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Top Grossing Gangster Movies

Top Grossing Gangster Movies

Hollywood has long had a love affair with the world of organized crime. The sex, drugs, greed and violence were seemingly made for film. It all started in 1932, when the original "Scarface," directed by Howard Hawks and produced by Howard Hughes, hit the big screen. Censors demanded the subtitle “The Shame of the Nation” be added so filmgoers wouldn’t view the movie as a glorification of gangster life. So much for that."Scarface" was the most violent film of its time, and set the bar high for fu
Photo: Cover: Paramount Pictures | Moviepix | Getty Images

Hollywood has long had a love affair with the world of organized crime. The sex, drugs, greed and violence were seemingly made for film.

It all started in 1932, when the original "Scarface," directed by Howard Hawks and produced by Howard Hughes, hit the big screen. Censors demanded the subtitle “The Shame of the Nation” be added so filmgoers wouldn’t view the movie as a glorification of gangster life. So much for that.

"Scarface" was the most violent film of its time, and set the bar high for future gang-related movies.

Here, we take a look at a full baker's dozen of the most successful gangster movies of all time based on inflation-adjusted box office sales.

Posted 25 July, 2011
By Constance Parten, Senior Producer

13. Carlito's Way

Total Domestic Gross: $54.97 millionStudio: UniversalRelease Date: November 12, 1993Production Budget: $30 millionDid you know?Al Pacino had difficulty with his scenes with Jorge Porcel, who played Saso, the club owner. The actor, who was primarily a television comedian, spoke no English and learned his lines phonetically.
Image: Universal Studios

Total Domestic Gross: $54.97 million
Studio: Universal
Release Date: Nov. 12, 1993
Production Budget: $30 million

Did you know?
Al Pacino had difficulty with his scenes with Jorge Porcel, who played Saso, the club owner. Porcel, who was primarily a television comedian, spoke no English and learned his lines phonetically.

Source: boxofficemojo.com, imdb.com

12. Donnie Brasco

Total Domestic Gross: $56.66 millionStudio: SonyRelease Date: Feb. 28, 1997Production Budget: N/ADid you know?During a two day break in filming, Michael Madsen impulsively proposed to and married DeAnna Madsen. According to Madsen, when he told Al Pacino, Pacino was disgusted with Madsen's impulsiveness, but the Madsens have now been married for almost 15 years.

Total Domestic Gross: $56.66 million
Studio: Sony
Release Date: Feb. 28, 1997
Production Budget: N/A

Did you know?
During a two-day break in filming, Michael Madsen impulsively proposed to and married DeAnna Morgan. According to Madsen, when he told Al Pacino, Pacino was disgusted with Madsen's impulsiveness, but the Madsens have now been married for almost 15 years.

Source: boxofficemojo.com, imdb.com

11. Casino

Total Domestic Gross: $60.20 millionStudio: Universal Release Date: Nov. 22, 1995Production Budget: N/ADid you know? When James Woods heard that Martin Scorsese was interested in working with him, Woods called Scorsese's office and left the following message: "Any time, any place, any part, any fee."
Image: Universal Studios

Total Domestic Gross: $60.2 million
Studio: Universal
Release Date: Nov. 22, 1995
Production Budget: N/A

Did you know?
When James Woods heard that Martin Scorsese was interested in working with him, Woods called Scorsese's office and left the following message: "Any time, any place, any part, any fee."

Source: boxofficemojo.com, imdb.com

10. Goodfellas

Total Domestic Gross: $77.07 millionStudio: Warner BrothersRelease Date: Sept. 19, 1990Production Budget: N/AAcademy Awards:Best Supporting Actor: Joe PesciDid you know?For the famous "Layla" montage, Martin Scorsese actually played the "piano coda" section of the song during the shooting of each scene so that certain bars of the piano piece would match up with certain shots.
Image: Warner Brothers

Total Domestic Gross: $77.07 million
Studio: Warner Brothers
Release Date: Sept. 19, 1990
Production Budget: N/A

Academy Awards:
Best Supporting Actor: Joe Pesci

Did you know?
For the famous "Layla" montage, Martin Scorsese actually played the "piano coda" section of the song during the shooting of each scene so that certain bars of the piano piece would match up with certain shots.

Source: boxofficemojo.com, imdb.com

9. Bugsy

Total Domestic Gross: $77.59 millionStudio: TriStarRelease Date: December 13, 1991Production Budget: N/AAcademy Awards:Best Art DirectionBest Costume DesignDid you know?James Toback wrote the screenplay with the intention of directing it himself.
Image: TriStar

Total Domestic Gross: $77.59 million
Studio: TriStar
Release Date: Dec. 13, 1991
Production Budget: N/A

Academy Awards:
Best Art Direction
Best Costume Design

Did you know?
James Toback wrote the screenplay with the intention of directing it himself.

Source: boxofficemojo.com, imdb.com

8. Gangs of New York

Total Domestic Gross: $93.72 millionStudio: MiramaxRelease Date: Dec. 20, 2002Production Budget: $100 millionGangs of New York was nominated for 10 Oscars, but did not win any.Did you know?Leonardo DiCaprio accidentally broke Daniel Day-Lewis' nose while filming a fight scene. Day-Lewis continued to film the scene despite the injury.
Image: Miramax

Total Domestic Gross: $93.72 million
Studio: Miramax
Release Date: Dec. 20, 2002
Production Budget: $100 million

"Gangs of New York" was nominated for 10 Oscars, but did not win any.

Did you know?
Leonardo DiCaprio accidentally broke Daniel Day-Lewis' nose while filming a fight scene. Day-Lewis continued to film the scene despite the injury.

Source: boxofficemojo.com, imdb.com

7. Scarface

Total Domestic Gross: $98.06 million
Studio: Universal Studios
Release Date: Dec. 9, 1983
Production Budget: N/A

Did you know?
Despite the title, Tony Montana is called "Scarface" only once throughout the movie, and in Spanish at that ("Caracicatriz").

Source: boxofficemojo.com, imdb.com

6. Public Enemies

Total Domestic Gross: $98.65 millionStudio: Universal StudiosRelease Date: July 1, 2009Production Budget: $100 millionDid you know?In preparation for his role as Melvin Purvis, Christian Bale met with Purvis's son, Alston, and several close friends of the real Melvin Purvis in order to learn his attitudes, mannerisms, and speech patterns. By the same token, Johnny Depp went to the John Dillinger Museum in Indiana and was allowed to read some of his letters. According to Depp in the DVD documenta
Image: Universal Studios

Total Domestic Gross: $98.65 million
Studio: Universal Studios
Release Date: July 1, 2009
Production Budget: $100 million

Did you know?
In preparation for his role as Melvin Purvis, Christian Bale met with Purvis's son, Alston, and several close friends of the real Melvin Purvis in order to learn his attitudes, mannerisms, and speech patterns. By the same token, Johnny Depp went to the John Dillinger Museum in Indiana and was allowed to read some of his letters. In the DVD documentary, Depp said he even tried on the pants Dillinger wore the night he was shot. With a laugh, Depp says the pants fit him perfectly.

Source: boxofficemojo.com, imdb.com

5. Road to Perdition

Total Domestic Gross: $125.89 millionStudio: DreamWorksRelease Date: July 12, 2002Prod. Budget: $80 millionAcademy Awards:Best Cinematography: Conrad L. HallDid you know?According to author Max Allan Collins, real-life gangsters John and Connor Looney's names were changed to Rooney for the film.
Image: DreamWorks

Total Domestic Gross: $125.89 million
Studio: DreamWorks
Release Date: July 12, 2002
Prod. Budget: $80 million

Academy Awards:
Best Cinematography: Conrad L. Hall

Did you know?
According to author Max Allan Collins, real-life gangsters John and Connor Looney's names were changed to Rooney for the film.

Source: boxofficemojo.com, imdb.com

4. American Gangster

Total Domestic Gross: $136.76 millionStudio: UniversalRelease Date: November 2, 2007Production Budget: $100 millionDid you know? Director Ridley Scott had read the first draft of Steven Zaillian's screenplay before filming "Kingdom of Heaven" and instantly became interested in directing it. While filming his next feature, "A Good Year," Scott and Russell Crowe extensively discussed the project, which ultimately led to them signing on.
Image: Universal Studios

Total Domestic Gross: $136.76 million
Studio: Universal
Release Date: Nov. 2, 2007
Production Budget: $100 million

Did you know?
Director Ridley Scott had read the first draft of Steven Zaillian's screenplay before filming "Kingdom of Heaven" and instantly became interested in directing it. While filming his next feature, "A Good Year," Scott and Russell Crowe extensively discussed the project, which ultimately led to them signing on.

Source: boxofficemojo.com, imdb.com

3. The Departed

Total Domestic Gross: $142.97 millionStudio: Warner Bros.Release Date: Oct. 6, 2006Production Budget: $90 millionAcademy Awards:Best Picture: Graham KingBest Director: Martin ScorseseBest Adapted Screenplay: William MonahanBest Editing: Thelma SchoonmakerDid you know? The Departed is the only remake of a foreign film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture.
Image: Warner Bros.

Total Domestic Gross: $142.97 million
Studio: Warner Bros.
Release Date: Oct. 6, 2006
Production Budget: $90 million

Academy Awards:
Best Picture: Graham King
Best Director: Martin Scorsese
Best Adapted Screenplay: William Monahan
Best Editing: Thelma Schoonmaker

Did you know?
"The Departed" is the only remake of a foreign film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture.

Source: boxofficemojo.com, imdb.com

2. The Untouchables

Total Domestic Gross: $144.47 millionStudio: Paramount PicturesRelease Date: June 5, 1987Production Budget: N/AAcademy Awards:Best Supporting Actor: Sean ConneryDid you know?Brian De Palma took the idea of the train station scene from the 1925 Russian movie Battleship Potemkin. The sailors who get caught in the crossfire in The Untouchables are a tribute to Potemkin.
Image: Paramount Pictures

Total Domestic Gross: $144.47 million
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: June 5, 1987
Production Budget: N/A

Academy Awards:
Best Supporting Actor: Sean Connery

Did you know?
Brian De Palma took the idea of the train station scene from the 1925 Russian movie "Battleship Potemkin." The sailors who get caught in the crossfire in "The Untouchables" are a tribute to Potemkin.

Source: boxofficemojo.com, imdb.com

1. The Godfather (Three Films)

Total Domestic Gross: $335.44 million (adjusted average)*The original Godfather, released in 1972, grossed $688.87 million. The Godfather Part II in 1974 grossed $207.62 million, and The Godfather Part III in 1990 grossed $109.83 million.Studio: ParamountRelease Date: March 15, 1972Production Buddget: $6 millionAcademy Awards:Best Actor: Marlon BrandoBest Picture: Albert S. RuddyBest Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium: Mario Puzo, Francis Ford CoppolaDid you know?Sergio Le
Image: Paramount Pictures

Total Domestic Gross: $335.44 million (adjusted average)*
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Production Budget: $6 million (first film)

Academy Awards:
Best Actor: Marlon Brando
Best Picture: Albert S. Ruddy
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material From Another Medium: Mario Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola

Did you know?
Sergio Leone was approached to direct the film, but turned it down since he felt the story glorified the Mafia and was not interesting enough. He later regretted refusing the offer, but would go on to direct his own critically acclaimed gangster film, "Once Upon a Time in America."

*Total inflation-adjusted gross for "The Godfather" series is $1.006 billion, giving an average of $335.44 million per film.

The original film, released in 1972, grossed $688.87 million. "The Godfather Part II" in 1974 grossed $207.62 million, and "The Godfather Part III" in 1990 grossed $109.83 million.

Source: boxofficemojo.com, imdb.com

Mob Money: Murders & Acquisitions

In the biggest mob hits, millions of dollars hang in the balance. In the mafia, murder isn't personal. It's business.

In the biggest mob hits, millions of dollars hang in the balance. In the mafia, murder isn't personal. It's business.

Visit the Mob Money Website