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Top Grossing High School Comedies

Updated on May 11, 2011

High School Hilarity

High school comedies have been around for decades, and address important teen issues such as independence from the adult world, post-graduation anxiety, love, and often the quest to lose one’s virginity. They have made unknown actors like Matthew Broderick, Molly Ringwald, Michael Cera, and Jonah Hill into household names. Teen comedies can combine raunchy and sweet like no other genre of movies, and can be appreciated long after those awkward adolescent years are gone. This is not a list of my personal favorites, but of the highest money-earning high school comedies.

This list is current as of March 2011.

1. Superbad

Superbad opened in theaters on August 17, 2007, quickly garnering over $33 million in its first weekend and more than $121 million total.  It was nominated for five MTV Movie Awards including Best Comedic Performance, Jonah Hill; Breakthrough Performance for Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, as well as Best Movie.  Superbad was written by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, who also has a part in the film.    

2. Porky’s

Porky’s is a film about a bunch of sex-crazed teenagers in the 1950’s. It was released on March 19, 1982 in 1,148 theaters. It pulled in $7.6 million in its opening weekend and over $111 million overall. The movie was written and directed by Bob Clark, and is often considered a classic in its genre. 

3. American Pie

Keeping with the tradition of hormonal highschoolers, American Pie raised more than a few questions about a boy’s relationship with apple pie.   Opening July 9, 1999, the movie picked up more than $18 million its first weekend.   Jason Biggs was nominated for two MTV Movie Awards including Best Comedic Performance and Breakthrough Male Performance.  Shannon Elizabeth was nominated for Breakthrough Female Performance, and the film itself received a nod for Best Movie.  American Pie went on to earn over $102 million at the box office and spawned several sequels.

4. Mean Girls

Mean Girls, the WGA-nominated screenplay, was written by Tina Fey based on the book by Rosalind Wiseman.  It hit theaters with a bang on April 30, 2004, earning $24.4 million opening weekend and $86 million during its theatrical run.  At the MTV Movie Awards, Rachel McAdams was nominated for Best Villain and won for Breakthrough Female.  Lindsay Lohan won Best Female Performance, and shared the Best On-Screen Team Award with Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, and Amanda Seyfried.

5. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Often considered the quintessential teen movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off hit theaters on June 13, 1986, making $6.2 million its first weekend and over $70 million overall.  It was written and directed by the king of teen comedies, John Hughes.  Matthew Broderick, who played the title character, was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture. He lost to Paul Hogan for his performance in Crocodile Dundee

Fan-made trailer that I think is great!


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    • Megavitamin profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thanks, Mike. It's not my personal list (there'd be a lot more Molly Ringwald if I got to choose), but these are the ones that made the most money in the movie theater. I am always surprised what makes these lists by genre.

      Ferris is definitely my favorite on this list too. Risky Business is a great choice!

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 

      8 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      This is a great list, with Ferris Bueller being my favorite of your selections.

      I'd like to nominate a sixth movie for your top five: Risky Business. Tom Cruise is villified for his connection with Scientology and otherwise strange behavior. However, he gave the performance which launched his career by dancing to Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll" in his undershorts.

      Well, thanks for posting this, it makes me feel quite nostalgic.


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