Great love stories have always been a staple of Hollywood filmmaking, but romance is especially big business these days.
For recent evidence of that, you need only look to the blockbuster success of the “The Twilight Saga,” the a youth-oriented tale of vampire-human love spanning five movies. With billions of dollars in box office receipts, the two stars of the “Twilight” franchise – Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson – topped a recent Forbes list of Hollywood's highest-grossing romantic couples.
With over $1.17 billion in North American tickets sold over the last three years, Bella Swan and Edward Cullen were far and away the most profitable on-screen couple. The list takes into account the last three years of domestic box office revenue for each pairing, so real-life couple KStew and RPattz had a distinct advantage having starred opposite one another in three extremely successful movies during that time.
In a distant second are Canadian actress Rachel McAdams and rising star Channing Tatum, whose 2012 romantic drama “The Vow” brought in $125 million at the box office. The Canuck star is no stranger to romance movie success, either. McAdams’s 2004 film “The Notebook” was a surprise hit, grossing more than $115 million worldwide and turning her and co-star/then-boyfriend Ryan Gosling into bona fide stars.
Rounding out the list are the usual suspects. The rom-com pairings of Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston (“Just Go With It”) and Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher (“No Strings Attached”) fared well, as did “Sex in the City 2” couple Sarah Jessica Parker and Chris Noth. Actor Channing Tatum also made the list again; he and co-star Amanda Seyfried ranked sixth thanks to the success of the drama “Dear John,” which famously dethroned “Avatar's” seven-week run at the box office. RPattz also made the list twice, earning the No. 10 spot for "Water for Elephants," a drama in which he starred opposite rom-com queen Reese Witherspoon.
While it may seem like Hollywood is mostly churning out action movies and/or sequels to action movies these days, love birds can take heart: as long as there is a market for romance in the movies, Hollywood will keep making great love stories. The box office numbers listed above prove romance is far from dead.