Category: Celebrities

5 Celebrities Who Love Surfing

There are a lot of hobbies to pick from when you’re a celebrity, but not many of them end up picking surfing as a hobby. Some don’t want to be bothered while at the beach, receiving a lot of paparazzi attention, while others might not want to be photographed. However, these five celebrities have shown that it’s worth getting into the water for one of the world’s greatest hobbies:

Matthew McConaughey

Among the biggest stars in Hollywood since the early 1990s, Matthew McConaughey has appeared in a wide range of roles that includes “Dazed and Confused” and “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” while also winning an Academy Award for his role in “Dallas Buyers Club”.

One of the films that McConaughey has starred in was called “Surfer, Dude”, which was the brainchild of McConaughey himself. When talking about his character, he’s talking about himself. “He’s a guy who loves to surf,” McConaughey said. “The one thing he needs in life is a good wave. A board and a swell. He’s addicted to a very pure thing…so when it is taken away, how do you navigate the drought?”

Chris Hemsworth

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Chris Hemsworth was a surprise pick and a relative unknown when he was selected to play the role of Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since then, Hemsworth has been synonymous with the character, while also starring in films including “Red Dawn”, “Men in Black: International” and “Ghostbusters”.

Everyone in the Hemsworth family is all about surfing, and Chris especially is one that can be seen on the open waters with his children. “I started surfing when I was 6,” Hemsworth said. “The ocean gives me such joy. It’s my place of grounding any time I feel out of balance.” Early on in his career, many thought Hemsworth was just a surfer guy from Australia, but he would wind up being a huge star in Hollywood.

Helen Hunt

After spending the 1980s playing smaller roles, Helen Hunt broke through into stardom during the early 1990s when she landed a leading role on the sitcom “Mad About You”. She would use her TV fame to land big screen roles in movies such as “What Women Want”, “Cast Away” and “Twister”, just to name a few.

Hunt has not just picked up surfing as a hobby, but a true passion, to the point where she has starred in two films about surfing. No matter what continent she’s on, Hunt grabs her surfboard to take on the trip, and it dates back to when she was nine months pregnant and staring at the ocean. She took on the lead role in the film “Ride” about a middle-aged woman learning to surf, essentially becoming a documentary.

Liev Schreiber

A darling of the independent scene during the 1990s and early 2000s, Liev Schreiber first started getting mainstream attention thanks to his roles in the “Scream” films, as well as “The Hurricane” and “The Sum of All Fears”. In 2009 he had a breakthrough playing Sabretooth in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and has starred as the title character in “Ray Donovan”.

If you don’t see Schreiber at work, there’s a good chance that you’ll find him out in the water. There have been countless photos of Schrieber surfing over the years, including teaching his sons how to surf off the coast of Malibu. Thankfully, Schrieber was able to survive a surfing accident that he suffered back in 2009. “It was like a washing machine,” he said. “I’ve never experienced a break like it.”

Rob Lowe

Originally a member of the “Brat Pack” during the 1980s, Rob Lowe starred in films including “The Outsiders” and “St. Elmo’s Fire” before transitioning into television roles in the 21st century including “The West Wing” and “Parks and Recreation”.

Lowe has been known for his calm demeanor ever since the 2000s started, and a lot of that stems from his passion for surfing. “I learned to surf when I was 40 and it’s become a huge thing for me,” Lowe said. “If I had learned (as a teenager), I promise you, we would not be here having this conversation (in regards to doing celebrity interviews).” Lowe added that if he could be in the water all day, he would, and that he appreciates nature when on the waves and that life is bigger than him.

5 Greatest Nebraska Sports Stars

When people think about Nebraska sports, only one thing comes to mind, and that’s football. The Nebraska Cornhuskers have won multiple national championships in football and have produced some of the biggest star players in the college landscape. From Heisman winners to certified star players that made it into the NFL, there are a lot of great Cornhuskers.

Out of the many that have made their way through Nebraska, though, which ones truly stand out as the best? Here are our picks for the five greatest Nebraska sports stars from the gridiron and what made them so special.

5. Lawrence Phillips

The story of Lawrence Phillips is undoubtedly a tragic one, but there was no doubt that when he was on the field, he was the best player. The athletic running back dazzled in his freshman season with 508 yards on just 92 carries. The following year, Phillips gashed defenses for 1,722 yards and 16 touchdowns while adding another 172 receiving yards.

Phillips was well on his way to being the Heisman favorite in 1995, but he got suspended from the team after the Cornhuskers defeated Michigan State. Phillips returned for the Fiesta Bowl and helped Nebraska to win a national championship. He then declared for the NFL Draft and didn’t last long in the league due to off-the-field issues and sadly took his life while imprisoned in 2016.

4. Mike Rozier

The other running back on the list is Mike Rozier, who made his way to Lincoln in 1981 after spending a year in junior college. As a sophomore, Rozier saw significant playing time and collected 943 rushing yards with five touchdowns. Given the starting role the next year, Rozier was able to gallop for 1,689 yards and 15 touchdowns, finishing in the top 10 of Heisman voting.

Rozier then exploded in his final season with Nebraska in 1983. He rushed for 2,148 yards and a jaw-dropping 29 touchdowns. He’d finish his college career with 4,780 rushing yards and 49 touchdowns while also winning the 1983 Heisman Trophy. Rozier then spent his pro career in the USFL and NFL, making the Pro Bowl twice.

3. Ndamukong Suh

Many feel that Ndamukong Suh not winning the Heisman Trophy while at Nebraska was one of the biggest snubs in college football history. Suh played for five seasons in Nebraska, including a redshirt freshman year where he had one tackle. He became more explosive as the years went on, and by 2009, he was the best defensive player in college football.

Suh, in his final season, had 85 total tackles including more than 20 tackles for loss and 12 sacks. Suh was absolutely disruptive but still finished just fourth in the 2009 Heisman voting. He finished his college career with 24 total sacks and even added four interceptions on his way to being drafted second overall by the Detroit Lions in 2010.

2. Eric Crouch

Now we get to the quarterback section where we find Eric Crouch. Hailing from Omaha, Crouch decided to stay in-state for his college career and had an immediate impact on the Cornhuskers following a redshirt season. Crouch had 459 rushing yards and 601 passing yards as a freshman and only got better with time.

By his final season, Crouch was the biggest impact player in the nation. In 2001, he won a second Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year Award while also taking home the Camp, O’Brien, and Heisman Trophies. He finished his Cornhuskers career with 3,434 rushing yards and 59 touchdowns while adding 4,481 yards and 29 touchdowns through the air. 

1. Tommie Frazier

Like Eric Crouch, Tommie Frazier was a player that continued to get better after seeing the field slightly as a freshman. Frazier would win two national titles after coming to Nebraska by way of Bradenton, Florida during the 1990s. Though he didn’t win a Heisman, Frazier still stood out as an all-time great as a dual threat.

Frazier had 1,955 rushing yards and 36 touchdowns on the ground while passing for 3,521 yards and 43 touchdowns during his four-year career. He also threw just 11 interceptions, which is astonishing for a four-year span at any level of football. Unlike the rest of the players on the list, though, Frazier went undrafted into the NFL.

The Shortest Players in Baseball History

Baseball is one of those sports where you want to try to be around six feet tall as you want to generate power while also not giving too big of a strike zone. However, there have been plenty of short players that made their way to the MLB with the hopes of taking walks and stealing bases.

Then, there were a few players that were really short to the point where they became famous due to their small statures. Here’s a look at the five players to reach the MLB standing at 5’3” or shorter:

5. Pompeyo Davalillo

Also known as Yo-Yo, Pompeyo Davalillo came from Venezuela, which made him one of the first from the country to join Major League Baseball. Davalillo spent much of his time playing in the Minor Leagues due to the fact that he didn’t like flying on airplanes while also getting injured multiple times. Still, Davalillo was able to get at least a little bit of time in the MLB.

Standing at 5’3”, Davalillo appeared in just 19 games, all during the 1953 season with the Washington Senators. During that time, he collected 17 hits in his 64 plate appearances. He was also able to steal one base and knock in a pair of runs. Like everyone else on the list, Davalillo failed to hit a home run during his Major League career.

4. Stubby Magner

When you’re short and played baseball at the turn of the century, you’re bound to have a matching nickname. Born as Edmund Magner in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1888, Magner earned the nickname Stubby due to his 5’3” frame. Magner attended Cornell and turned his attention to professional baseball afterward. 

In 1911, Magner made his Major League debut with the New York Highlanders (now the Yankees). It would be Magner’s only season in the MLB as he had 41 plate appearances. He collected seven hits and four walks en route to a .212 career batting average. Instead of sticking around baseball, Magner returned to Cornell where he coached hockey.

3. Bob Emmerich

Another member of the 5’3” members of the list, Bob Emmerich was a New York City native that was born in the 1800s. Emmerich took many years to reach the MLB as it wasn’t until 1923 he finally made his debut at the age of 32. Emmerich was a member of the Boston Braves during all 13 games of his Major League career.

During that time, Emmerich made 27 plate appearances but collected just two hits and two walks. He was also able to steal one base, though it wouldn’t be enough to keep him on an MLB roster. Emmerich lived until 1948 after his MLB season ended, passing away at the age of 57.

2. Jess Cortazzo

While he’s another 5’3” player on the list, Jess Cortazzo didn’t last as long as the others that have been mentioned already. A native of Wilmerding, Pennsylvania, Cortazzo was just 18 years old when he made his Major League debut in 1923. He did so with the Chicago White Sox, and his debut was his only MLB game to boot.

Cortazzo, as the youngest player in the league at the time, had just one at-bat and didn’t reach base. It was interesting to see that he never got another chance since he was so young, making it so that he had the absolute minimum time that you can get while being in the Major Leagues. Cortazzo lived until 1963, returning to Pennsylvania after his brief MLB stint.

1. Eddie Gaedel

The rest of the list is comprised of players who were the only 5’3” members in league history, but Eddie Gaedel stands well below the rest of the list. Gaedel was just 60 pounds and was 3’7” when he was working on airplanes with the United States Army before turning his attention to performing arts.

St. Louis Browns owner Bill Beeck discovered Gaedel’s showmanship and signed him to play a game with the team to drive up ticket sales. Gaedel, like Cortazzo, had just one plate appearance but was able to reach base. On four straight pitches, Gaedel drew a walk and was pulled for a pinch runner. The next day, American League president Will Harridge voided Gaedel’s contract and his plate appearance was temporarily lifted from the MLB record books.

5 Best Atlanta Rappers

When it comes to cities that are known for rap music, it’s hard to top Atlanta, Georgia. Though it wasn’t until the late 1990s that the city was known on a national level, it quickly became one of the go-to’s in the genre. As a result, there have been a lot of legendary rappers from the ATL, but which ones are the best? Here’s our ranking of the top five.

5. Future

Born in Atlanta as Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn, he adopted the name Future early on in his rap career and signed with A1 Recordings in the city during the late 2000s, and started performing with The Dungeon Family. He started writing more heartfelt lyrics and saw his mixtapes start to pick up steam, leading him to a contract with Epic Records thanks to his songs being featured at a local gentleman’s club.

Future was a big hit right from his debut album “Pluto”, which reached the top 10 and was certified platinum. Since then, Future has released more than a half-dozen number one albums including “DS2” and “Evol” and hit songs like “Mask Off” and “Life Is Good”.

4. T.I.

Clifford Harris was raised by his grandparents in Atlanta and started rapping in the ATL while he was still in elementary school. Though his nickname was ‘Tip’ as a child, he shortened it to T.I. and started making waves in the late 1990s when he signed with Arista Records, part of LaFace. His name ultimately came about because his first label didn’t want to market him as Tip or T.I.P.

After his first album “I’m Serious” was met with mild success, his sophomore album “Trap Muzik” put T.I. on the map. Over the years, he has released a long list of hit singles including “Whatever You Like”, “Bring ‘Em Out” and “Live Your Life”, just to name a few.

3. Ludacris

Though he wasn’t born in Atlanta since he was born in Champaign, Illinois, Christopher Bridges moved to Atlanta toward the end of his high school years and stayed in the city throughout college. Throughout the entire time, Bridges began rapping as Chris Lova Lova while working in radio but changed the name to Ludacris when he hooked up with Timbaland and recorded his first album.

After his first two albums found regional success, Luda hit it big in 2001 with the release of “Word of Mouf”. With songs like “Rollout”, “Move B****”, and “Stand Up”, Ludacris became Atlanta rap royalty. Though he started getting away from rap in the 2010s, he’s still regarded as one of the kings.

2. Big Boi

One-half of the legendary Atlanta rap duo Outkast (you knew they had to be on the list), Big Boi made his way to the ATL in high school by way of Savannah, Georgia. It was while at Tri-Cities High School that he started to take his music more seriously, though he was less into hip-hop than he was into art pop. Still, he was able to make up one-half of Outkast in 1992 and take over the rap world.

Big Boi had a ton of hits with Outkast including “The Way You Move” and “Hey Ya”, and went into a solo career shortly after Outkast split. He released his debut solo album “Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty” in 2010 and has released two more since then. His biggest solo hit came in 2017 with the release of “All Night”.

1. Andre 3000

Of course, the other half of Outkast is Andre Benjamin, also known as Andre 3000. Benjamin was born and raised in Atlanta where he attended multiple high schools before landing at the same one as Big Boi. It wasn’t much longer after the two joined forces that they were able to receive their first record deal with LaFace and released their debut album in 1994.

After taking some time away from rap following the split of Outkast, Andre 3000 returned in 2007 and mainly worked on joint creations with other rappers. It wasn’t until 2021 that he released his first single as a lead artist titled “Life of the Party” with Kanye West. In 2018, he released his first EP titled “Look Ma No Hands”.

5 Famous People From North Carolina

When you think of states that have produced famous celebrities, you tend to think of places like California or New York. North Carolina isn’t very high on that list, at all, but there has still been some A-list talent to come from the Tar Heel State. Here are five people who called North Carolina their home throughout their childhood before becoming big-time stars.

Ava Gardner

One of the biggest stars during the Golden Age of Hollywood, Ava Gardner appeared in films throughout the 1940s, 50s, and 60s including “The Killers”, “The Barefoot Contessa” and “Seven Days in May”. The beautiful award-winning star took an incredibly winding path to Hollywood, and it all started in Grabtown, North Carolina where she was born on Christmas Eve in 1922.

When she was born, Gardner’s parents were tobacco sharecroppers, though they would end up losing the farm while she was a child. She remained in the state for several years while her parents worked odd jobs until she moved to Virginia briefly, then headed back to North Carolina. It was in Rock Ridge where she finished high school before leaving for New York City and beginning her film career.

Jaime Pressly

Jaime Pressly is one of those rare people in Hollywood that has a southern accent and wasn’t really asked to change it. Instead, she has used it to her advantage thanks to roles in films including “Joe Dirt” and “Not Another Teen Movie” while also starring in memorable TV roles in “My Name is Earl” and “Mom”.

Pressly’s accent comes from her time in North Carolina, as she was born in Kinston on July 30, 1977. Pressly’s mother was a dance instructor while her father sold cars in North Carolina, and she remained there for the first 15 years of her life. She made her way to California with her family where she became a model in high school, starting her career. Over the years, Pressly has made her way back to North Carolina multiple times, remembering the state fondly.

Zach Galifianakis

Though his name might suggest that he’s from Greece, Zach Galifianakis was born and raised in North Carolina. Galifianakis was born on October 1, 1969 in Wilkesboro, North Carolina where his mother operated a community arts center while his father worked in oil. Galifianakis attended Wilkes Central High School and then North Carolina State University where he got into acting and honed his comedy skills.

It was clear that Galifianakis was a bright star in the comedy, and he started landing gigs as a writer, including a brief stint with “Saturday Night Live”. Eventually, he made his way in front of the camera as a star, landing memorable roles in hit films “The Hangover” and “Due Date” while also starring in the television series “Baskets”.

Evan Rachel Wood

Evan Rachel Wood started out her acting career at a very young age, appearing in TV shows as a child including “American Gothic” and “Once and Again”. When she got into adulthood, Wood transitioned into more serious roles and made her way to the big screen, starring in movies including “The Wrestler” and “The Ides of March”, while more recently appearing in “Frozen II” and “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story”.

Wood’s parents Sara Lynn Moore and David Wood III are actors, as well, and were based out of Raleigh, North Carolina where Evan Rachel was born on September 7, 1987. Wood got involved in acting with her parents locally at a young age, and when her television career took off, the family moved to California where she became homeschooled and graduated at just 15 years old.

Michael C. Hall

One of the most critically acclaimed shows of the 20th century was “Dexter”, and its success was due in large part to leading man Michael C. Hall. Outside of “Dexter”, Hall has had appearances in “Six Feet Under”, “Game Night” and “Paycheck”, just to name a few. It’s been a solid career for Hall, and he did it after starting in North Carolina.

Hall was born in Raleigh on February 1, 1971 to parents that were not part of the acting scene. He was raised in the city and attended high school and part of college in North Carolina before eventually making his way to New York City to begin acting.

5 Memorable Contestants on The Voice

Back in 2011, NBC decided to join the singing talent competition game after the success of shows like “American Idol” and “The X Factor”. The show has a simple enough concept, with four superstar judges/coaches unable to see the contestant’s face. Thus, contestants are chosen solely due to their voice, which was a big change from previous reality competitions.

The coaches then work with the contestants to determine a winner with the hopes that it shoots the singer into the same level of stardom. The top prize at the end is $100,000 in cash and a record deal for the winner. Throughout the years, there have been several notable contestants to either earn the top prize or at least find enough fame thanks to the show. Here are the five most memorable contestants from “The Voice”.

Christina Grimmie

Before Christina Grimmie’a appearance on the sixth season of The Voice in 2014, she pursued her singing ventures on YouTube, recording and uploading covers of popular songs. In time, she found herself opening for Selena Gomez & the Scene, the Jonas Brothers, and performing on the Ellen DeGeneres show performing a cover of “How To Love” by Lil Wayne. Grimmie’s passion, great pop vocals, and stage presence made her stand out. 

The judges all adored her, earning her a four-chair turn on the show. With help from her Mentor, The Voice judge Adam Levine, Grimmie took third place in the competition. She went on to have a successful career that tragically was cut short when she was murdered after one of her shows by a crazed fan in June of 2016. 

Melanie Martinez

Melanie Martinez auditioned for season three of The Voice in 2012. She managed to stand out during her audition due to her acoustic rendition of Britney Spears’s “Toxic” and her quirky sense of style. Three of the four judges turned their chairs for her, including the judge she chose as her coach, Adam Levine. Through the battles, she came out on top. 

Though, come week five, she was voted off the show via viewer votes. During the following years, she worked on writing and recording her own music. Later, she signed with Atlantic Records and went on to have a very successful career thanks to her album “Crybaby”. 

Sawyer Fredericks 

Sawyer Fredericks auditioned for season eight of The Voice in 2015, ultimately winning the entire competition that season. The judges were immediately blown away by his audition, performing his version of the folk song “I’m a Man of Constant Sorrow”. 

The depth of his rich blues voice took them by surprise, especially considering he was only 16 years old. He chose Pharrell Williams as his coach after a four-chair turn, who led him to success. Fredericks’ was signed by Atlantic Records after his big win and has had a successful career following his time on the show. 

Jordan Smith  

Jordan Smith auditioned for season 9 of The Voice in late 2015. He surprised everyone when he began his audition by belting out the popular song “Chandelier” by female singer Sia. His ability to comfortably use his falsetto to hit those high notes was a pleasant surprise for the judges. 

With a four-chair turn from the judges, Smith chose Adam Levine as his coach. With Levine’s coaching and Smith’s passion and natural talent, he ended up winning the competition for that season. 

Cassadee Pope

Cassadee Pope auditioned for season three of The Voice in 2012, eventually becoming the first female winner since the show’s start. She began her singing career as the lead of her band Hey Monday before pursuing a solo singing career in 2012. 

She auditioned with the song “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia, earning her a four-chair turn. Her chosen coach, Blake Shelton, helped her win it all. She’s had a successful career in country music since her time on the show. 

5 Greatest Hong Kong TV Stars

When thinking about television across the world, most people’s minds go straight to Hollywood, but there are plenty of countries worldwide that have been able to establish a strong television presence. This includes Hong Kong, which has produced a lot of memorable shows and characters over the years that fans have come to know and love.

Through networks including RTV and TVB, there have been a lot of television stars in Hong Kong through all genres of entertainment. Let’s take a look at some of the stars that have been produced, picking out the very greatest that Hong Kong has had to offer. While some have had major careers in film, they’re still known as fantastic TV stars.

Charmaine Sheh

Charmaine Sheh is thought to be one of Hong Kong’s greatest television actresses of her time. Sheh has starred in a ton of Chinese television series since her contract with TVB began in 1998. 

She’s known for her role in series such as Return of the Cuckoo, War and Beauty, Maiden’s’ Vow, Can’t Buy Me Love, and most recently The Legend of Xiao Chuo. She has been nominated for countless awards, winning three times for favorite female character at the TVB Anniversary Awards.  

Maggie Shiu

Born in 1965, Maggie Shiu rose to popularity in the mid-1980s when she joined TVB and immediately started landing roles in shows including “Take Care, Your Highness!” and continued to be a big name throughout the rest of the decade and into the 1990s and beyond. Some of her most recognizable work throughout her career in television has included “New Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre”, “Crime Fighters” and “Virtues of Harmony” just to name a few.

Shiu has been nominated for several awards throughout her career, including TVB Anniversary Awards for favorite television character and best actress. Shiu has even received plenty of film work throughout her career, too, starring in movies such as “Eye in the Sky”, “Breaking News” and “Election”, all of which earned her nominations at the Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Supporting Actress.

Anthony Wong  

Anthony Wong is mostly known for his cinematic roles in films that include “The Untold Story”, “Beast Cops” and “Still Human” (all of which have earned him the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor), though he has spent plenty of time on the small screen. Born as Anthony Perry in Hong Kong in 1961 to a British father and Hong Kong native mother, he adopted the name Anthony Wong prior to his acting career.

Wong made his television debut in 1989 with the production of “War of the Dragon”, and over the next few years had several smaller roles. It wasn’t until the 2000s when his film career had taken off that he started landing more prominent TV roles. Some of his more recent work on the small screen include “Kung Fu Soccer”, “Eight Heroes” and “Lord of Shanghai”, while also earning a win at the Asian Television Awards for Best Actor for “The Republic”.

Roger Kwok

Hong Kong-born Roger Kwok is one of the most successful television actors to come out of Hong Kong. Well known for his work with the TVB station in television series like Square Pegs, The Royal Swordsmen, The Season of Fate, Black Heart White Soul, and most recently Big White Duel ll. 

Thanks to Square Pegs, Kwok quickly rose to stardom after years in the business. His work on Square Pegs, Black Heart White Soul, and Life Made Simple allowed him to become one of three talented actors to have been nominated and won the award for Best Actor three times at the TVB Anniversary Awards. 

Daniel Wu 

Though he was born in the United States (Berkeley, California specifically), Daniel Wu is based almost entirely out of Hong Kong. While in his mid-20s, Wu made his acting debut in the 1998 film “Bishonen” and has gone on to star in more than five dozen films. This includes American productions including “Tomb Raider” and “Geostorm” in recent years.

As for his television career, Wu is best known for starring in the series “Into the Badlands”. Since then, he has starred in shows including “Skylanders Academy”, “Westworld” and “American-Born Chinese”. It has been a fascinating career for Wu, who has been nominated for (and won) several awards for his work in Hong Kong and China, including Best Supporting Actor at the Golden Horse Awards.

5 Highest Grossing Japanese Films

When it comes to films that end up making hundreds of millions at the box office, most of us immediately think of Hollywood. Of course, there are other countries that make plenty of blockbuster films, but Japan tends to be overlooked. Despite being one of the most advanced countries while also having a strong penchant for entertainment, Japan doesn’t enter many films into the all-time list of the world’s highest-grossing films.

That doesn’t mean that Japan hasn’t had its fair share of hit films financially, though. There’s a certain art form that Japan is known for, and when it gets put onto the big screen, it can end up being a huge success. Once you look at the list of the five highest-grossing Japanese films of all time, you’ll be able to tell what that art form is.

1. Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train

Demon Slayer the Movie: Magen Train is the highest-grossing Japanese film of all time thus far, earning ¥64,773,752,500 ($506.5 million US), with a budget of $16 million US. The 2020 animated film was directed by Haruo Sotozaki and acts as a sequel to the popular anime series’ first television season. 

Demon Slayer the Movie follows the Mugen Train arc of the Demon Slayer series and earned the title of the highest-earning mature animated film of all time. The film received the title of Animation of the Year after its release at the Japan Academy Film Prize and surpassed all expectations at the worldwide box office.

2. Spirited Away  

Spirited Away is the second highest-grossing Japanese film of all time, earning ¥50,616,883,000 ($395.8 million US), with a budget of $19.2 million US. The 2001 fan-favorite animated film was written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and animated by Studio Ghibli. 

The fantasy film follows a young girl, Chihiro Ogino, who discovers a mystical world, the world of Kano. She tries to find a way to help her parents who were turned into pigs by the witch Yubaba. Spirited Away went on the win an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, the only film of its kind to do so. 

3. Your Name

Your Name is the third highest-grossing Japanese film of all time, earning ¥48,609,088,500 ($380.1 million US), with a budget of $5.8 million US. The 2016 animated fantasy film was written and directed by Makoto Shinkai. The heartwarming plot is enough to make anyone well up with emotion. 

The film follows two teenagers, Mitsuha Miyamizu and Taki Tachibana, who find themselves switching bodies. They’re separated by time and space, living in separate timelines in different parts of Japan. The film takes you on a romantic, heartfelt journey. Earning it a slew of awards, like Best Animated Film at the 2016 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards. 

4. Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke is the fourth highest-grossing Japanese film of all time, earning ¥21,702,084 ($169.7 million US), with a budget of ¥2.1 billion ($23.5 million US). The film is another animated entry from Studio Gibhli and was both written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. At the time of its release in 1997, Princess Mononoke broke just about every box office record that Japan had to offer. 

Following the story of the Ashitaka, Princess Mononoke was critically acclaimed and centered around the theme of environment. Princess Mononoke won the Picture of the Year title at the 21st Japanese Academy Awards, and became a hit overseas for Studio Ghibli.

5. Howl’s Moving Castle 

Howl’s Moving Castle is the fifth highest-grossing Japanese film of all time, earning ¥23.2 billion ($236 million US), with a budget of ¥2.4 billion ($24 million US). The top five finishes with yet another animated entry from Studio Ghibli and director Hayao Miyazaki. The film has a strong anti-war sentiment and follows the United States’ invasion of Iraq in 2003.

There was critical acclaim surrounding Howl’s Moving Castle when it was released in late 2004, and it was nominated for awards worldwide, including the 78th Academy Awards. Though it would end up losing out on Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, Howl’s Moving Castle is still considered one of the finest animated films to come from Japan.

5 Highest Grossing Chinese Films

There was a time in movie history when the entirety of the Chinese market was an afterthought. The country, despite its size, was not producing major blockbusters, and Hollywood didn’t attempt to appeal to Chinese audiences. Ever since the start of the 21st century, however, things have changed dramatically and China now has a film industry that rivals just about any other major country in the world.

In recent years, China has invested a lot more into its films to the point where budgets are starting to resemble that of Hollywood blockbusters. That’s because these films are making money left and right at the box office, setting global records in the process. Let’s take a look at the five highest-grossing Chinese films and how they fared both financially and critically.

The Battle at Lake Changjin

The Battle at Lake Changjin is the top-grossing Chinese film, earning a total of ¥5.77 billion ($913 million US) at the box office. The film’s $200 million US budget makes it the most expensive film to come out of China.

The film came out in 2021 and was co-directed by Chen Kaige, Dante Lam, and Tsui Hark. Wu Jing and Jackson Lee star in the film, which serves as a fictional depiction of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War. The success of the film was so unprecedented that it warranted a sequel, which was released in February 2022 despite neither being a critical favorite outside of China.

Wolf Warrior 2

Wolf Warrior 2 is the second highest-grossing Chinese film, earning a total of ¥5.68 billion ($874 million US) at the box office. The film had a budget of 30.1 million US and was released in 2017. Previously mentioned Wu Jing co-wrote, co-produced, co-directed, and even starred in the film.

A sequel to the 2015 film Wolf Warrior, Wolf Warrior 2 follows Chinese soldier Leng Feng as he finds himself wandering around Africa after leaving for the continent following his release from military prison. The film had mostly positive reviews, and won multiple awards including Best Actor at the Huading Awards for Wu Jing.

Hi, Mom

Hi, Mom is the third highest-grossing Chinese film, earning a total of ¥5.4 billion ($805 million US) at the box office. The 2021 film had a budget of $59 million US, and was written, directed by, and stars Jia Ling. Hi, Mom follows Jia Ling’s character Jia Xiaoling as she is transported back in time to 1981 after her mother’s tragic and fatal car accident in 2001.

Jia Xiaoling does her best to bring her mother joy, even going as far as trying to find her a better husband so that her mother might end up with a family that can make her happier than her daughter feels she did.

Ne Zha

Ne Zha is the fourth highest-grossing Chinese film, earning a total of ¥5 billion ($742 million US) at the box office. The 2019 film had a budget of $20 million US and is a 3D computer animation, written and directed by Yu Yang. Ne Zha is based on the novel Investiture of the Gods, which was written in the 1500s.

Upon its initial release, Ne Zha was the highest-grossing movie in Chinese history, and became one of the highest-grossing computer-animated films in worldwide history. Directed by Yu Yang, Ne Zha was recognized by critics in China and around the globe, earning consideration for the Academy Awards. Though it ultimately wasn’t nominated for Best Animated Feature, Ne Zha still left a big impression on American audiences.

The Wandering Earth

The Wandering Earth is the fifth highest-grossing Chinese film, earning a total of ¥4.6 billion ($700 million US) at the box office. Released in 2019, The Wandering Earth is a science fiction title based on a short story released nearly 20 years prior by Liu Cixin. The Wandering Earth carried a budget of $50 million.

In The Wandering Earth, a group of astronauts is working hard to get away from a sun that’s expanding and attempting to get the entire Earth to a safe distance. The film showed a huge leap forward for Chinese cinema, and the blockbuster ended up being a huge hit with audiences. Netflix would wind up getting the rights to air the film on their streaming service, and a sequel was announced upon its worldwide success.

5 Highest Grossing Korean Films

Many of the East Asian countries are known for a particular type of entertainment. In recent years, China has been known for becoming a major player in the movie industry, while Japan has had a big focus on animation for a very long time. Then, there’s Korea, which is mostly known for music, particularly in the pop genre.

However, that doesn’t mean that Korea hasn’t had its fair share of financial successes at the box office. Throughout Korean film history, there have been a handful of blockbusters that have made their way to audiences overseas, earning an amount of money that would have them fit right in with Hollywood. Let’s take a look at the highest-grossing Korean films to see how they fared worldwide.

1. Extreme Job

The action-packed comedy flick, Extreme Job, is the highest-grossing film to come from South Korea. Earning ₩148.5 billion ($120 million USD), with a budget of ₩6.5 billion ($5.8 million USD). For director Lee Byeong-heon, it was a major blockbuster undertaking, but even he couldn’t have seen the success that was coming with Extreme Job.

Released in 2019, the film follows a group of detectives that make a last-ditch effort to save their careers after failing a previous mission. When their new objective lands them at a chicken restaurant, hilarity ensues and things don’t quite go as planned. 

2. The Admiral: Roaring Currents

A war film filled to the brim with action, The Admiral: Roaring Currents, is the second highest-grossing film to come from South Korea. Earning ₩171.1 billion ($138.3 million USD), with a surprisingly low budget estimated to be no more than ₩526 million ($425,000 USD). 

The 2014 film is co-written and directed by Kim Han-min and is a dramatic adaptation of the Battle of Myeongnyang in 1597, where legendary Admiral Yi Sun-sin fought against the Japanese Navy near Jindo Island. The film showcases the intense bravery and turmoil that surrounds war.  

3. The Roundup

The high-energy crime flick, The Roundup, is the third highest-grossing film to come from South Korea. Earning ₩125 billion ($101.1 million USD), with a budget of ₩10.5 billion ($8.4 million USD). Directed by Lee-Sang-Yong, the 2022 film is a sequel to the 2017 film The Outlaws.

In this sequel, detective Ma-Seok-do finds himself in Vietnam to extradite suspect Yoo Jong-hoon. They get more than they bargained for when they discover a murderer in their midst, Kang Hae-sang, responsible for killing Korean tourists. 

4. Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds

Along With the Gods is a fantasy-filled and action-packed film that comes in fourth for highest grossing South Korean films. It earned ₩135 billion ($109.4 million USD), with a budget of ₩20 billion ($18.3 million USD). The film was directed by Kim Yong-hwa, and has an alternate name of Together with God – Sin and Punishment, depending on how the film title is translated.

The film is actually the first of a two-parter that was all shot at the same time and stars Ha Jung-woo, Chae Tae-hyun, and Ju Ji-hoon. The film follows the tale of a firefighter who was killed in action and is guided through the afterlife by guardians that help him through the many trials that he has to pass in order to be reincarnated. It’s an interesting look at the afterlife that was beloved by moviegoers and critics alike. Along With the Gods was nominated for a dozen Blue Dragon Awards, taking home five wins including Best Supporting Actress for Kim Hyang-gi.

5. Ode to My Father 

Ode to My Father is an intense and emotional drama film that takes the fifth spot for the highest-grossing film to come out of South Korea. It earned ₩122 billion ($99 million USD), with a budget of ₩37 billion ($30 million USD). Released in 2014, this film directed by Yoon Je-kyoon instantly became a darling for critics around the world.

The tale begins during the Korean War during the 1950s and follows the life of a man all the way through to the present day, sharing a story that resonated with a lot of the audience. Ode to My Father was nominated for a long list of awards that included nine Blue Dragon Awards, earning three wins including a Best Supporting Actor title for Oh Dal-su.