The Highest-Grossing Naomi Watts Movies, Ranked

 surely knows how to give a power-packed performance at the box office.

Naomi Watts immigrated to Australia with her mother after her parent’s divorce and pursued acting lessons at a young age. She worked as a model and starred in brand commercials at the beginning of her career. In 1986, Watts debuted with the film For Love Alone. 2001 psychological crime thriller Mulholland Drive was her first critical success in Hollywood. Noticed for her acting prowess as a journalist, Naomi was cast in the Japanese horror remake The Ring in 2002, and the film collected $249 million at the global box office. Her acting peaked with the adventure action cult film King Kong which made $556 million worldwide. She has also worked in character-driven roles, including a biopic on the late Princess of Wales titled Diana. Let us take a look at her highest-grossing movies across the decades.

For her investigative horror/thriller, The Ring franchise, Watts portrayed Rachel Keller, an investigative journalist pursuing the strange death of her niece and other teenagers. Her performance was well-received by critics, including Paul Clinton of

8 Demolition – $4.2 Million


Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee, the romantic drama also starred Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Polly Draper, and Judah Lewis. The movie’s plot deals with the psychological way of dealing with grief and loss. The 2015 film grossed approximately $1.1 million on the opening weekend. It collected $4.2 million at the global box office.

7 Mulholland Drive – $20.1 Million


The critically acclaimed film was directed by David Lynch and starred Laura Harring, Justin Theroux, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Ann Miller. The plot revolves around an aspiring actress shifting base to LA and meeting an enigmatic woman battling amnesia after a car crash. They both set out to find the truth about the accident. The film did not perform as expected at the box office and collected approximately $20.1 million. However, according to Digital Spy, the film was well received at the Cannes Film Festival in 2001 and won Lynch the Best Director award. According to BBC’s poll, the film is counted as one of the greatest films of the century.

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6 Diana – $21.7 Million


The 2013 biopic is an enigmatic tale of the late Princess of Wales, Diana. Watts played the acclaimed role, showcasing the last two years of the royal public figure transitioning from a divorced princess to a humanitarian. The film, directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, starred Naveen Andrews, Charles Edward, and Harry Holland. Watts prepared an excellent deal for the iconic role by watching hours of archival royal footage, attaching a prosthetic nose to look her part, and even wearing late Princess of Wales clothes. However, the film failed to bring the audience to the theaters and collected approximately $21.7 million worldwide.

5 21 Grams – $60 Million


The crime thriller was directed by Academy award nominee Alejandro González Iñárritu, and it also starred Sean Penn, Melissa Leo, and Benicio del Toro. The provocative film revolved around the chance of fate and emotional drama. According to The Guardian, the psychological thriller debuted at no two on its opening weekend at the UK and Ireland box office in 2003. The film grossed $60 million worldwide with a $20 million budget. Naomi Watts and Benicio del Toro impressed the critics and the audience with their solid on-screen performances. They won several awards and nominations, including Academy Award and the Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations in the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor categories, respectively.

4 The Impossible – $198.1 Million


Based on a true story about a Spanish family vacationing in Thailand when a disastrous tsunami pulls them apart. The film, directed by J.A. Bayona, reveals the aftermath of the deadly tsunami that struck the Indian Ocean in 2004. The film also starred Tom Holland, Harry Holland, and Ewan McGregor. The film earned $198.1 million globally and was made on a $45 million budget. Watts’ performance garnered critical acclaim, and she won her second Academy Award nomination along with the first Golden Globe nomination.

3 The Ring Franchise – $413 Million


The Gore Verbinski-directed psychological horror was released in 2002 and starred David Dorfman, Martin Henderson, and Brian Cox. The movie’s plot revolves around an investigative journalist trying to find the truth behind her niece’s death. The first installment made $249.3 million at the global box office and was created on an approximate $48 million budget. According to Fosters, the second part of the franchise came out in 2005. It debuted at the number one position at the global box office by grossing over $35 million on its opening weekend. It collected $164 million globally, making it one of the best Ring sequels.

2 King Kong – $556.6 Million


The cult classic was directed by Peter Jackson and starred Jack Black, Peter Jackson, and Andy Serkis. The adventure drama about the giant ape captured the audience and critics alike. The film made approximately $50.1 million domestically on its opening weekend. It became a colossal commercial success, grossing over $556.9 million and becoming the fourth-highest-grossing film in Universal Pictures’ history. The film also became the fifth-highest-grossing film of 2005. It generated $100 million in DVD sales upon its home video release in March 2006.

1 The Divergent Franchise – $765 Million


The sci-fi action thriller spanning over three years from 2014 to 2016 was a major blockbuster. Directed by Neil Burger and Robert Schwentke, the film franchise also starred Shailene Woodly, Theo James, Zoe Kravitz, and Maggie Q. The Divergent film series is set in a futuristic society where people are divided into factions based on their human virtues. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the series failed to impact the box office, even with an impressive star cast. The final part of the installment earned $53.5 million globally on the first weekend, making it an all-time low among the other releases of 2016. However, the collective figure of the series is an impressive $765 million.

Naomi Watts is the critic’s favorite actress. With her bold performances and attention to detail towards her characters, the Watcher actress has created an estimated $35 million net worth.

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Sources: Digital Spy, The Guardian, Fosters, Hollywood Reporter

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