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Ranking Best and Worst NC-17-Rated Films, as 'Blue is the Warmest Color' Opens (Video)

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 24, 2013 at 5:36PM

It was no surprise when Cannes Palme d'Or winner "Blue is the Warmest Color" earned an NC-17 rating for “explicit sexual content.” Sundance Selects/IFC Films figured that would be the case when they submitted it. They were stirring up some ratings controversy to lure people to see the lesbian romance starring two lovingly photographed nubile French actresses. They could go unrated stateside if they wanted to. They want audiences to know that the film is not trimmed or softened in any way.

Box Office Mojo's Top Ten Grossing NC-17 Films

Rank    OR#    Title (click to view)    Studio    Lifetime Gross*    Year^
1     2677     Showgirls     MGM     $20,350,754     1995
2     3593     Henry & June     Uni.     $11,567,449     1990
3     4115     The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover     Mira.     $7,724,701     1990
4     4603     Bad Education     SPC     $5,211,842     2004
5     4733     Lust, Caution     Focus     $4,604,982     2007
6     4868     Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!     Mira.     $4,087,361     1990
7     4923     Shame     FoxS     $3,909,002     2011
8     5320     The Dreamers     FoxS     $2,532,228     2004
9     5548     Crash (1996)     FL     $2,038,450     1996
10     5579     Bad Lieutenant     Aries     $2,000,022     1992

This article is related to: DVD and VOD, DVDs, Michael Fassbender, Steve McQueen, Box Office, Box Office, Box Office, Video, Video

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.