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Highest Grossing Sports Movies

On Friday, Sept. 24, 2011, the Brad Pitt movie “Moneyball” opened across the U.S. It had the misfortune of opening alongside the 3D re-release of “The Lion King,” which easily and unsurprisingly became the highest-grossing film of the weekend. “Moneyball” was right behind it, however, earning a respectable $21 million at the box office.

The movie is based on the 2003 novel of the same name. Pitt plays Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s, whose job is to create the best possible team with a fraction of the money that other teams pay to recruit star players. Beane recruits players based on an analysis of their performance, as opposed to a general appraisal of their overall statistics. In the end, Beane builds a competitive team at a low cost.

“Moneyball” did well in part because it had what a lot of sports movies have—the inspiring tale of an underdog who beats the odds. It’s a simple formula, but when filmmakers get it right the result is often a story for the ages—one that remains popular long after the movie leaves the theaters.

CNBC.com collected the domestic gross box office of sports movies, using data from BoxOfficeMojo.com and adjusting the numbers for inflation. What are the highest grossing sports films of all time? Click ahead to find out.

By Daniel Bukszpan
Posted 26 September 2011

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios