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The Biggest Emma Stone Movies Of All Time

In her time as a leading lady, Emma Stone has proven she can basically do anything. If you need someone to star in a throwback to 1950s musicals, Stone can hop right to it. If you need someone to tackle the idiosyncratic dark comedy of Yorgos Lanthimos, she is also the perfect person for the job. There's a wide range of projects in Stone's filmography spanning various genres and scales. Not every title she's been a part of has been a hit, as the likes of "Aloha" or "The Rocker" can attest. But a large share of movies featuring Stone in leading roles have managed to garner significant success at the worldwide box office.

Sometimes, these titles succeed based on just Stone's appeal as a leading lady alone. Others managed to garner such lucrative box office takes due to external factors like being based on popular source material, award season buzz, or simply a lack of competition. However, Emma Stone's biggest movies of all time at the worldwide box office no doubt got a significant boost thanks to the presence of this widely-admired performer. When you're as capable of doing so many different types of genres and performances as Stone, you're bound to end up as someone moviegoers can't get enough of.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past had a spirited box office run

"Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" vanished into the night faster than any otherworldly spirit. It was the final entry in Matthew McConaughey's streak of romantic comedies throughout the 2000s, with the performer reflecting in recent years that the movie was the final nail in the coffin for his constant participation in the genre. Though it was McConaughey's farewell feature in this terrain, at least "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" — a variation on Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol" involving ex-lovers standing in for various ghosts — wasn't a complete box office wipeout.

Grossing $102.5 million worldwide, "Girlfriends Past" grossed significantly less than the biggest McConaughey rom-coms like "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days." It was also beneath other movies Stone had appeared in recently, such as "Superbad," and barely pulled ahead of her fellow 2009 title, "Zombieland." Still, on a $37.5 million budget, "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" did technically qualify as profitable. It also provided Stone with only her second movie ever to crack $100 million worldwide. Both McConaughey and Stone would move on to far more unique endeavors than this long-forgotten but mildly profitable rom-com.

Birdman was an Oscar-winning smash hit

Though much of the attention for "Birdman" was understandably focused on Michael Keaton inhabiting his first major dramatic role in years, the film was also a major step for Emma Stone. After years of doing comedies and superhero films, this was a then-rare attempt by Stone to break into more dramatic filmmaking. Working with an auteur like Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu was also a significant step up from directors she'd worked with in the past.

Stepping outside her comfort zone like that paid off big time for Emma Stone. Not only did "Birdman" win Best Picture at the 87th Academy Awards, but it also became a box office hit. Grossing $103.2 million worldwide, "Birdman" did not just limit its appeal squarely to arthouse audiences. It also proved to have an impressive amount of universal appeal despite its premise, about a movie star grappling with his current place in the pop culture landscape, having seemingly narrow appeal. The participation of big-name actors like Stone and Edward Norton in the supporting cast certainly didn't hurt "Birdman's" international box office appeal. With this movie, Stone's box office cred began to really soar.

Gangster Squad couldn't quite hit a box office bullseye

In hindsight, one of the most interesting things about "Gangster Squad" is how several actors in its cast ended up getting really big after its release. Michael Pena was just one member of the ensemble cast here, but two years later he'd be the scene-stealer in "Ant-Man." Similarly, both Anthony Mackie and Frank Grillo would get a lot more attention once they appeared in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" than for their throwaway supporting roles here.

We'll never know if releasing this film later to cash in on the elevated profiles of these performers would have helped "Gangster Squad" at the box office. Considering that even Emma Stone, well-established as a movie star right after she scored hits like "The Help," couldn't give this movie a financial boost in 2013, it's doubtful. "Gangster Squad" only grossed $104.1 million worldwide, a disappointing sum considering it cost $60 million to make. Star power only gets a movie so far and "Gangster Squad" failed to convey a unique story that could grab audiences. It didn't help that the most notable thing about the film was that it had to reshoot a key sequence in the wake of the 2012 Aurora, Colorado theater shootings. As a result, it garnered the kind of box office gross many of its actors would effortlessly surpass in future movies.

Zombieland: Double Tap was certainly alive at the box office

In 2019, Stone returned to the world of "Zombieland" as a drastically different performer. Having starred in two movies that had won the Best Director Oscar since the first film came out, not to mention box office hits like "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "The Help," she was at that point arguably the most high-profile person in the cast of "Zombieland: Double Tap." What a contrast to the original "Zombieland" in 2009, when Stone was one of several younger actors in the film (alongside Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin) getting a shot at stardom.

Her increased star power no doubt helped "Zombieland: Double Tap" to improve on the worldwide gross of its predecessor with a strong $122.2 million haul. On a $48 million budget, that wasn't too shabby at all, especially considering how many comedy sequels, like "Neighbors 2," had severely underperformed in recent years. Timing the release of the film to Halloween was a smart move that benefited the feature, while the enduringly popular word-of-mouth associated with the original "Zombieland" proved similarly helpful. Though taking a supporting role in a "Zombieland" sequel was a bit of a step down in terms of prominence from her most recent big-screen work, Stone's return to this universe did add another solid box office performer to her resume.

Audiences were head over heels for Crazy, Stupid, Love

Back when romantic comedies were a regular fixture in the theatrical marketplace, there was usually one rom-com per summer that overperformed beyond expectations and became a total sleeper hit. For the summer of 2011, that film was "Crazy, Stupid, Love," an ensemble comedy featuring everyone from Steve Carell to Julianne Moore to Emma Stone. The expansive cast would also feature the first collaboration between Stone and Ryan Gosling, with the duo reuniting for future movies like "La La Land."

"Crazy, Stupid, Love" used all that star power to rocket itself to a strong $147.1 million worldwide gross, nearly triple its $50 million budget. "Crazy, Stupid, Love" picked a crazy smart release date in late July 2011 that gave the movie a chance to play without much competition in August. Having room to breathe, the film was able to spread positive word-of-mouth around the globe. The presence of so many big-name actors in the cast didn't hurt either. Whether you were a moviegoer who fancied Ryan Gosling or Julianne Moore, you were bound to find a performer you liked in the cast of "Crazy, Stupid, Love." It was another box office hit for Stone and yet another example of how rom-coms can thrive even in the crowded summer movie season.

The Croods: A New Age rocked under unusual circumstances

"The Croods: A New Age" made just under 30% of what the original "Croods" grossed at the worldwide box office. Normally, that would be enough to qualify the animated film as an automatic box office failure. However, "The Croods: A New Age," which saw Stone reprising the role of Eep, was actually one of the brightest spots of a dark period for the theatrical box office. Released domestically over Thanksgiving 2020, "The Croods: A New Age" was one of the most high-profile films to open in theaters during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Its eventual $58 million domestic haul made it the second-biggest movie released between the shutdown of movie theaters and the debut of "Godzilla vs. Kong." Even in the few international territories where it managed to get released, this sequel delivered solid numbers that brought up its worldwide total to $167.1 million. But not opening in major territories like the United Kingdom, along with the restrictions inherent with any COVID-era release, ensured that "A New Age" would never have a shot at matching, let alone surpassing the worldwide gross of the first "Croods." Taken on its own merits, though, Stone's second caveman adventure rocked the box office in its own impressive way.

Superbad was a raunchy comedy sensation

The summer of 2007 was the season of third entries in big franchises and the birthplace of the live-action "Transformers" movies. But it was also the place where Judd Apatow comedies came into their own as box office sensations. "Knocked Up" became a box office hit in June 2007 while two months later, "Superbad" — produced by Apatow and directed by Greg Mottola — reaffirmed the strength of these types of comedies at the worldwide box office.

"Superbad" grossed $169.9 million worldwide, $121 million of which came from its domestic haul. Distinctive marketing and a tidal wave of positive critical word-of-mouth set the stage for "Superbad" to have a super-great box office run. In the process, Apatow turned out to be far from the only one who thrived because of the film's success. This was also the big breakthrough movie for Stone, who appeared as the love interest for Jonah Hill's protagonist. While leading men Hill and Michael Cera got the lion's share of the attention, Stone's contributions to the production were both valuable and undeniable. In the years afterward, Stone would go on to appear in further box office hits, some of them significantly bigger than "Superbad." However, her streak of successes all got started with one of the defining movies of summer 2007.

The Help needed no assistance becoming a hit

"The Help" opened in movie theaters in August 2011 and seemed poised to get lost in a sea of big blockbusters and more mainstream fare. Releasing an adult-skewing drama/comedy like this one in the summer movie season seemed like an act of financial suicide. But DreamWorks/Disney had a method to their release date madness and "The Help," which starred Stone in the lead role, was immediately a box office hit driven by word-of-mouth and fans of the book it was based on.

While Stone was front-and-center in all the marketing for "The Help," she wasn't the only reason this movie managed to drastically surpass all expectations at the box office. That $213.1 million worldwide gross was also due to the strong ensemble cast. With everyone from Viola Davis to Octavia Spencer to Jessica Chastain in the film, not to mention it being based on an extremely popular piece of source material, "The Help" defied the odds and became one of the biggest movies of summer 2011. The project's success also proved extremely helpful for Stone, who had now proven she was capable of stepping outside of comedies, a genre she'd largely occupied since her breakout role in "Superbad."

La La Land danced its way to financial box office victory

"Someone in the crowd could be the one you've been waiting for," goes one of the catchiest tunes from "La La Land." While it may be rare to find that "someone in the crowd" capable of "taking you where you wanna go," it's far more common to stumble upon somebody whose actually seen "La La Land." This is borne out by the fact that "La La Land" grossed a massive $445.9 million worldwide, a stunning total for a musical that isn't based on a previously existing Broadway hit.

"La La Land" is a good example of a movie giving audiences exactly what they came for. Attractive movie stars like Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone singing and dancing across glitzy, colorfully rendered Los Angeles hotspots while tugging at your heartstrings. What you saw in the ads is what you got onscreen. Delivering on expectations also helped ensure that "La La Land" was a major player at big awards shows like the Academy Awards, which helped to make it a must-see movie event and not just something that resonated with musical devotees. The worldwide box office results of "La La Land" suggest that audiences found the film as enjoyable as stumbling onto that "someone in the crowd."

The Croods was a prehistoric box office powerhouse

Animated cave people proved to be quite a draw in 1960s television through "The Flintstones." The general public got a reminder of the continued popularity of cartoons set in a prehistoric era with the DreamWorks Animation cartoon "The Croods." Emma Stone portrayed teenage daughter Eep Crood in what turned out to be her most high-profile piece of voiceover work. Paired up with other big names like Nicolas Cage and Ryan Reynolds, Stone's big foray into animation was a rock solid hit for DreamWorks.

Debuting in March 2013, "The Croods" grossed $573 million worldwide, an outstanding result that makes the film the ninth-biggest feature ever worldwide for DreamWorks Animation. This is despite "The Croods" being an original property that was based on no previously existing source material. The appeal of animated cave dwellers was particularly strong in international territories, where "The Croods" found much of its success with nearly $400 million from foreign box office. On the domestic front, "The Croods" didn't have any other animated movies to compete against for April and much of May 2013. With all these factors at its back, not to mention the draw of having actors like Stone in its voice cast, "The Croods" was yet another instance of animated cave people being a massive draw for audiences.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 could swing high enough

At a glance, the worldwide box office gross of "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" would appear to be just fine. With $708.9 million worldwide, surely that would be enough for any regular blockbuster. The figure was also within the ballpark of the worldwide grosses of past "Spider-Man" movies like "The Amazing Spider-Man" ($757.8 million) and "Spider-Man 2" ($794.6 million)  But "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" was no ordinary blockbuster. This was a movie meant to jumpstart a whole universe of comic book movies for Sony Pictures. The studio's grand vision for this project was reflected in Sony bosses' expectations for "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" to crack $1 billion worldwide.

Unfortunately, that never happened. In fact, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" sunk the franchise to a new low at the worldwide box office — especially domestically, where it grossed just $200 million, about half of what the first Sam Raimi "Spider-Man" grossed domestically 12 years prior. While its worldwide box office haul was enough to make "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" one of Stone's biggest movies ever, it's also a film that clearly failed to meet corporate expectations. In the process, it signaled that this incarnation of Spider-Man was nearing its end. Not even the increasing star power and pop culture presence of Emma Stone could help fight off that box office fatigue.

The Amazing Spider-Man pulled off a risky reboot

In 2012, there was a lot of concern hovering around the idea of somebody besides Tobey Maguire slipping into the Spider-Man costume. Would audiences accept a new Peter Parker? "The Amazing Spider-Man" looked to prove just that by swinging Andrew Garfield into the superhero role. All the pre-release speculation turned out to be for naught, though. Audiences turned out in droves to see "The Amazing Spider-Man," which featured Emma Stone as a new version of Gwen Stacy.

Opening over the 4th of July holiday frame in 2012, "The Amazing Spider-Man" set a domestic box office record on its first day of release and continued to generate impressive box office figures from there. The strong foreign box office numbers of the original Spider-Man trilogy continued as well and helped give the project a massive $757.8 million worldwide gross. This makes "The Amazing Spider-Man" easily the highest-grossing movie Stone has ever appeared in. While it's true moviegoers mostly showed up for the superhero mayhem, Stone being in this film certainly helped boost her profile and reaffirmed her as someone capable of headlining large-scale, lucrative projects.