Top 5 Money Earning Cooking Movies

Meryl Streep as Julia Child
Meryl Streep as Julia Child | Source

Food & Film

People who love food often love movies about cooking. Not only is the genre appetizing, but many of the films on this list have been nominated for Academy Awards and Golden Globes. The genre is so diverse that the top grossing films include animation, romantic comedies, and a foreign film, with cooking as their common thread.

This is not a list of my personal favorites, but the movies that made the most cash at the box office during their theatrical run through June 2013. Bon appétit!

1. Ratatouille

The animated flick, Ratatouille, was released in theaters on June 29, 2007 and picked up an impressive $47 million.  Brad Bird and Jan Pinkava directed the movie, which earned over $206 million during its time in theaters.  The movie went on to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film and was nominated for Best Original Score, Best Achievement in Sound Editing, Best Achievement in Sound, and Best Original Screenplay (Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava, and Jim Capobianco).   Emily Cook, Kathy Greenberg, and Bob Peterson also received credit for their contributions to story material.   In addition to these accolades, Ratatouille won the Golden Globe for Best Animated film in 2008.

2. Julie & Julia

Julie & Julia, the story of an ordinary woman cooking and blogging her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, hit theaters on August 7, 2009 and garnered $20 million its opening weekend. Nora Ephron penned the screenplay based on Julie Powell’s book, Julie & Julia, and Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme’s, My Life in France. Meryl Streep’s role as Julia Child not only helped the film bring in over $94 million at the box office, but it also earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Leading Actress and a Golden Globe win for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy. The movie itself was nominated for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes, but lost to The Hangover.

Chocolat Movie Poster
Chocolat Movie Poster | Source

3. Chocolat

Lasse Hallstrom’s Chocolat was released in a meager 8 theaters on December 15, 2000.  Although it only earned $157,624 that first weekend, positive reviews and award nominations led to a wider release of 1,928 theaters and $71.5 million in earnings.  The movie was nominated for five Academy Awards including:  Best Leading Actress (Juliette Binoche), Best Supporting Actress (Judi Dench), Best Original Score, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture.  Robert Nelson Jacobs authored the screenplay based on Joann Harris’s novel.  Additionally, the film earned four Golden Globe nominations for Best Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical, Best Original Score, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical (Juliette Binoche), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Judi Dench).

4. No Reservations

No Reservations, starring Catherine Zeta Jones, Aaron Eckhart and Abigail Breslin, was released in theaters on July 27, 2007 to an $11 million weekend.  It picked up the pace and ended its run at over $43 million.  Scott Hicks directed the movie, which was penned by Carol Fuchs and Sandra Nettelbeck.   Abigail Breslin was nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress in 2008.

5. Like Water for Chocolate

Like Water for Chocolate, also known as Como Agua Para Chocolate in its native Mexico, opened in two American theaters on February 19, 1993 to a modest $23,600.  It expanded its release to 64 theaters and earned more than $21 million.  Alfonso Arau directed the film which Laura Esquivel penned for the screen from her own novel.  The film was recognized in the United States with a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes, while garnering many more accolades at the Ariel Awards in Mexico.  Alfonso Arau won a Golden Ariel, while 9 Silver Ariels were received for Best Actor (Mario Ivan Martinez), Best Actress (Regina Tome), Best Actress in a Minor Role (Margarita Isabel), Best Supporting Actress (Claudette Maille), Best Cinematography, Best Director (Alfonso Arau), Best Production Design,   Best Set Design, and Best Screenplay.  The film received an additional four nominations for Silver Ariels for Best Actor in a Minor Role (Joaquin Garrido), Best Actress (Lumi Cavazos), Best Supporting Actress (Pilar Aranda), and Best Editing.

Which Is Your Favorite Cooking Movie On This List?

  • Ratatouille
  • Julie & Julia
  • Chocolat
  • No Reservations
  • Like Water for Chocolate
  • None of the Above
See results without voting

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Comments 8 comments

theherbivorehippi profile image

theherbivorehippi 6 years ago from Holly, MI

I loved No Reservations! I WOULD have loved Julie and Julia if it wasn't for the ending. lol I really wanted her to meet her or something.


Megavitamin profile image

Megavitamin 6 years ago Author

I agree about Julie and Julia, it was kinda anticlimactic. Plus, I found myself way more interested in Julia Child's story than Julie Powell's. Ah well. Thanks for the comment :0)


susanlang profile image

susanlang 6 years ago

Ratatouille was lots of fun. That mouse had us laughing to the end. Do you know if a second movie to that one is planned?


Megavitamin profile image

Megavitamin 6 years ago Author

There possibility for a sequel, but it's not likely. I looked it up and people have been asking for a second installment since Ratatouille was released. The movie was so tasty, it left audiences wanting more :0) Thanks for the comment!


Todd 5 years ago

Your description of Julie & Julia states that it is a story about "an ordinary woman cooking and blogging her way through Julia Child’s The Joy of Cooking." This is not correct. The 'Joy of Cooking' was written by Irma Rombauer and widely admired by Julia Child. In Julie & Julia, the book that the "ordinary" woman is cooking and blogging her way through was written by Julia Child and is titled "Mastering the Art of French Cooking - Volume 1." Thanks for misrepresenting the life of Julia Child almost as badly as the promiscuous, philandering Julie Powell.


Megavitamin profile image

Megavitamin 5 years ago Author

You're welcome, Todd. You're welcome.

For everyone else, I apologize for the mistake. I will be sure to make the appropriate corrections.


HartMurengu profile image

HartMurengu 5 years ago from Nairobi

I loved Ratatouille, it was funny and interesting.


Megavitamin profile image

Megavitamin 5 years ago Author

HartMurengu, Ratatouille is great! Thanks for stopping by :0)

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