The year of 1997 at the box office is largely remembered for James Cameron’s Titanic becoming both cinema’s biggest-ever hit and the first billion-dollar movie in history, but if you’re seeking the second-largest phenomenon of those 12 months, you may be surprised to discover the title arguably belongs to Bean.
The feature-length adaptation of a British slapstick sitcom that had originally ended two years previously hardly sounds like the sort of project that would go on to carve a trail of commercial destruction, but the list of competing titles handily defeated in terms of earnings by Rowan Atkinson’s bumbling title hero makes for astonishing reading.
A global haul of $251 million put Bean ahead of Face/Off, Batman & Robin, Good Will Hunting, Con Air, Dante’s Peak, and Alien: Resurrection, while an international tally of $211 million ensured that it sold more tickets among overseas audiences than Air Force One, As Good As It Gets, Liar Liar, The Fifth Element, and Disney’s Hercules.
Those are mind-blowing returns for an $18 million transatlantic farce that wasn’t exactly dripping in widespread acclaim looking at its Rotten Tomatoes scores of 44 and 53 percent, which makes Bean‘s accomplishments all the more remarkable. More than 25 years later, and the havoc caused by the mild-mannered buffoon’s relocation to Los Angeles has been embracing chaos on the streaming charts.
Per FlixPatrol, Bean has embarked on a brand new journey, this time becoming one of the top-viewed features on the iTunes rankings. Atkinson’s stylings may not be for everyone, but let’s never forget the big budget Hollywood spectacles it left in the dust.