Hollywood cannabis move themes changing
Hollywood cannabis move themes changing

Hollywood Movies Stopped Making Fun of Stoners - What Happened?

Weed comedies used to be the standard, now Hollywood isn't making fun of marijuana anymore.

Posted by:
Joseph Billions on Thursday Dec 9, 2021

Hollywood changes marijuana movie themes

In the last decade, comedy movies have taken another dimension. Movies like Superbad, The Hangover, Pineapple Express, and American Ultra are rarely made; neither do they bring in as much revenue as the latest genres of movies making waves in the industry.

For many classic stoner comedy lovers, the absence of these genres in the movies is surprising. Ten years ago, no one would have imagined that stoner comedies could become rarities in the entertainment industry, as these genres were a force to reckon with back in time. Back when they were all the rage, stoner comedies generated massive profits for investors. The Hangover had a budget of less than $100 million, and when it was released, it grossed over $580 million in ticket sales worldwide. It makes one wonder just why Hollywood moviemakers stopped making stoner comedies.

The Stoner Comedy Boom

In the late 1990s and 2000s, the influence of popular stones comedy on the entertainment industry can not be overstated. The movie Cheech and Chong started the trend of significant hit movies belonging to the stoner comedy genre. In terms of castings and storyline, the film all tend to have similar backgrounds. The movies are always themed around coming-of-age settings, capers, or odysseys.

The success of these movies fostered the widespread acceptance of marijuana across the United States of America. Those movies walked, so that cannabis advocates and legislation could run. The stoner comedies initiated a vital boost in cannabis culture.

Reasons Why Hollywood Isn't Making Stoner Comedies

Now, Hollywood is made up of various franchises and different genres. From medical series animations, documentaries, and others, all are generating millions of dollars annually. Here are some of the reasons why stoner comedies have been sidelined.

Superhero Movies Have Taken Their Place

In 2008, Marvel Cinematic Universe released Iron Man, the first franchise of their superhero movies collections. This movie began the superhero craze that replaced the era of stoner comedies.

With just a budget of $141 million, Iron Man generated over $585 million from global ticket sales. Subsequent movies were all prominent blockbusters. One of the most-watched movies in the last decade is from the MCU franchise, Avengers: Infinity Wars.

Movie lovers worldwide have their appetites for superhero movies increasing with each new release.

As it stands, new stories and characters will have a place in Hollywood and silver screens around the globe for years to come. There's a high possibility that stoner comedies may be sidelined forever because superhero movies infuse ranging levels of humor to engage the likes of casual moviegoers. Except something spectacular happens concerning the cannabis industry, don't expect any stoner comedy anytime soon.

Major Studios are Not Interested in Stoner Comedies

Writers are finding it hard to pitch ideas to significant Studios. Most of these studios handpick trending topics and invest time and resources in creating something unique. Stoner comedies with the usual storylines have lesser chances of being selected for production.

Thankfully, streaming platforms like Hulu and Netflix are alternatives for writers looking to get the required traction for their movie scripts to go into production. However, while it is easy to get these streaming platforms interested, it isn't easy to ensure subscribers do not scroll past these movies.

There's an unpopular opinion that current movie fans are not that inclined to stoner comedy movies like the fans of the early 2000s and late 1990s.

The question for every stoner comedy fan is who will be this generation's Seth Rogan and Jonah Hill. It will be challenging to know this until a significant studio finally redirects its attention to stoner comedies once again.

Times are Different

At the peak of the stoner comedy genre, the political environment was highly charged. This added to the genre's increased popularity and ability to make people laugh.

With cannabis legislation here and there, the climes have become saner and calmer. Writing content for stoner comedies is now an arduous chore, as writers are yet to adapt to the current circumstances.

Expectedly, more attention has been diverted to other genres like romance, action, tragedy, and horror.

Popular Stoner Comedies

Dozens of movies in this genre were released when it was making waves. While everyone is waiting for the next cult classic, you could check out the old stoner comedy movies that thrived in the last decade or earlier.

The notable stoner comedy works you may want to check out  include;


  • Half Baked (1998) – This movie featured Jim Breuer, Harland Williams, Dave Chapelle, and Guillermo Diaz. The film has a classic cult background and tells how three friends went to jail and broke anothermutual friend.


  • Friday (1995) – This movie revolved around two unemployed friends owing a local drug dealer a lump sum of money. Ice Cube and Chris Tucker co-starred as the main cast.


  • How High (2001) – in this stoner comedy starring Rapper Method Man and Redman, two underachievers smoke a magical strain of cannabis and go ahead to ace all their college entrance examinations.


  • Pineapple Express (2008) – This movie includes a touch of crime and stars Seth Rogen and James Franco. The story follows two individuals who witness a murder and flee from the hitmen.


  • American Ultra (2015) – This simple stoner comedy is about a stoner who discovers he was a subject in a government-run secret program.


Other stoner comedies you can also watch out for include This is the end, Tenacious D in the pick of destiny, Jay and silent Bob strike back, Grandma's boy and Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke.

Final Words

The best thing you can do to relive the stoner comedy era is to get your hands on old movies and classics. Some streaming platforms even offer these classics on their sites. Or you could go the old-fashioned way by searching for DVDs or CDs to watch on your old digital players. Don't hold out hope that someday these stoner comedies might be revisited by major studios.

Till then, grab some popcorn and stream the hell out of those classics that you can get your hands on. Enjoy!



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