

    What It Made: $52,330,111

    Two lonely occupants of a lake house -- one current and one former -- begin exchanging love letters through a mailbox, and must figure out the mystery in order to meet.

  • 35. 'Message in a Bottle'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $52,880,016

    After finding a heartbreaking love letter on the beach, a journalist tracks down the author and ends up falling for him.

  • 34. 'P.S. I Love You'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $53,695,808

    After the love of her life (Gerard Butler) dies from illness, a woman (Hilary Swank) receives previously planned messages from him, which are meant to help her grieve and move on.

  • 33. 'Me Before You'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $56,245,075

    When a quirky young woman takes a job as a caretaker for a wealthy, paralyzed banker, she ends up changing his outlook on life

    ... and the two unexpectedly form a deep bond.

  • 32. 'Water for Elephants'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $58,709,717

    A former veterinary student ends up as an animal caretaker for the circus where he meets -- and falls in love with -- a performer, who also happens to be the ringleader's wife.

  • 31. 'The Blue Lagoon'


    Rated: R

    What It Made: $58,853,106

    Following a shipwreck, two children learn to survive on a deserted island, but things become complicated as they mature.

  • 30. 'Far and Away'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $58,883,840

    Two Irish immigrants struggle to make it in America, especially when it comes to money, and end up developing feelings for each other.

  • 29. 'Hope Floats'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $60,053,195

    After she finds out her husband cheated on her, Birdee (Sandra Bullock) moves back to her hometown with her daughter and ends up reconnecting with an old friend.

  • 28. 'The Lucky One'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $60,457,138

    A man is convinced that he remained alive during war, thanks to a photograph of a woman who he doesn't know. So he sets out to find her once he's back home.

  • 27. 'The Last Song'


    Rated: PG

    What It Made: $62,950,384

    A rebellious teen is sent to spend the summer with her father, where they learn to reconnect through their love of music.

  • 26. 'The Time Traveler's Wife'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $63,414,846

    A man, who has a gene that causes him to time travel unexpectedly, marries the love of his life. But since he's unable stay in the same place for long, things, naturally, become complicated.

  • 25. 'Dirty Dancing'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $63,954,274

    While spending the summer in the Catskills with her family, a young woman ends up partnering with and falling for the camp''s dance instructor.

    Unfortunately, her father disapproves.

  • 24. 'Legends of the Fall'


    Rated: R

    What It Made: $66,638,883

    Three brothers living in the wilderness with their father encounter challenges when it comes to love, loyalty, and betrayal.

  • 23. 'Safe Haven'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $71,349,120

    A young woman comes to town to start a new life and escape her tragic past. She soon meets a widower she ends up falling for.

  • 22. 'The Bridges of Madison County'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $71,516,617

    A photographer who's shooting historic bridges finds his soulmate in a married housewife whose husband and children are away on a trip.

  • 21. 'The Horse Whisperer'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $75,383,563

    When a teen and her horse are involved in an accident, her mother contacts a "horse whisperer" so they can both heal.

  • 20. 'The English Patient'


    Rated: R

    What It Made: $78,676,425

    As a nurse helps a man who was badly burned in WWII, his life and love story are revealed in a series of flashbacks.

  • 19. 'City of Angels'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $78,685,114

    An invisible angel, who wanders Earth and helps humans travel to the afterlife, is seen by a doctor. And now he's willing to give up his immortality to be with her.

  • 18. 'Dear John'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $80,014,842

    A soldier strikes up a romance with a college student while he's home on leave. And afterward, the two continue their relationship through love letters.

  • 17. 'The Notebook'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $81,001,787

    A poor young man (Ryan Gosling) and a wealthy young woman (Rachel McAdams) fall for each other despite their differences. But those same differences, paired with war, threaten to keep them apart.

  • 16. 'Brokeback Mountain'


    Rated: R

    What It Made: $83,043,761

    Two cowboys have a secret, forbidden affair over the course of 20 years.

  • 15. 'Out of Africa'


    Rated: PG

    What It Made: $87,071,205

    A wealthy, upper-class woman travels to Africa with her husband, where she has an affair with a hunter and ultimately, is forced to make a choice.

  • 14. 'Cold Mountain'


    Rated: R

    What It Made: $95,636,509

    A wounded American Civil War soldier decides to desert his unit and travel back home to reunite with his wife.

  • 13. 'Fifty Shades Freed'


    Rated: R

    What It Made: $100,407,760

    Anastasia and Christian finally say "I do," but Ana's former boss begins to stalk them and threaten their relationship.

  • 12. 'Indecent Proposal'


    Rated: R

    What It Made: $106,614,059

    A husband and wife struggling with money during the recession end up meeting a wealthy man who offers them $1 million dollars ... if he can sleep with the wife.

  • 11. 'Fifty Shades Darker'


    Rated: R

    What It Made: $114,581,250

    When Christian comes back into Anastasia's life hoping to start things over, she's forced to deal with the women from his past.

  • 10. 'The Bodyguard'


    Rated: R

    What It Made: $122,006,740

    After a singer rises to a level of fame where she's now receiving threats, she hires a former Secret Service agent as her bodyguard.

    They end up developing a close relationship.

  • 9. 'The Fault in Our Stars'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $124,872,350

    Two teen cancer patients meet, fall for each other, and go on an adventure together to Amsterdam to meet their favorite author.

  • 8. 'The Vow'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $125,014,030

    A bad car accident leads to a woman's memory loss. And now, she must fall in love with her husband (Channing Tatum) all over again.

  • 7. 'An Officer and a Gentleman'


    Rated: R

    What It Made: $129,795,554

    A man (Richard Gere) goes through training to become a Navy pilot while dealing with a no-nonsense drill sergeant and a new relationship.

  • 6. 'The Great Gatsby'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $144,840,419

    An aspiring writer becomes fascinated with the life and past of the mysterious, party-throwing billionaire, Jay Gatsby.

  • 5. 'Jerry Maguire'


    Rated: R

    What It Made: $153,952,592

    After a sports agent (Tom Cruise) is fired, he starts his own management firm with the help of his former secretary. The two struggle to make things work with their new and only client, all while falling in love.

  • 4. 'Fifty Shades of Grey'


    Rated: R

    What It Made: $166,167,230

    A college woman gets mixed up in an intense relationship with a billionaire after interviewing him for an article.

  • 3. 'Pearl Harbor'

    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $198,542,554

    Two lifelong friends (Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett) and US Air Force pilots become involved with the same woman while dealing with the events of WWII.

  • 2. 'Ghost'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $217,631,306

    After the love of her life is murdered, a woman reconnects with his spirit with the help of a psychic.

  • 1. 'Titanic'


    Rated: PG-13

    What It Made: $659,363,944

    A wealthy woman falls in love with a poor artist on board of the ill-fated ship, the Titanic.

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