Robin Williams: The $5 Billion Man at the Box Office

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Robin Williams Remembered
Valerie Macon/Getty ImagesA marquee message at the Laugh Factory comedy club Hollywood pays tribute Tuesday to the late Robin Williams.
By Julia Boorstin and Matthew J. Belvedere

Robin Williams leaves behind a legacy of Hollywood success that spanned decades and generated billions of dollars.

The actor-comedian's movies, which included his Oscar-winning role in "Good Will Hunting," and Golden Globe awards for "Good Morning, Vietnam," "The Fisher King" and "Mrs. Doubtfire," have grossed $3.2 billion in U.S. box office sales, according to the number-crunching website Box Office Mojo. Worldwide his films pulled in $5.2 billion. (The numbers aren't adjusted for inflation).

"There's only a few I can think of who can so nimbly step back and forth between drama and comedy like Robin Williams did," film critic Richard Roeper told CNBC on Tuesday.

"The first actor who comes to mind is Tom Hanks, one of the great actors of all time," he continued in a "Squawk Box" interview. "But the distinction where Robin Williams has even one more amazing ability, Tom Hanks was never a stand-up comic."

The impact of Williams at the box office isn't only about his past movies. He had wrapped up shooting on a couple films scheduled for release later this year. He reprised his role as Teddy Roosevelt in Fox's "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb," the third film in that franchise due out Dec 19. He co-starred in another upcoming movie called "Merry Friggin Christmas" with Candice Bergen, which is set for release in November.

A sequel to the 1993 hit "Mrs. Doubtfire," which made $441 million worldwide, was planned but Fox hadn't started production.

He also made his mark as a stand-up comedian and a television star. He landed on the scene in ABC's "Mork and Mindy," which aired from 1978 to 1982. He became a comedic icon with signature improvisations and rapid switching between different characters.

"Williams was really the comic ... who took us out of the Nixon era. The guy came out and he was this bundle of energy with enormous intelligence," said MovieCityNews.com Editor David Poland.

Television Critic Association's Summer Press Tour - CBS/CW/Showtime Party
Steve Granitz/WireImageThe late Robin Williams.
"Robin Williams in addition to the sitcoms, in addition to the iconic comedies, in addition to dramas like 'One Hour Photo,' he was one of the top stand-up comics. He'd be on the 'Mount Rushmore' of stand-up comics with Richard Pryor and George Carlin," Roeper agreed.

Most recently, Williams had starred in "The Crazy Ones" on CBS (CBS), which was canceled after one season.

The apparent suicide of Williams on Monday at age 63 has been met with an outpouring of grief around the world from entertainment industry giants, like Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Iger and filmmaker J.J. Abrams, to President Barack Obama to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who praised him for his work entertaining the troops.

Tributes to Williams have flooded Twitter and other social media services since news of his death was reported Monday evening. Billy Crystal tweeted overnight: "No words." On its Facebook page, "Sesame Street" wrote: "We mourn the loss of our friend Robin Williams, who always made us laugh and smile."

Williams appealed to fans of all ages. "Many millennials on Twitter were [also] remembering him for his roles in such roles as ... 'Jumanji' and 'Hook,' " Variety Film Editor Ramin Setoodeh told CNBC.


Robin Williams Dead at 63, Coroner Suspects Suicide

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25 Comments

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alex.annis

He rolled a 3 someone roll a 5 to get him back :'(

August 15 2014 at 8:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sp28125

In the end our lives are already pre planned by a higher being, and we are all challenged for some purposes of which we can't, and are not supposed to understand. Robin's life was a gift and he shared his gift with us. Be thankful, what else can you ask for?

August 15 2014 at 6:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mostberg

While some say suicide is a cowardly way out, it is far better than those who also kill other people in the process. If he felt his life would be too painful going forward, it was his ultimate right to take his own life.

August 15 2014 at 12:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SPQR

He was barely funny.....at one time he was a powerful coke head and talked so fast no one knew what he was even saying....and you people found that entertaining. You encouraged him to knock himself off to amuse you... humans are pathetic

August 14 2014 at 10:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to SPQR's comment
maryhilden

And you're a troll. Nuff said...

October 16 2014 at 3:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ufcnme

This little man was a giant .Rest in peace Sir and thank you .Your suffering is over .

August 14 2014 at 1:12 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Valerie

Robin Williams was truly one of a kind and an amazing man. But, like so many comedians who make others laugh, he obviously had a dark side to his personality. He quite easily made others laugh and smile --- but he could not escape his own deep depression.

No other current actor even comes close to the range of acting talent that he had. But his personal demons drove him to self destruction. His death is a tremendous loss, and he will certainly be missed.

Hopefully, he has found the peace that always seemed to elude him in life.

August 14 2014 at 12:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
martinhanl

Money can't buy happiness

August 13 2014 at 8:33 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
aromaremedies

so misogynistic blaming his divorces which may have contributed how about the purported massive cocaine use which purportedly permanently destroys the brains ability to create its own feel good chemicals ever again very sad

August 13 2014 at 4:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
aromaremedies

Terrible tragedy...just never thought he was funny or brilliant sorry but the humor just wasn't there for us..had so much to live for how could this happen?

August 13 2014 at 4:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
journeyaa

We Are All Sad Of Robin Williams Death He Was A Wonderful Person Very Caring To A Lot Of
People He Will Be Missed By All

August 13 2014 at 4:11 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply