By Dorothy Pomerantz
Valentine's Day is just around the corner, when movie lovers' thoughts turn to romance films. But the movies likely to get the most play this holiday aren't your typical romance movies. Instead they are the "Twilight" films, in which a human girl struggles with a love triangle involving a vampire and a werewolf.
That's why Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson land at the top of our list of Hollywood's highest-grossing screen couples. We looked at the top grossing romantic movies of the last three years, and "Twilight" was by far the biggest box office winner. In the past three years, Stewart and Pattinson's series has earned $1.17 billion.
The fact that we get to track the couple's offscreen romance along with their onscreen love just adds to the overall romance of the films. The couple is reportedly back together after breaking up over Stewart's fling with the married director of her film "Snow White and the Huntsman."
Pattinson also ranks 10th place on our list alongside Reese Witherspoon. Their film, "Water for Elephants," earned $59 million in the U.S. in 2011. Those aren't "Twilight" numbers, but considering the film brought in an extra $58 million internationally and only cost $38 million to make, it was a small hit.
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To compile our list, we looked at the top grossing romantic movies as classified by Box Office Mojo, and added up each couple's total U.S. box office. While StewPattz have an advantage because they appeared in three high-grossing movies together during our time frame, there were other actors who also did well on our list.
Like Channing Tatum. The actor ranks twice on the list for "The Vow" and "Dear John." Tatum and co-star Rachel McAdams came in 2nd on our list with $125 million, thanks to last year's hit movie, "The Vow." The story of a woman who loses some of her memory in a car accident earned $125 million in the U.S., and another $71 million overseas. That means the $30 million film turned a nice profit for Sony's Screen Gems division.
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Tatum is also part of the couple No. 6 on our list with Amanda Seyfried. Their 2010 movie, "Dear John," earned $80 million in the U.S., and another $35 million abroad. That film was based on a Nicholas Sparks book. Sparks is a Hollywood gold mine of romantic plots, and the movie version of his romantic book "Safe Haven" is scheduled to hit theaters this Valentine's Day.
Two other couples on our list also rank there because of Nicholas Sparks movies: Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus come in at No. 8 with $63 million for "The Last Song." The 2010 film was not only a hit with romance fans, it also sparked a real-life love story. Cyrus and Hemsworth, who met on the set, are now engaged to be married.
Ranking No. 9, just behind Hemsworth and Cyrus, are Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling with $60 million. The couple lit up the screen last year in "The Lucky One," also based on a Sparks book. Efron, best known for playing Troy in the "High School Musical" movies, played an Iraq war vet looking for a woman whose photo he believed helped save his life. The success of the film should help Efron move beyond his teen heartthrob status.