A Star is Born has continued its slow climb into the box office record books, and the film just passed a significant milestone. While the movie has never been number one at the box office, A Star is Born has been steadily raking in the cash, and now, the film has surpassed Fifty Shades Of Grey as the highest-grossing domestic romantic movie that isn't an action movie or fantasy film.
Certainly, it's a nuanced distinction, but that's how the box office record game is played. With A Star is Born now having brought in $168 million domestically, it now takes the spot as the fourth highest grossing romantic drama film of all time (via Forbes). Above it currently sits Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor, Ghost, and Titanic, so if you take into account that none of those are traditional romantic dramas that each have other elements to them, A Star is Born has become the highest grossing drama to make its money solely on the relationship dynamic.
Pearl Harbor sits at just under $200 million and Ghost saw a gross of $217 million. It seems like A Star is Born has a decent shot of overtaking Pearl Harbor before things are said and done. It probably won't do much better than that, but the movie made over $10 million last weekend, in its fifth weekend of release, so the film certainly has legs and isn't ready to stop quite yet.
The original Fifty Shades of Grey was a huge hit in its own right, though the sequels did not fair nearly as well. However, it not only took 12 weeks to put together the domestic total that it had, but it also made its money a lot faster. It made over $100 million in its first weekend and when it got to the point that A Star is Born is at now, it was making a fraction of the total. A Star is Born's first weekend brought in a comparatively low $66 million, but it has seen far smaller drop-offs from week to week. Clearly, in this case, the "slow and steady" strategy is paying dividends.
A Star is Born's continued box office success is in part surprising because it makes it the rare sort of film that is both financially successful and a serious awards contender. Many consider the movie to be a front-runner for several major awards including both best acting categories for Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. And of course, the Best Picture award is also a distinct possibility. Depending on how well the movie continues to do, and how long it remains in theaters, it could also get an added boost if it's still around when the major award nominations start to be announced.
It should be pointed out that these numbers are in unadjusted dollars, which doesn't mean a great deal when comparing A Star is Born to Fifty Shades Of Grey, though it does mean the adjusted box office number for Ghost would actually be quite a bit higher. We'll have to wait and see how this one really shapes up.