Dumb And Dumber's Lloyd Christmas is one of Jim Carrey's most beloved roles, but it also helped him make box-office history in 1994. Prior to his lead role in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Jim Carrey was a popular comedian best known for his appearance on sketch show In Living Color. He'd also made appearances in movies like the final Dirty Harry movie The Dead Pool and Earth Girls Are Easy with Geena Davis and Jeff Goldblum.
Jim Carrey wasn't the first choice for Ace Ventura, with Rick Moranis (Spaceballs), Whoopi Goldberg and even Alan Rickman being considered before Carrey came on. The actor's hyperactive, rubber-faced antics in Pet Detective helped make the movie a number one box-office hit in the U.S. and made Carrey into a star. The actor cemented his status in July 1994 with the release of comic adaptation The Mask, where he played a mild-manned clerk who is transformed into a wild superhero when he puts on a wooden mask. The Mask was an even bigger success than Ace Ventura, grossing $350 million worldwide.
Dumb And Dumber would come out in December 1994, and by that time Jim Carrey was already considered a major star off the back of his two previous hits. The actor was even able to negotiate a $7 million dollar salary to play Lloyd Christmas, after actors like Steve Martin, Rob Lowe, and Martin Short turned it down. The chemistry between Carrey and co-star Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom) and the film's rapid-fire gags made it another number one success in the U.S. This feat also helped Jim Carrey make history as an actor.
Ace Ventura, The Mask, and Dumb And Dumber all became number one hits in the same year, and they collectively grossed over $700 million worldwide. For three non-franchise movies starring a previously untested leading man, that's a pretty astounding performance. There have been rare instances of performers who've starred in three number U.S. box-office hits in the same year, like in 2013 where Dwayne Johnson starred in Fast & Furious 6, Pain And Gain and G.I. Joe: Retaliation, but even then, two of those projects were established franchises and in the case of Fast & Furious he was part of an ensemble cast.
Carrey would go on to capitalize on his newfound success and jumped into projects like Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Batman Forever, and Liar Liar. While he's certainly achieved critical and box-office success in the years following 1994, even he won't be able to repeat the unique line up of factors that resulted in him appearing in three massive movies in the same year.
While the star has famously avoided sequels to his own work, he returned to play Lloyd Christmas in 2014's Dumb And Dumber To. While the Dumb And Dumber sequel proved to be something of a letdown to fans of the original, it proved Carrey and Daniels still made for a great comic team, and it nice to see the star returning to the role that helped him cap off a history-making feat.