The Highest-Grossing Sam Raimi Movies, According To Box Office Mojo

The Highest-Grossing Sam Raimi Movies, According To Box Office Mojo

Sam Raimi spearheaded two of the most iconic movie series ever, Evil Dead and Spider-Man, but his film career is nowhere near as black and white as that. The director is the king of modest successes and cult hits, as very few of his movies are huge box office smashes, but they slowly gain an audience after their theatrical releases.

The director was once known as a horror auteur, then became a Jack of all trades by directing genre movies, and then became a visionary filmmaker of superhero movies. Raimi’s filmography is all over the place, and so are the movie’s box office grosses, according to Box Office Mojo.

Updated on May 8th, 2022, by Shawn S. Lealos: Sam Raimi is almost guaranteed to have the highest-grossing movie of his career in 2022. While he had great success with his Spider-Man movies for Sony, those movies came nowhere close to what Marvel is doing right now in the MCU. After Spider-Man: No Way Home ended up as the highest-grossing movie since 2021, Raimi looks to follow up with his take on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Raimi also has a new Evil Dead movie coming out that he is helping produce, but all eyes will be on his debut movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It also might be a good time to brush up on Raimi’s old movies, some of which were box office failures that still ended up as cult classics.

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12 Crimewave (1985) – $5,101

Bruce Campbell as Renaldo the Heel in Crimewave (1985)

Available to rent on Vudu, Microsoft, Apple TV, Prime Video, and Google Play.

In 1985, Sam Raimi was still receiving critical acclaim for his horror movie The Evil Dead. He then met and became close friends with two more indie filmmakers of the time – brothers Joel and Ethan Coen. What resulted from this friendship was a movie written by the Coen Brothers and directed by Sam Raimi called Crimewave.

RELATED: One Quote From Each Main Character In Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man That Goes Against Their Personality

Hearing in 2022 that Sam Raimi directed a movie written by the Coen Brothers might make one think it would be a massive success. However, the comedy-horror movie was the lowest-grossing major release of Raimi’s career. It was only released in three states and then finished with a take of just over $5,000.

11 The Evil Dead (1981) – $2.89 Million

The first Deaditte in the cellar in The Evil Dead.

Streaming now on HBO Max.

The movie that made Sam Raimi a star didn’t make much money at the box office, but it at least had horror fans and critics praising it enough to keep his name alive. When Stephen King praised the movie, it sent it through the roof as a massive cult favorite, but it was too late to save its box office.

The movie made $2.89 million, which doesn’t sound like much today but was a great take for the movie in 1981. It was especially nice since it only cost $375,000 to make, making it a financial success and leading Raimi to get more money to make its sequel six years later.

10 Evil Dead II (1987) – $5.9 Million

Ash searching the cabin in Evil Dead II.

Streaming now on HBO Max.

On the face of it, Evil Dead II is about a guy fighting with trees, bookcases, and his own hand, as it gets chopped off and takes on a life of its own. But it takes the simple premise of the original and doubles down on the comedy and the practical creatures. It’s one of Keanu Reeves’ favorite movies, and there isn’t much higher praise than that.

It seems like Sam Raimi’s movies don’t catch on until long after their theatrical release. So many of his movies are cult classics that didn’t actually do so well at the box office, and the Evil Dead series is the first example of that. Evil Dead II might have only made short of $6 million, which was a bomb at the time, but it must have made tens of millions of dollars through DVD sales and streaming syndication in the time since.

9 Army Of Darkness (1992) – $11.5 Million

Ash describes his shotgun to the villagers in Army of Darkness

Streaming now on HBO Max.

Army of Darkness is the third Evil Dead movie and one of the many forgotten 90s gems. It was the first film to really change the tone and level of the production of the series, as it was set in medieval times and expanded on the lore of the franchise. But while the movie made almost double its predecessor, it was still not enough to warrant its $6 million budget.

Because of its low box office intake, that might be why fans never got a real follow-up. Just as Evil Dead II ended with the shocking twist of Ash entering through a portal into medieval times, the same thing happens in Army of Darkness, only he lands hundreds of years in the future.

8 A Simple Plan (1998) – $16.3 Million

Hank, Mitchell and Lou in snowy woods

Streaming now on Max Go and DirecTV.

The mid to late 90s was a huge moment for Sam Raimi’s career, as studios were offering him the necessary budgets to create all sorts of genre movies. But A Simple Plan, despite being a suspenseful and compelling thriller, was the lowest-grossing of them all.

RELATED: The 10 Best Sam Raimi Movies, According To Rotten Tomatoes

As Raimi has a close relationship with the Coen brothers, A Simple Plan feels like a typical Coen Bros. movie, as it follows two brothers who become greedy and deceitful after finding $4 million. And though that classic campy Raimi humor puts a spin on the Coens’ formula, it wasn’t enough to get people in theatres.

7 The Quick And The Dead (1995) – $18.6 Million

Ellen points pistol in The Quick and the Dead

Streaming now on Fubo and DirecTV.

Seemingly wanting to make a movie in every genre, whether it’s a horror, a superhero flick, or even a schmaltzy sports movie, The Quick and the Dead is Raimi’s western. Unfortunately, the movie had the biggest budget Raimi had ever worked with by far, $35 million, and it was a box office disaster.

Westerns weren’t all that popular in the 1990s, and there were only really two that landed well with general audiences, Unforgiven and Tombstone. It wouldn’t be until the mid-2000s when Westerns really had a renaissance, but the 1995 film is still great, it just wasn’t what audiences wanted to see back then.

6 The Gift (2000) – $44.5 Million

Streaming now on Prime Video, Paramount+, Epix, Sling, and DirecTV.

It almost feels as if filmmakers think they have to direct a drama with an ensemble cast and multi-stranded narrative to be considered an auteur, and The Gift is Sam Raimi’s attempt. The director ushered in the 2000s with this quietly entertaining mystery movie, and it was a modest box office success for the director.

The movie’s box office was helped by its huge cast of bankable stars at the time, including Cate Blanchett, Keanu Reeves, Hilary Swank, and Katie Holmes. It was a cast on such a huge scale that Raimi had never worked with before, but despite that, its budget was surprisingly low. The Gift cost just $10 million to make, making it Raimi’s most financially successful movie to date.

5 For Love Of The Game (1999) – $46.1 Million

Billy Chappel throws pitch n For Love of the Game

Streaming now on Peacock and Starz.

It was almost as if it was impossible for For Love of the Game to fail, as it was a 1990s sports movie, and if the was one genre that prevailed in the 90s more than any other, it was sports. The movie also starred Kevin Costner, who was such a bankable star at the time, but his character was so badly written.

RELATED: The 10 Best Movies Directed By Sam Raimi, According To Ranker

The film also saw the worst reviews in Raimi’s career, as he dropped all of his signature trademarks for a soppy love story and tepid baseball flick. Though the movie made more than The Gift, it was a box office disaster, as it had a budget of $50 million compared to The Gift’s $10 million.

4 Darkman (1990) – $48.8 Million

Peyton takes photos in Darkman

Available to rent on Vudu, Microsoft, Apple TV, Prime Video, Redbox, and Google Play.

The movie might have been forgotten by many at this point, but Sam Raimi directed a superhero flick long before the Spider-Man series. Darkman isn’t based on any source material and is actually an original creation of Raimi’s. It’s a unique take on a grittier kind of vigilante, and Darkman also has an eerily accurate depiction of the future.

However, though Darkman didn’t exactly pull in the astronomical box office numbers that Spider-Man did, it was still a modest success. And like Spider-Man, it also spawned several sequels, although they weren’t directed by Raimi and they went straight to video.

3 Drag Me To Hell (2009) – 90.8 Million

Mrs. Ganush throws a punch in Drag Me To Hell

Available to rent on Vudu, Microsoft, Apple TV, Prime Video, Redbox, and Google Play.

Though Sam Raimi is best-known as a visionary horror director, he went a surprising amount of time without directing one. And though Drag Me To Hell was written in the 90s, it had been 17 years between Army of the Dead and this 2009 movie. But, despite the break, he hadn’t forgotten any of his genius techniques, and he even had a few more tricks up his sleeve.

Drag Me To Hell saw Raimi once again working with supernatural elements and subjecting his characters to comical violence and being projectile vomited on. The film almost acted like a pallet cleanser, as it was a fun popcorn flick that followed three Spider-Man movies in a row. As a result, it made three times its budget, bringing in just over $90 million worldwide according to Box Office Mojo.

2 Oz The Great And Powerful (2013) – $493.3 Million

Oscar smiles as he leads the masses in Oz the Great and Powerful

Streaming now on Starz and DirecTV.

Oz the Great and Powerful making almost half a billion dollars sounds like a huge success, and one of Sam Raimi’s highest grossing movies, but it’s actually hard to say whether or not the movie’s box office gross made Disney a profit.

The film had a production budget of $200 million, and marketing budgets are generally the same amount as the production budget, and after movie theaters take their cut, it doesn’t leave much left for Disney. Disney was likely hoping for a result like 2010’s Alice In Wonderland, another dark, auteurist take on one of the quirkier Disney IPs. That movie had a similar budget and made over $1 billion.

1 The Spider-Man Trilogy – $2.5 Billion

tobey-maguire-spider-man-2

Available to rent on Vudu, Microsoft, Apple TV, Prime Video, Redbox, and Google Play.

Nothing in Sam Raimi’s filmography, regardless of quality, even measures up to the phenomenal success of the three Spider-Man movies he directed. Together, they dwarf everything else he did when it comes to his highest-grossing movies.

2002’s Spider-Man had the highest-grossing opening weekend of all-time at the time, and even Spider-Man 3, which is hated by fans, still made more money than any of them. It’s a shame that Sony didn’t follow through with Raimi’s Spider-Man 4, as it sounds like it could have redeemed the director of the third movie, but it isn’t like there’s a lack of Spider-Man movies right now.

NEXT: 10 Scenes From Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Trilogy That Get Better Over Time

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