Believe it or not, there was a time when pornographic film did pretty good business in theaters. Yes, in theaters. From 1972 until 1983, they accounted for 16% of total box office receipts in the United States.
Deep Throat, the first hard-core film to become a cross-over hit with mainstream audiences, grossed $1 million its first seven weeks in theaters in 1972. It made a then-record $3 million in its first six months of release and was still listed among the top 10 highest-grossing films by Variety 48 weeks after its release. Deep Throat and Beyond the Green Door made Linda Lovelace and Marilyn Chambers, their respective stars, household names. Both films were the first of their type to reach a mass, mixed-gender audience. Some of the major hits, like Deep Throat and Beyond the Green Door, migrated from porn theaters to mainstream theaters and the term “porn-chic” was born.
In 1973, The Devil in Miss Jones made Variety‘s list of the top ten highest-grossing pictures of the year, and Deep Throat, in its second year of release just missed the top 10, coming in at #11. The Devil in Miss Jones racked up box office receipts of $7.7 million for the …read more