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Biggest box office winners of all time

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Robert Wise Productions

Biggest box office winners of all time

Were it not for the current COVID-19 pandemic, Hollywood would start rolling out its biggest blockbusters right about now. Instead, everything from “A Quiet Place Part II” to “Mulan” to “Black Widow” has been pushed back to a later date. Now more than ever, viewers faced with the difficult circumstances of isolation or quarantine could use some reprieve or distraction. Maybe some crave the spectacular, the kind of movie that rolls out to massive anticipation before raking in billions at the box office. Or maybe there are some folks out there who just want to revisit a classic like “The Graduate,” which redefined cinema and made a boatload of cash in the process.

Whatever the motivations, there are over 100 years of movie history to choose from. One could go back as far as the silent era to find big-budget spectacle, in movies such as Buster Keaton’s “The General” or Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis.” Each decade that followed delivered its own version of pure movie magic, cranking big productions and big effects out of big budgets. Then there are the little movies that could: mid-budget films that captured the zeitgeist and rode to the top of the box office as a result.

Because box office numbers matter now more than ever, it can cast the medium of cinema in an unnecessarily competitive light. On the other hand, a number of history’s foremost box office winners happen to be excellent films. Consequently, one could use gross earnings as a barometer of sorts—especially when wading through bygone eras. After all, it takes strong word of mouth and a passionate fan base to drive success, and that’s usually correlated with a certain tier of quality.

Using data from Box Office Mojo as of April 2020, Stacker compiled a list of the 100 biggest box office winners of all time. It covers all of movie history and relies purely on domestic box office gross, with earnings adjusted for ticket price inflation. While the list is predictably chock-full of musicals, historical epics, comic book adaptations, and franchises, it also features the occasional heart-wrenching drama, classic comedy, or head-spinning horror. Here are the biggest box office winners of all time.

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Lucasfilm

#100. Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)

- Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $489,147,661
- Estimated tickets sold: 53,468,500

Lukewarm reception to the first “Star Wars” prequel put a damper in this follow-up’s momentum. It made hundreds of millions at the box office, but wasn’t even the top-grossing film that year. Written and directed by George Lucas, it portrays the forbidden romance between Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala.

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Paramount Pictures

#99. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

- Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $489,735,899
- Estimated tickets sold: 53,532,800

What begins as a search for lost diamonds eventually takes the fearless Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) to a secret underground temple. Critics and audiences weren’t as enamored as before, but the movie still made a bundle. A fifth installment is reportedly in the works.

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Aspen Productions (I)

#98. MASH (1970)

- Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $491,120,956
- Estimated tickets sold: 53,684,200

Before it was a groundbreaking TV series, “MASH” was an equally groundbreaking dramedy from director Robert Altman. Set during the Korean War, it chronicles the lives of various medical staff. That it made nearly half a billion dollars (when adjusted for inflation) at the domestic box office seems like a small miracle in today’s Hollywood.

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    Fantasy Films

    #97. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $491,131,934
    - Estimated tickets sold: 53,685,400

    Ken Kesey’s iconic novel leaped onto the big screen in 1975, with a little help from producer Michael Douglas. A smash hit in more ways than one, the film killed at the box office and swept the top five Academy Award categories. It was a feat that hadn’t been accomplished for 40 years.

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    Walt Disney Productions

    #96. Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $492,253,520
    - Estimated tickets sold: 53,808,000

    Walt Disney spent more money than ever before when financing this famously complicated shoot. The investment paid off and it was one of the most popular movies he ever produced. Presented in widescreen Panavision, it follows a shipwrecked family as they survive on a deserted island.

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    Casey Productions

    #95. It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $492,870,118
    - Estimated tickets sold: 53,875,400

    Long before reality shows like “The Amazing Race,” there was this madcap adventure with a similar premise. Packed to the gills with comedy legends, it tackles the theme of unrelenting greed in brilliant slapstick fashion. A number of different cuts exist, including a 197-minute reconstruction of its original roadshow presentation.

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    DreamWorks

    #94. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $493,103,400
    - Estimated tickets sold: 53,900,900

    The Transformers are back for another epic battle in this 2009 sequel. Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox reprise their roles and must work with the Transformers to do battle against the evil Decepticon. The movie holds a 20% on Rotten Tomatoes.

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    Horizon Pictures (II)

    #93. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $497,669,333
    - Estimated tickets sold: 54,400,000

    Allied POWs are tasked with building an important bridge in this WWII adventure. It’s another acclaimed masterpiece from director David Lean, who crafted some of Hollywood’s foremost historical epics. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning seven.

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    Columbia Pictures

    #92. Men in Black (1997)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $499,651,777
    - Estimated tickets sold: 54,616,700

    Here come the Men in Black; they’re protecting the world from all sorts of invasive alien species. The beloved franchise kicked off at its highest point in terms of reception and domestic box numbers alike. Its lowest point came in the form of a recent flop known as “Men in Black: International.”

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    Warner Bros.

    #91. Twister (1996)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $500,304,968
    - Estimated tickets sold: 54,688,100

    Cinematographer-turned-action director Jan De Bont followed 1994’s “Speed” with this movie about storm-chasers. It was the second-highest-grossing film of the year, bested only by “Independence Day.” Author Michael Crichton co-wrote the screenplay with then-wife Anne-Marie Martin and the two earned a Razzie Award for their efforts (Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million).

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    New Line Cinema

    #90. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $501,323,178
    - Estimated tickets sold: 54,799,400

    The first in an epic trilogy, “The Fellowship of the Ring” sets the stage for Frodo Baggins and his many perilous adventures. As he and fellow hobbit Sam (Sean Astin) return a powerful ring to its rightful place, evil forces hunt them down. The movie is an adaptation of the celebrated book series by J.R.R. Tolkien.

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    Twentieth Century Fox

    #89. The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $502,261,797
    - Estimated tickets sold: 54,902,000

    This adventure drama takes place aboard an ill-fated cruise ship and stars an ensemble cast. It was part of a broader trend of 1970s disaster movies, which included films such as “Airport,” “Earthquake,” and “The Towering Inferno.” A 1979 sequel and 2006 remake both flopped.

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    Walt Disney Pictures

    #88. Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $503,014,704
    - Estimated tickets sold: 54,984,300

    Cinema’s most famous space opera came to a lackluster close from a critical and commercial perspective. While “The Rise of Skywalker” did crack $1 billion at the worldwide box office, expectations were higher. Writing for CineVue, critic Christopher Machell attested that the film offers “nothing but toadying supplication to the worst aspects of fan culture.”

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    The Samuel Goldwyn Company

    #87. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $503,158,333
    - Estimated tickets sold: 55,000,000

    Three WWII veterans struggle to regain normalcy upon returning home to small-town society. A success in every conceivable sense, this harrowing drama earned seven Academy Awards out of eight nominations. At least four of those awards were in major categories, including Best Picture.

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    Chartoff-Winkler Productions

    #86. Rocky (1976)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $503,524,267
    - Estimated tickets sold: 55,040,000

    It’s impossible not to get inspired by this low-budget masterpiece, which spawned a profitable franchise and turned Sylvester Stallone into a star. Surprisingly understated, it follows a small-time boxer (Stallone) as he prepares for the fight of his life. Sports movies would never be the same.

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    Twentieth Century Fox

    #85. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $503,793,228
    - Estimated tickets sold: 55,069,400

    Do the time warp again by revisiting this musical sensation, which was written off as a flop when it first debuted. A series of midnight screenings turned it into a cult phenomenon and a lucrative one at that. It continues to play in theaters after four decades, making it the longest-running theatrical film in history.

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    Horizon Pictures (II)

    #84. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $507,156,155
    - Estimated tickets sold: 55,437,000

    Three-plus-hour epics don’t get more sweeping than this one from David Lean. Set during WWI, it follows British officer T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) as he unites warring tribes in a fight against the Turks. It won seven Academy Awards and served as a major influence on Steven Spielberg, among numerous others.

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    Walt Disney Animation Studios

    #83. Lady and the Tramp (1955)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $509,881,443
    - Estimated tickets sold: 55,734,900

    It’s the animated story of two dogs in love as only Walt Disney Studios can tell it. Re-released in theaters over the course of several decades, the film never lost its charm or appeal among audiences. A recent live-action remake skipped theaters and went straight to Disney+.

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    Julia Phillips and Michael Phillips Productions

    #82. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $511,600,415
    - Estimated tickets sold: 55,922,800

    One of Spielberg’s earliest blockbusters interweaves sci-fi spectacle with humanistic themes. It stars Richard Dreyfuss as electric lineman Roy Neary, who’s convinced that aliens have arrived. Rarely do movies of this scale strike such a heartfelt and endearing chord.

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    The Mirisch Corporation

    #81. West Side Story (1961)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $512,423,765
    - Estimated tickets sold: 56,012,800

    Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” gets a modern update in this musical smash. Replete with iconic song-and-dance numbers, it dominated at the box office and then conquered awards season. Steven Spielberg’s upcoming remake definitely has its work cut out for it.

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    Warner Bros.

    #80. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $513,616,708
    - Estimated tickets sold: 56,143,200

    The first "Harry Potter" film welcomes viewers into the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Daniel Radcliffe plays the title character, a talented young wizard whose journey is only just beginning. The resulting movie franchise has earned over $8.5 billion at the global box office (when spin-offs are included).

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    Pixar Animation Studios

    #79. Finding Dory (2016)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $513,753,018
    - Estimated tickets sold: 56,158,100

    This 2016 sequel follows the blue reef fish Dory on a quest to find her parents. Ellen DeGeneres returns to voice Dory, while Albert Brooks voices Dory’s friend Marlin. The massive box office success was practically built-in.

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    Walt Disney Pictures

    #78. Beauty and the Beast (2017)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $519,608,866
    - Estimated tickets sold: 56,798,200

    The 2017 remake of the classic Disney film stars Emma Watson as Belle, the daughter of a clockmaker. She takes her father’s place in a mysterious castle prison and learns the secret of the Beast, who’s doomed to remain in the castle unless he can find true love. The movie used computer-generated imaging to make the iconic Beast come to life.

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    Universal Pictures

    #77. Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $519,926,313
    - Estimated tickets sold: 56,832,900

    This supercharged action comedy was second only to “Star Wars” in terms of 1977 box office gross. Loosely inspired by actual events, it sends Bo "Bandit" Darville (Burt Reynolds) over state lines with a truck full of bootleg beer. Two sequels would follow.

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    Columbia Pictures

    #76. Tootsie (1982)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $520,575,845
    - Estimated tickets sold: 56,903,900

    Despite a famously troubled production, this seminal comedy became the second-highest grossing film of 1982 (“E.T.”). Dustin Hoffman plays struggling actor Michael Dorsey, who can only land a steady gig after dressing up as a woman. It was a rare comedic effort for director Sydney Pollack, who stuck primarily to dramas.

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    Dovemead Films

    #75. Superman (1978)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $524,967,960
    - Estimated tickets sold: 57,384,000

    This late-1970s blockbuster helped redefine comic book movies for a new cinematic era. Bolstered by deft direction and an iconic score, it depicts Superman’s journey from his birth and upbringing to his heroic adventures. Christopher Reeve plays the titular superhero and Gene Hackman his archnemesis, Lex Luthor.

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    Hollywood Pictures

    #74. The Sixth Sense (1999)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $526,752,800
    - Estimated tickets sold: 57,579,100

    M. Night Shyamalan established himself as a singular force with this horror drama, about a boy (Haley Joel Osment) who communicates with the dead. Its famous twist ending generated strong word of mouth and helped make it one of the year’s highest earners. No slouch among critics, it has an 86% on Rotten Tomatoes.

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    Warner Bros.

    #73. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $526,777,500
    - Estimated tickets sold: 57,581,800

    “The Dark Knight Rises” is the final movie of the “Batman” trilogy starring Christian Bale. In this adventure, Batman must overcome his own imprisonment and save Gotham from Bane, played by Tom Hardy. The film received an 8.4 out of 10 on IMDb.

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    New Line Cinema

    #72. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $528,091,201
    - Estimated tickets sold: 57,725,400

    The second installment of the "Lord of the Rings" series continues the story of Frodo in his quest to return the ring and save his homeland. The 2002 movie won an Academy Award for Best Cinematography.

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    Universal Pictures

    #71. Back to the Future (1985)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $541,950,926
    - Estimated tickets sold: 59,240,400

    The highest-grossing film of 1985 sends Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) 30 years back in time, where he hooks up with his own teenage mother (Lea Thompson). Meanwhile, his best friend is a much-older mad scientist (Christopher Lloyd) and his dad (Crispin Glover) a peeping tom. As bizarre it may sound, the movie is an absolute classic and a family-friendly one at that.

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    Lucasfilm

    #70. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $542,721,216
    - Estimated tickets sold: 59,324,600

    The “Star Wars” prequel trilogy ended on something of a high note with this final installment, which earned more than “Attack of the Clones.” Featuring taut drama and epic action sequences, it follows Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) as he veers toward the dark side.

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    Icon Productions

    #69. The Passion of the Christ (2004)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $546,199,412
    - Estimated tickets sold: 59,704,800

    Mel Gibson invested up to $45 million of his own money when bringing this religious drama onto the big screen. It went on to make over $600 million (not adjusted for inflation) at the worldwide box office, with a significant percentage of the profit going directly to Gibson. A follow-up titled “The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection” is reportedly in pre-production.

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    Universal Pictures

    #68. National Lampoon's Animal House (1978)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $547,896,428
    - Estimated tickets sold: 59,890,300

    Universal Studios “didn’t really want to make this movie,” claimed actor Tim Matheson in a 2018 interview with Page Six. It was a good thing they did because “Animal House” went on to become one of the most successful R-rated movies in history. To this day, it remains a college party film to which all others aspire.

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    Paramount Pictures

    #67. The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $548,900,000
    - Estimated tickets sold: 60,000,000

    Director Cecil B. DeMille was nearing the end of his career when he churned out this Oscar-winning drama about life at the circus. Striving for authenticity, DeMille required his actors to learn actual stunts and routines. They were joined by real-life performers from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

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    Warner Bros.

    #66. My Fair Lady (1964)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $549,469,026
    - Estimated tickets sold: 60,062,200

    Winner of eight Academy Awards, this musical adaptation centers on the bond between a snobbish professor (Sir Rex Harrison) and his unlikely protege (Audrey Hepburn). Hepburn trained extensively for her singing roles, only to have her vocals overdubbed by “ghost singer” Marni Nixon. On AFI’s list of the 25 Greatest Musicals, this one lands at #8.

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    Columbia Pictures Corporation

    #65. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $550,351,840
    - Estimated tickets sold: 60,158,700

    Tobey Maguire returns as Peter Parker in this acclaimed "Spider-Man" sequel. Doctor Octopus is terrorizing the city, including Parker’s beloved Aunt May. Spider-Man must stop him and win back the love of his sweetheart.

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    Walt Disney Productions

    #64. Cinderella (1950)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $551,657,308
    - Estimated tickets sold: 60,301,400

    Disney Studios was reportedly $4 million in debt when it released this animated tale, in which young Cinderella outwits her evil stepmother. Instead of bankrupting the company, it became an instant classic and a timeless one as well. Rarely does the theme of overcoming obstacles resonate on so many levels as it does here.

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    Walt Disney Pictures

    #63. The Lion King (2019)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $551,852,167
    - Estimated tickets sold: 60,322,700

    Disney’s once-animated hit comes to life by way of photorealistic computer technology and a talented cast. While most critics felt the execution left something to be desired, audiences still flocked in droves. It earned a whopping $1.65 billion at the worldwide box office.

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    Lucasfilm

    #62. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $552,939,904
    - Estimated tickets sold: 60,441,600

    Jyn, the fearless daughter of an engineer, sets out to find her father and stop the construction of the Death Star. The story relates to the “Star Wars” series, despite not including iconic elements of the original films. The movie received a 7.8 out of 10 on IMDb.

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    Twentieth Century Fox

    #61. The Towering Inferno (1974)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $561,485,362
    - Estimated tickets sold: 61,375,700

    America was in the midst of disaster-movie fever when this high-stakes blockbuster debuted. Starring Hollywood legends Paul Newman and Steve McQueen, it sees a huge fire taking down a tall office building. A box office sensation, it went on to win three Academy Awards.

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    Pixar Animation Studios

    #60. Finding Nemo (2003)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $563,413,831
    - Estimated tickets sold: 61,586,500

    The animated “Finding Nemo” tells the story of a clownfish father named Marlin who teams up with blue reef fish Dory to find his missing son, Nemo. The characters of the film are voiced by Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, and Alexander Gould.

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    New Line Cinema

    #59. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $563,900,522
    - Estimated tickets sold: 61,639,700

    The last movie of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy features the Fellowship’s final steps in returning the ring to its true home. The movie follows the books of J.R.R. Tolkien, and received an 8.9 out of 10 on IMDb.

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    Rainbow Productions

    #58. The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $574,013,090
    - Estimated tickets sold: 62,745,100

    Bing Crosby reprises the role of Father Chuck O’Malley from 1944’s “Going My Way” for this heartfelt melodrama. He and Sister Mary Benedict (Ingrid Bergman) partake in a friendly rivalry while trying to save a rundown Catholic school. It was the top-grossing film of 1945.

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    Warner Bros.

    #57. Batman (1989)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $576,091,591
    - Estimated tickets sold: 62,972,300

    Tim Burton’s take on the dark knight introduced Michael Keaton as Gotham’s foremost superhero and Jack Nicholson as the Joker. Iconic scenes and memorable music helped turn this movie into a cultural phenomenon. The franchise spawned a number of sequels until bottoming out with Joel Schumacher’s famously awful “Batman & Robin” in 1997.

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    Crossbow Productions

    #56. Blazing Saddles (1974)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $578,536,941
    - Estimated tickets sold: 63,239,600

    Mel Brooks brings his unique brand of parody to the Old West in this crude classic. When a Black sheriff (Cleavon Little) is appointed to a small town, it sparks racial tension. Beneath the veneer of political incorrectness and juvenile humor is a brutal takedown of American bigotry and greed.

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    Walt Disney Animation Studios

    #55. Bambi (1942)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $582,862,273
    - Estimated tickets sold: 63,712,400

    Believe it or not, “Bambi” actually lost money during its first theatrical run in 1942. That came on the heels of budget cuts during production, resulting in a threadbare plot. Subsequent re-releases would turn the tide and eventually make this yet another Disney success story.

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    Michael Todd Company

    #54. Around the World in 80 Days (1956)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $591,123,218
    - Estimated tickets sold: 64,615,400

    Based on a novel by Jules Verne, this Oscar-winning adventure follows a Victorian Englishman (David Niven) on his trip around the world. It was filmed simultaneously at two separate speeds and presented in various formats. In addition to an all-star cast, it features over 40 big-name cameos from celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and Marlene Dietrich.

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    Walt Disney Pictures

    #53. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $591,242,146
    - Estimated tickets sold: 64,628,400

    Captain Jack Sparrow is on the run from Davy Jones in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest," the second film of the franchise. Sparrow is again joined by friends Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, played by Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley.

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    Twentieth Century Fox

    #52. The Robe (1953)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $598,799,584
    - Estimated tickets sold: 65,454,500

    The first film presented in CinemaScope takes viewers back to ancient Rome, and tells the story of a tribune named Marcellus Gallio (Richard Burton). After playing a role in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Gallio is tormented by his guilty conscience. “The Robe” was one of many historical epics released throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

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    Universal Pictures

    #51. American Graffiti (1973)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $601,176,321
    - Estimated tickets sold: 65,714,300

    As if his contributions to the sci-fi genre weren’t enough, George Lucas also happened to make one of the most influential teen comedies of all time. Set in 1962 California, it follows an assortment of recent high school grad as they cruise around town for one last time. Everything from the talented cast to the hit soundtrack to the nostalgic vibe was downright seminal.

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    Universal Pictures

    #50. Airport (1970)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $604,808,209
    - Estimated tickets sold: 66,111,300

    This high-profile drama helped kick off the disaster movie craze of the 1970s. It chronicles the lives of airport and airline personnel, as they grapple with everything from a snowstorm to a suicide bomber. A string of sequels followed, as did the groundbreaking 1980 parody “Airplane!”

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    Pixar Animation Studios

    #49. Incredibles 2 (2018)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $606,527,181
    - Estimated tickets sold: 66,299,200

    The sequel to the popular 2004 hero movie, "Incredibles 2" continues the story of the crime-fighting family. This time around, they must return from domestic life to stop a super-villain. It holds a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes.

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    Eon Productions

    #48. Goldfinger (1964)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $606,534,500
    - Estimated tickets sold: 66,300,000

    While not the first James Bond movie, “Goldfinger” defined the franchise for decades to come. Equipped with nifty gadgets and unmistakable charm, Agent 007 (Sean Connery) squares off against one of his greatest adversaries. Any list of the best Bond movies will feature this one in a top position.

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    Paramount Pictures

    #47. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $614,310,583
    - Estimated tickets sold: 67,150,000

    Powered by Eddie Murphy’s singular persona, this 1984 action comedy opened to packed theaters and fairly solid reviews. He takes on the role of Detroit cop Axel Foley, who heads to Beverly Hills to investigate a murder. A fourth installment is reportedly in the works.

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    Twentieth Century Fox

    #46. Cleopatra (1963)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $614,617,052
    - Estimated tickets sold: 67,183,500

    This 1963 historical epic has some epic history of its own, being one of the most expensive films ever made. What began as a budget of around $5 million ballooned to an estimated $44 million, which is about $350 million in today’s dollars. Despite an impressive box office haul during its initial run, the film wouldn’t make its money back until years later.

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    Walt Disney Animation Studios

    #45. Pinocchio (1940)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $616,627,856
    - Estimated tickets sold: 67,403,300

    Like a number of 1940s Disney movies, this one initially underperformed at the box office. That was in large part due to the outbreak of WWII and its disruption to the international market. After several re-releases, “Pinocchio” recouped its losses and became a perennial family favorite.

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    Walt Disney Pictures

    #44. Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $618,377,017
    - Estimated tickets sold: 67,594,500

    A young woman with strong powers trains with Luke Skywalker while the Dark Side launches another attack on the Resistance forces. The 2017 “Star Wars” movie holds a 7.0 out of 10 on IMDb.

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    Hughes Entertainment

    #43. Home Alone (1990)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $619,655,040
    - Estimated tickets sold: 67,734,200

    Depicting the misadventures of Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin), this holiday classic was #1 at the box office for 12 weeks straight. It would eventually become the highest-grossing domestic live-action comedy of all time, holding on to that record for 27 years. Disney is reportedly working on a remake for its streaming service.

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    Twentieth Century Fox

    #42. Independence Day (1996)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $633,694,987
    - Estimated tickets sold: 69,268,900

    Alien forces arrive on Earth to destroy it during America’s Fourth of July weekend. Will Smith stars as a Marine captain leading the charge to save the world.

    61/
    Paramount Pictures

    #41. Love Story (1970)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $640,515,984
    - Estimated tickets sold: 70,014,500

    Author Erich Segal adapted his own best-selling novel when writing the screenplay for this romantic tearjerker. It stars Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal as two lovers from different backgrounds, whose relationship must overcome various obstacles. Today’s audiences might find the execution sappy, but viewers in 1970 couldn’t get enough of it.

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    62/
    Campanile Productions

    #40. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $645,487,188
    - Estimated tickets sold: 70,557,900

    The wisecracks fly and so do the bullets in this unconventional Western, which is loosely based on actual events. Robert Redford and Paul Newman bring a pitch-perfect screenplay to life and pave the way for future buddy comedies. It was the highest-grossing film in 1969.

    63/
    Columbia Pictures Corporation

    #39. Spider-Man (2002)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $646,112,934
    - Estimated tickets sold: 70,626,300

    Peter Parker discovers his superhero powers in this 2002 adaption of the comic book series. Tobey Maguire stars as Spider-Man in a battle against Norman Osborn, played by Willem Dafoe. The movie received 7.3 out of 10 on IMDb.

    64/
    DreamWorks

    #38. Shrek 2 (2004)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $649,997,317
    - Estimated tickets sold: 71,050,900

    Shrek goes on an adventure with his new wife, Princess Fiona, to visit her parents, who did not expect their daughter to marry an ogre. Mike Myers voices Shrek, while Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz return as Donkey and Fiona.

    65/
    Columbia Pictures

    #37. Ghostbusters (1984)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $651,481,176
    - Estimated tickets sold: 71,213,100

    A movie that needs no introduction, “Ghostbusters” was both a cultural sensation and the second-highest-grossing film of 1984. No amount of sequels, cartoons, video games, attractions, or reboots have captured the magic of the original. That won’t stop the upcoming “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” from trying.

    66/
    Marvel Studios

    #36. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $662,519,555
    - Estimated tickets sold: 72,419,700

    When the evil Thanos arrives to reshape the universe, the Avengers must team up with characters throughout the Marvel comic book world to fight back. Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Pratt, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Chadwick Boseman, and Chris Evans all star.

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    67/
    Walt Disney Animation Studios

    #35. Sleeping Beauty (1959)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $664,864,273
    - Estimated tickets sold: 72,676,000

    The production of this animated fantasy took four years and ended up costing Disney Studios an exorbitant $6 million. Now considered a family classic, it was both a critical and commercial disappointment upon its initial release. Time and re-releases have healed all wounds.

    68/
    Walt Disney Pictures

    #34. The Jungle Book (1967)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $674,048,285
    - Estimated tickets sold: 73,679,900

    “The Jungle Book” tells the story of Mowgli, a boy raised in the jungle but cast out when a tiger sees the child as a threat. A recent computer-generated adaptation featured voice work from Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, Bill Murray, and Ben Kingsley.

    69/
    Warner Bros.

    #33. The Dark Knight (2008)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $681,605,723
    - Estimated tickets sold: 74,506,000

    Christian Bale returns to play Batman in the second installment of the "Batman" trilogy. This time, Batman must stop The Joker from ripping Gotham apart with a plan that tests the hero’s morality. The movie is famous for Heath Ledger’s chilling portrayal of The Joker.

    70/
    Eon Productions

    #32. Thunderball (1965)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $684,295,333
    - Estimated tickets sold: 74,800,000

    James Bond (Sean Connery) chases after dangerous women and nuclear warheads in the franchise’s fourth installment. While not quite as thrilling as its predecessor, the movie still delivers plenty of spectacles. It was such a rousing success that several theaters remained open 24 hours a day to accommodate audience demand.

    71/
    Marvel Studios

    #31. Black Panther (2018)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $697,764,424
    - Estimated tickets sold: 76,272,300

    Newly crowned king of Wakanda, T’Challa, is faced with a deadly new power threatening his people. As Black Panther, he is forced to risk it all to protect his home. The movie holds a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and had the biggest opening in history for a solo-superhero movie.

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    72/
    Universal Pictures

    #30. Jurassic World (2015)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $702,496,857
    - Estimated tickets sold: 76,789,600

    Chris Pratt stars as Owen, an animal expert who must save tourists at the Jurassic World theme park when a genetically modified dinosaur begins terrorizing the island. This was the first in a reboot of the 1990s “Jurassic” series, and received a 7 out of 10 on IMDb.

    73/
    Mavel Studios

    #29. The Avengers (2012)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $703,334,845
    - Estimated tickets sold: 76,881,200

    Superheroes from across the universe must team up to stop an alien invasion bent on enslaving the human race in this 2012 superhero movie. Many of the actors and actresses starred in their own individual superhero movies, such as Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth.

    74/
    Paramount Pictures

    #28. Grease (1978)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $705,323,692
    - Estimated tickets sold: 77,098,600

    The highest-grossing musical of the 20th century features unforgettable songs and a surprising range of adult themes. Its adjoining soundtrack was likewise a smash hit, with over 8 million copies sold to date. In the film, greaser Danny Zuko (John Travolta) and good girl Sandy Olsson (Olivia Newton-John) try to keep their summer love alive.

    75/
    Walt Disney Productions

    #27. Mary Poppins (1964)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $715,233,167
    - Estimated tickets sold: 78,181,800

    Winner of five Academy Awards, this live-action Disney musical introduces the Banks family to a magical nanny (Julie Andrews). Its most notable songs have endured in the public consciousness for decades. A recent sequel earned $347 million worldwide on a shooting budget of approximately $130 million.

    76/
    Paramount Pictures

    #26. Forrest Gump (1994)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $719,398,403
    - Estimated tickets sold: 78,637,100

    A simpleton named Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) reflects upon his extraordinary life in this epic drama from Robert Zemeckis. Despite its technological wizardry and historical scope, the movie never loses sight of a humanistic core. Its box office haul was substantial, but creative Hollywood accounting practices have kept profit margins slim if not nonexistent.

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    77/
    Paramount Pictures

    #25. The Godfather (1972)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $722,009,337
    - Estimated tickets sold: 78,922,500

    One of the greatest movies ever made was also the highest-grossing film of its time. Chronicling the Corleone crime family saga, it raised the bar on virtually every aspect of American cinema. There is no way to overstate the importance of this work.

    78/
    Walt Disney Productions

    #24. Fantasia (1941)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $759,709,619
    - Estimated tickets sold: 83,043,500

    Walt Disney’s most ambitious film was a critical and commercial failure upon its initial release. Featuring stunning animation and a classical score, it veered too far off-brand and left early audiences feeling cold or confused. In the 1960s, the movie’s perceived faults were reappraised as strengths and it’s been regarded as a trailblazer ever since.

    79/
    Lawrence Truman Productions

    #23. The Graduate (1967)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $782,885,092
    - Estimated tickets sold: 85,576,800

    It represented a cultural tide-shift when this 1967 dramedy took the country by storm. Dustin Hoffman stars as a young college graduate, who gets romantically involved with both an older woman (Anne Bancroft) and her daughter. Director Mike Nichols took home the movie’s sole Oscar win.

    80/
    Paramount Pictures

    #22. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $810,024,538
    - Estimated tickets sold: 88,543,400

    Fearless archaeologist Indiana Jones struck an immediate chord among audiences when this adventure film debuted in 1981. It opened at #1 and went on to become the year’s highest-grossing movie by a sizable margin. A legacy was thus born.

    81/
    Zanuck/Brown Productions

    #21. The Sting (1973)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $815,508,963
    - Estimated tickets sold: 89,142,900

    Reuniting Robert Redford and Paul Newman, this high-stakes caper follows two grifters as they pull off the ultimate con. With its snappy writing and top-notch performances, the film set a high bar and early template for the con-artist subgenre. It scored big at the box office and eventually took home seven Academy Awards.

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    82/
    Walt Disney Pictures

    #20. The Lion King (1994)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $815,540,983
    - Estimated tickets sold: 89,146,400

    The 1994 Disney movie "The Lion King" tells the story of the young lion Simba, who must stop his evil uncle from taking over the kingdom. It was adapted into both a hit Broadway play and photorealistic computer-animated blockbuster.

    83/
    Lucasfilm

    #19. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $826,205,195
    - Estimated tickets sold: 90,312,100

    “Star Wars Ep. I - The Phantom Menace” is the first of the prequel trilogy of “Star Wars” movies. Two Jedis find Anakin Skywalker, whom they believe could be the key to winning a long-fought battle against the galaxy’s forces of evil. The movie received a 6.5 out of 10 on IMDb.

    84/
    Universal Pictures

    #18. Jurassic Park (1993)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $838,574,656
    - Estimated tickets sold: 91,664,200

    Scientists discover a way to clone dinosaurs, but their theme park turns disastrous and visitors must flee for survival. The 1993 film is based on the book by Michael Crichton and stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum.

    85/
    Lucasfilm

    #17. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $860,486,744
    - Estimated tickets sold: 94,059,400

    The original “Star Wars” trilogy concluded with a final showdown between the Empire and the resistance. Reviews were somewhat mixed, but that didn’t stop fans from churning out in droves. It was released twice in the 1980s and then once again as a “Special Edition” in 1997.

    86/
    Marvel Studios

    #16. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $871,551,653
    - Estimated tickets sold: 95,268,900

    Thanos has all the powers of the universe at his disposal and only the Avengers can stop him in this three-hour epic. Chock-full of spectacle and tragedy, it closed out Phase Three of the MCU in sprawling fashion. This was the fastest film to reach $2 billion at the worldwide box office.

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    87/
    Twentieth Century Fox

    #15. Avatar (2009)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $890,220,657
    - Estimated tickets sold: 97,309,600

    A human living in an alien world through a hybrid being, called an Avatar, turns against his former comrades to protect the world of Pandora from invasion. The 2009 film used advanced 3D technology to create the mesmerizing scenes. James Cameron directed “Avatar” as well as “Titanic.”

    88/
    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    #14. Ben-Hur (1959)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $896,965,723
    - Estimated tickets sold: 98,046,900

    Clocking in at over three-and-a-half hours, this religious epic remains synonymous with the genre at large. Set in the Roman era, it follows a Jewish prince (Charlton Heston) as he seeks revenge on those who betrayed him. A critical and commercial smash, it won 11 Academy Awards out of 12 nominations.

    89/
    Lucasfilm

    #13. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $897,498,156
    - Estimated tickets sold: 98,105,100

    Even after all the spin-offs and sequels, this 1980 chapter in the “Star Wars” saga remains a fan favorite. From its opening sequence on the planet Hoth to its stunning climax, the film delivers endless adventure and one of the most famous reveals in cinematic history. Its box office tally is an accumulation of multiple re-releases, including the 1997 “Special Edition.”

    90/
    Walt Disney Productions

    #12. One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $914,076,766
    - Estimated tickets sold: 99,917,300

    The immediate success of this beloved Disney film lifted the studio out of a financial slump. Its bottom line was also helped by a budget-friendly animation style, which used Xerox photocopy technology. A 1996 live-action remake was likewise successful, raking in over $320 million (not adjusted for inflation) at the worldwide box office.

    91/
    Lucasfilm

    #11. Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $989,072,973
    - Estimated tickets sold: 108,115,100

    Mark Hamill returns in his star role as Luke Skywalker to fight a new force of evil in the galaxy 30 years after defeating Darth Vader. However, Skywalker must team up with a new generation of fighters to have a chance. The 2015 film holds a 7.9 out of 10 on IMDb.

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    92/
    Walt Disney Productions

    #10. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $997,168,333
    - Estimated tickets sold: 109,000,000

    Walt Disney bet the future of his company on this groundbreaking animated feature, about a runaway princess and seven dwarves. It opened in the midst of the Great Depression and became an instant smash, making more than any other film of its time. Disney Studios established a tradition of re-releasing the movie once every few years between 1944 and 1993.

    93/
    Warner Bros.

    #9. The Exorcist (1973)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $1,011,798,348
    - Estimated tickets sold: 110,599,200

    Reports of intense audience reactions only fueled interest in this controversial horror film. Infusing religious themes with graphic visuals, it was quite unlike anything that had ever come before it. Linda Blair plays a 12-year-old girl named Regan, who’s been possessed by an ancient demonic entity.

    94/
    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    #8. Doctor Zhivago (1965)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $1,135,632,932
    - Estimated tickets sold: 124,135,500

    A love story for the ages, David Lean’s masterful adaptation spans WWI and the Russian Revolution. Against a backdrop of constant turmoil, a Russian doctor (Omar Sharif) reunites with an old flame (Julie Christie). The film won five Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay.

    95/
    Zanuck/Brown Productions

    #7. Jaws (1975)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $1,171,707,555
    - Estimated tickets sold: 128,078,800

    Spielberg’s breakthrough smash represented the first film with a wide release, landing in every theater at once. It soared past $100 million at the domestic box office in record time and created the summer blockbuster concept. Sequels, rip-offs, video games, merchandise, and theme park attractions would follow.

    96/
    Motion Picture Associates (II)

    #6. The Ten Commandments (1956)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $1,198,431,667
    - Estimated tickets sold: 131,000,000

    The story of Moses burst onto the big screen in vivid Technicolor with this 1956 adaptation. Charlton Heston plays the biblical figure, who returns to Egypt to free the Jews. It was the second time director Cecil B. DeMille explored this particular subject, having previously helmed a silent movie of the same name.

     

    97/
    Twentieth Century Fox

    #5. Titanic (1997)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $1,240,054,754
    - Estimated tickets sold: 135,549,800

    A poor young man falls in love with an aristocrat aboard the RMS Titanic. Their fight for survival on the sinking ship follows their love story in this 1997 movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

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    98/
    Universal Pictures

    #4. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $1,297,730,421
    - Estimated tickets sold: 141,854,300

    An alien stranded on Earth becomes friends with a young boy who decides to help the newcomer return home. To do so, the two must thwart parents, the community, and the government. Fun fact: the movie was inspired by a Neil Diamond song.

    99/
    Robert Wise Productions

    #3. The Sound of Music (1965)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $1,303,502,105
    - Estimated tickets sold: 142,485,200

    Shortly after playing Mary Poppins, Julie Andrews tackled the role of Maria von Trapp in this massively popular musical. Its lush European setting and slew of catchy songs made it a must-see theater experience. Not only was it #1 at the box office for over half of 1965, but its first theatrical run lasted four-and-a-half years.

    100/
    Lucasfilm

    #2. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $1,629,496,559
    - Estimated tickets sold: 178,119,500

    Luke Skywalker and Han Solo team up to save Princess Leia from the Imperial Forces in this 1977 film from the “Star Wars” series. The movie sees the return of the famous cast, including Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and James Earl Jones.

    101/
    Selznick International Pictures

    #1. Gone with the Wind (1939)

    - Domestic lifetime gross (price adjusted): $1,850,581,586
    - Estimated tickets sold: 202,286,200

    Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh) experiences romance and hardship during the Civil War and Reconstructionist eras in this sprawling masterpiece. Its premiere in Atlanta was such a big deal that Georgia’s governor declared a state holiday. When adjusted for inflation, its worldwide box office haul comes out to $3.44 billion.

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