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The 50 highest grossing movies of all time

  • The 50 highest grossing movies of all time
    1/ Twentieth Century Fox

    The 50 highest grossing movies of all time

    Aside from the holiday season, the stretch between Memorial Day and Labor Day is traditional for Hollywood’s biggest hits. In years past, superhero films unsurprisingly topped the list, with action films and Disney movies running close behind. The trend of reboots, sequels, and superhero cinematic universes is fairly new; people of all ages still flocked to the movie theater for “Captain America” and “Frozen. So, what makes a movie a box-office hit? Is it the stars, the story, the time of year it was released, or a combination of the above?

    It’s tricky to figure out if there’s a secret formula that guarantees box office success. Still, some have turned to science to help to figure out. Scientists in the U.K. analyzed over 6,000 movie scripts and categorized their plots into six different general formulas. After analyzing the box-office figures for these movies, researchers found that “man in a hole” movies, where the main character suffers a misfortune they later overcome, to be the most commercially successful and the most talked about after its release, probably generating some helpful word-of-mouth buzz that boosts sales.

    Of course, not all of Hollywood’s successful movies follow this age-old storyline, and it can be helpful to see which broke the mold. Stacker used data from The Numbers to rank the top 50 highest-grossing movies of all time at the domestic box office (adjusted for inflation) so you could take a look for yourself.

    Although these films vary in content and critical reception, one thing is certain: audiences loved them. Prepare for some Disney magic, some larger-than-life stories, and some action-packed thrillers, with a few surprises along the way. Read on to see if your favorite made the cut.

    You may also like: Best comedy movies of all time

     

  • #50. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
    2/ Warner Bros

    #50. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,183,153,285

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $488,932,249

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $694,221,037

    The third and final movie in the “Batman” series, “The Dark Knight Rises” takes place eight years after the second film. Christian Bale stars as DC Comics character Batman, forced from his exile to save Gotham City from guerrilla terrorist Bane (Tom Hardy).The film received an A rating on CinemaScore, the site’s second-highest rating.

  • #49. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
    3/ Marvel Studios

    #49. Captain America: Civil War (2016)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,193,657,823

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $425,938,039

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $767,719,784

    This 2016 film in the Marvel franchise explores deeper themes as Iron Man and the Avengers take sides on a political decision and are subsequently pushed apart. Starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr., and Scarlett Johansson, the film received a 91% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

  • #48. Skyfall (2012)
    4/ Eon Productions

    #48. Skyfall (2012)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,211,615,892

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $332,065,546

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $879,550,346

    This 007 thriller stars not only Daniel Craig as James Bond but also Dame Judi Dench as M and Javier Bardem as former agent Raoul Silva. Bond investigates an attack on M16 that turns out to be part of a plot designed to get revenge on M. The film was directed by Sam Mendes and received a 92% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

  • #47. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
    5/ Warner Bros

    #47. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,223,926,617

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $364,802,468

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $859,124,149

    In the second in the series of “Harry Potter” films, Daniel Radcliffe and company return to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to solve another mystery, this time involving a chamber constructed by one of the school’s founders. The film received an A+ rating on CinemaScore, the highest rating among the “Harry Potter” films.

  • #46. Toy Story 3 (2010)
    6/ Walt Disney Pictures

    #46. Toy Story 3 (2010)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,228,570,995

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $476,656,224

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $751,914,771

    In the third installment of the ever-popular "Toy Story" trilogy, Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), and the rest of the gang prepare to escape daycare as their owner Andy gets ready to leave for college. Prepare for a wild ride, and bring your Kleenex for the final few scenes.

  • #45. Minions (2015)
    7/ Illumination Entertainment

    #45. Minions (2015)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,233,734,026

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $355,187,618

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $878,546,408

    “Minions” is the prequel to the incredibly successful “Despicable Me” movies and focuses on the backstory of the tiny yellow creatures who have evolved to serve history’s most despicable masters. Featuring the voices of Sandra Bullock and Jon Hamm, the film was so well-received by the public that there is a sequel in the works, scheduled for release, as of press time, in summer 2020.

  • #44. Shrek 2 (2004)
    8/ Dream Works

    #44. Shrek 2 (2004)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,242,565,045

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $585,109,449

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $657,455,597

    This animated film featuring the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz has the green ogre’s family meeting Princess Fiona’s family. The plot is inspired by the 1960s classic film “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”. A non-Disney animated film, the 2004 movie was produced with computer animation and was the sequel to the pop culture phenomenon "Shrek," and later a Broadway musical.
     

  • #43. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
    9/ Paramount Pictures

    #43. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,251,709,787

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $392,502,583

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $859,207,203

    Shia LaBoeuf stars as Sam Witwicky in this film based on the popular Transformers toys, the third in the franchise. This movie is known for director Michael Bay’s stunning special effects. The year it was released, it earned multiple Oscar nominations for Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Editing.

  • #42. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
    10/ New Line Cinema

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

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,254,920,111

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $446,323,884

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $808,596,227

    The first of three of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord Of The Rings” novels to be adapted into films, this epic fantasy stars Elijah Wood as Frodo and Ian McKellen as Gandalf. The sweeping landscapes, impeccable world-building, and sense of adventure from the books are preserved in the films, though there were some deviations from the source material. “The Fellowship of the Ring” was one of the most critically acclaimed films of 2001 and enjoys a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

  • #41. The Fate of the Furious (2017)
    11/ Universal Pictures

    #41. The Fate of the Furious (2017)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,262,115,296

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $230,738,775

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,031,376,521

    The eighth installment in “The Fast and the Furious” series, “The Fate of the Furious” stars Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, and Michelle Rodriguez. This time around, the story continues without the late Paul Walker, who was killed in a one-car crash while filming “Furious 7.” The crew now seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto (Diesel) and his family. It’s as action-packed and fast-paced as any of the previous films, and audiences loved it, with a box-office opening weekend takeaway of $539.9 million.

  • #40. Finding Nemo (2003)
    12/ Pixar Animation

    #40. Finding Nemo (2003)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,274,867,159

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $518,057,648

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $756,809,511

    This Disney favorite by Disney/Pixar blew its competition out of the water: It was the second-highest grossing film of 2003, the year it was released, and the highest-grossing animated film at the time. Starring the voices of Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres, “Finding Nemo” tells the tale of an overprotective father fish who, along with a forgetful companion, swims the Great Barrier Reef in search of his lost son. In addition to its box office success, the film won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2003.

  • #39. Beauty and the Beast (2017)
    13/ Mandeville Films

    #39. Beauty and the Beast (2017)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,288,924,836

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $515,118,516

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $773,806,320

    This 2017 remake of the 1991 Disney favorite was one of the most expensive films ever made, with a $255 million budget; luckily, the audience reception helped to recoup that within a matter of days, as it earned $357 million in its four-day opening weekend. A CGI-animated Dan Stevens stars alongside Emma Watson—best known for her role as Hermione in the “Harry Potter” films—in the title roles, while the ensemble cast includes Luke Evans, Ewan McGregor, Audra McDonald, and Stanley Tucci, among others. Like the 1991 film, this version features singing and dancing, and is based on the 18th-century French fairy tale of the same name.

  • #38. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)
    14/ Amblin Entertainment

    #38. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,295,580,780

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $413,080,780

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $882,500,000

    “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is the second of a planned trilogy of “Jurassic World” movies and the fifth film in the “Jurassic Park” series. Set on the same fictional island of Isla Nublar in Central America, this installment follows Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) as they attempt to rescue the dinosaurs from a suddenly active volcano. During the opening weekend in June 2018, the movie took in more than $148 million.

  • #37. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
    15/ New Line Cinema

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

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,301,513,402

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $476,978,991

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $824,534,411

    The sequel to “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” this film was the highest-grossing movie of 2002. The six-time Academy Award-nominated movie continues the story presented in the first film, as Frodo and Sam continue their journey to Mordor (Middle Earth), joined by Gollum (Andy Serkis).

  • #36. Independence Day (1996)
    16/ Twentieth Century Fox

    #36. Independence Day (1996)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,305,028,170

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $488,817,071

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $816,211,100

    The 1996 film about alien invaders to Earth stars Will Smith, Bill Pullman, and Jeff Goldblum, among others. This movie holds the record for most miniature model work to appear in one film, according to IMDb.

  • #35. Iron Man 3 (2013)
    17/ Marvel Studios

    #35. Iron Man 3 (2013)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,306,677,099

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $439,710,576

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $866,966,524

    Robert Downey, Jr. stars as Tony Stark in this last film of the “Iron Man” trilogy. This time, he faces a terrorist named Mandarin. It was the first “Iron Man” movie to gross over $1 billion.

  • #34. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)
    18/ Walt Disney Pictures

    #34. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,324,836,612

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $525,995,094

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $798,841,518

    The second in the series of films inspired by the Disney theme park ride of the same name, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” stars Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and Keira Knightley. At the time of its release, it was the fastest film to gross over $1 billion in its first three days at the worldwide box office.

  • #33. Black Panther (2018)
    19/ Marvel Studios

    #33. Black Panther (2018)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,347,071,259

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $700,059,566

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $647,011,693

    Starring Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong’o, “Black Panther” tore its way into the box office with its inclusive representation of black actors and director, Ryan Coogler. It tells the story of T’Challa/Black Panther, who must fight after he is crowned king of Wakanda to maintain the safety of his people.

  • #32. Star Wars Ep. VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)
    20/ Lucasfilm

    #32. Star Wars Ep. VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,347,132,012

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $633,845,109

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $713,286,903

    The second installment of the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy and the eighth “Star Wars” film overall, “The Last Jedi” follows the story of Rey (Daisy Ridley) as she is mentored by Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares for battle with the First Order. The late Carrie Fisher helped write the screenplay for this film, according to IMDb.

  • #31. Frozen (2013)
    21/ Walt Disney Animation Studios

    #31. Frozen (2013)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,369,939,324

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $430,836,357

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $939,102,967

    Disney’s family favorite set in fictional Arendelle tells the tale of two sisters, Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) and Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell), and their wild adventure to save their kingdom from eternal winter. The song “Let it Go,” sung by Menzel and written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez became the first song from a Disney animated musical to reach the Billboard Hot 100 since “Colors of the Wind” from “Pocahontas” in 1995.

  • #30. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
    22/ Warner Bros

    #30. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,378,747,716

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $449,196,360

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $929,551,356

    The first of the films in the “Harry Potter” series, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” made stars of its three young actors, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), and Emma Watson (Hermione Granger). It tells the story of a young orphan, living with his aunt and uncle, who receives a letter inviting him to attend school at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, kicking off seven years—and eight films—of adventures.

  • #29. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
    23/ Julia Philips and Michael Philips Productions

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

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,408,754,455

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $699,004,455

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $709,750,000

    Richard Dreyfuss stars in this now-classic film about a man who follows clues to the first scheduled meeting between humans and otherworldly visitors. Directed by Steven Spielberg, it was declared by writer Ray Bradbury to be the greatest science fiction film ever made.

  • #28. Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
    24/ Lucasfilm

    #28. Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,440,387,774

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $777,669,400

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $662,718,373

    Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), and Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) return to star in the third and final installment of the original “Star Wars” trilogy. This film, like the two previous ones, was produced by George Lucas; it was nominated for four Oscars.


     

  • #27. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
    25/ Marvel Studios

    #27. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,488,433,712

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $485,151,772

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,003,281,941

    Marvel and Disney teamed up to produce the 2015 superhero blockbuster “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the 11th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Written and directed by Joss Whedon, the film tells the story of the Avengers fighting artificial intelligence obsessed with causing human extinction.

  • #26. Grease (1978)
    26/ Paramount Pictures

    #26. Grease (1978)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,488,837,414

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $698,532,966

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $790,304,448

    This 1978 movie musical stars American John Travolta and Aussie Olivia Newton-John as Danny and Sandy, once lovers and now rivals, torn apart by the rules of high school. It was later made into a Broadway musical—sock hops, Pink Ladies, and all.

  • #25. Fantasia (1940)
    27/ Walt Disney Productions

    #25. Fantasia (1940)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,490,832,857

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,490,832,857

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $0

    This Disney classic film consists of nine animated pieces set to classical music. It is regarded by many as Walt Disney’s masterpiece and was a huge influence on the later medium of music videos.

  • #24. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (2011)
    28/ Warner Bros.

    #24. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (2011)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,494,213,252

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $424,381,104

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,069,832,148

    The final of the “Harry Potter” films, this movie took the last book and broke it into two movies. The thrilling conclusion to the story of “The Boy Who Lived” follows Harry and his friends as they try to find the remaining horcruxes and destroy Lord Voldemort once and for all.

  • #23. Pinocchio (1940)
    29/ Walt Disney Productions

    #23. Pinocchio (1940)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,508,367,857

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,508,367,857

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $0

    “Pinocchio,” based on the Italian children’s novel of the same name by Carlo Collodi, was Walt Disney’s second animated feature film. The 1940 fantasy movie follows the story of Geppetto’s wooden puppet, who is brought to life and wishes to become a real boy by being honest and truthful.

  • #22. Star Wars Ep. I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
    30/ Lucasfilm

    #22. Star Wars Ep. I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,544,265,856

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $713,526,060

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $830,739,796

    The first film in the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy stars Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, and Natalie Portman and is set 32 years before the original film. It was nominated for three Oscars: sound, sound effects editing, and visual effects.

  • #21. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
    31/ New Line Cinema

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

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,553,921,396

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $514,404,343

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,039,517,053

    This movie is the third and final installment in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy of films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy series. The 2003 film made over 1000% profit on the initial investment by New Line Studios, according to IMDb. In the conclusion to the trilogy, a final battle takes place that will decide the fate of the world.

  • #20. Furious 7 (2015)
    32/ Universal Pictures

    #20. Furious 7 (2015)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,605,232,320

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $373,115,015

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,232,117,305

    Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Dwayne Johnson star in the seventh installment of “The Fast and the Furious” franchise. After Paul Walker’s death in 2013, body doubles, stunt doubles, and CGI were used to complete the film and over 230 cars were destroyed during filming, according to IMDb.

  • #19. The Godfather (1972)
    33/ Paramount Pictures

    #19. The Godfather (1972)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,609,072,967

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $808,829,808

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $800,243,159

    Based on Mario Puzo’s best-selling novel and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, “The Godfather” stars Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as leaders of a fictional New York crime family. It won three Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor, and was nominated for seven others. The American Film Institute ranked it the second-greatest film in American history.
     

  • #18. Star Wars Ep. V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    34/ Lucasfilm

    #18. Star Wars Ep. V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,623,908,689

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $882,440,849

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $741,467,840

    Set three years after the first “Star Wars” film, this sequel to the original movie starred Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher, reprising their iconic roles. It was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress in 2010 for being “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.”

  • #17. The Avengers (2012)
    35/ Marvel Studios

    #17. The Avengers (2012)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,657,794,541

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $680,015,359

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $977,779,181

    Based on the Marvel superhero team of the same name, “The Avengers” is a 2012 film that stars Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, and Mark Ruffalo along with several others as part of an ensemble cast. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. Two sequels have been released as of press date, with a third in the works for a 2019 release date.

  • #16. The Lion King (1994)
    36/ Walt Disney Pictures

    #16. The Lion King (1994)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,667,181,072

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $712,936,663

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $954,244,410

    This 1994 animated Disney movie musical takes place in a kingdom of lions in Africa and was influenced by William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” The film featured the voices of Matthew Broderick (Simba), James Earl Jones (Mufasa), and Jeremy Irons (Scar) as well as a soundtrack with songs by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice. The CGI remake of the film is scheduled for a July 2019 release.

  • #15. Jurassic World (2015)
    37/ Universal Pictures

    #15. Jurassic World (2015)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,766,937,378

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $689,425,281

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,077,512,097

    “Jurassic World” continues the story of “Jurassic Park”: more than 20 years after the events of the original film, a new theme park is built on the site of the old Jurassic Park, and a genetically engineered dinosaur escapes from the new park and wreaks havoc. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard star. As of press time, “Jurassic World” is the highest-grossing film in the franchise.

  • #14. Jurassic Park (1993)
    38/ Universal Pictures

    #14. Jurassic Park (1993)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,800,848,113

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $685,985,678

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,114,862,435

    “Jurassic Park,” directed by Steven Spielberg, is the first in a series of films about a theme park of genetically cloned dinosaurs who escape and threaten the lives of the people around them. CGI was used along with animatronic dinosaurs; these effects were pioneering in the field of technical effects, garnering the movie more than 20 awards, including three Oscars.

  • #13. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
    39/ Marvel Studios

    #13. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $2,014,160,190

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $678,690,536

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,335,469,654

    “Avengers: Infinity War,” the 19th movie in the MCU, was the first superhero film to gross over $2 billion worldwide. Its budget of $316–400 million makes it one of the most expensive films ever made.

  • #12. ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
    40/ Universal Pictures

    #12. ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $2,058,422,945

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,129,483,873

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $928,939,071

    Director Steven Spielberg’s story of a lonely boy named Elliott, who befriends an extraterrestrial (E.T.) and helps him return to his home planet, is considered a classic. According to Rotten Tomatoes, it is one the greatest science fiction films ever made, and it was also the highest-grossing film of the 1980s.

  • #11. Star Wars Ep. VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
    41/ Lucasfilm

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

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $2,175,863,315

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $990,016,402

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,185,846,912

    The recipient of five Oscar nominations, “The Force Awakens” is the first installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. It was the third movie to pass the $2 billion mark, after “Avatar” (2009) and “Titanic” (1997).

  • #10. Jaws (1975)
    42/ Zanuck/Brown Productions

    #10. Jaws (1975)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $2,191,642,193

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,210,594,796

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $981,047,398

    Steven Spielberg’s 1975 thriller was mainly shot on location in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. It was the highest-grossing film of all time until the release of "Star Wars" in 1977. Both films developed the business model for summer Hollywood hits, including high-box office returns from high-concept films released during the summer in thousands of theaters and supported by heavy advertising.

  • #9. The Exorcist (1973)
    43/ Warner Bros.

    #9. The Exorcist (1973)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $2,272,188,087

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,155,843,119

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,116,344,968

    Ellen Burstyn and Linda Blair star in this adaptation of a novel about a 12-year-old girl’s demonic possession and her mother’s attempts to win her back through an exorcism by two priests. It was called one of the greatest horror films of all time by Entertainment Weekly and The Guardian, and it was chosen for preservation by the Library of Congress in 2010.

  • #8. The Sound of Music (1965)
    44/ Robert Wise Productions

    #8. The Sound of Music (1965)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $2,276,085,036

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,297,942,179

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $978,142,857

    Rodgers and Hammerstein’s movie musical stars Julie Andrews as Maria, a nun who takes a job as a governess to a family of seven children in Austria in the 1940s. The film broke box office records in 29 countries and won five Academy Awards.

  • #7. Cinderella (1950)
    45/ Walt Disney Productions

    #7. Cinderella (1950)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $2,739,819,480

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $883,506,224

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,856,313,255

    Based on Charles Perrault’s 17th-century French fairy tale of the same name, this animated Disney movie musical includes the songs “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” and “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo.” The American Film Institute considers it one of the greatest animated films ever made.

  • #6. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
    46/ Walt Disney Productions

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

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $3,216,932,934

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $3,216,932,934

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $0

    Disney’s first full-length animated feature, released in 1937, was based on the German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. Its tremendous critical and commercial success put Walt Disney on the map, as he was awarded an honorary Oscar at the 11th Academy Awards, and many of the theme park attractions and merchandising associated with Disney originated from this film.

  • #5. Avatar (2009)
    47/ Twentieth Century Fox

    #5. Avatar (2009)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $3,242,305,326

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $888,145,268

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $2,354,160,057

    Director James Cameron helmed this 2009 tale of the native humanoid Na’vi on the planet of Pandora. Starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver, the movie featured CGI and a language—Na’vi—created entirely from scratch by linguist Dr. Paul R. Frommer.

  • #4. Star Wars Ep. IV: A New Hope (1977)
    48/ Lucasfilm

    #4. Star Wars Ep. IV: A New Hope (1977)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $3,251,531,366

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,905,610,573

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,345,920,792

    “A New Hope” won six Oscars and received a score of 90 from Metacritic.com. It was the first film to make over $300,000,000. The music by John Williams is ranked first on AFI’s 100 Years of Film Scores.

  • #3. Titanic (1997)
    49/ Twentieth Century Fox

    #3. Titanic (1997)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $3,446,456,093

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,029,100,735

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $2,417,355,358

    “Titanic,” the epic love story between a young aristocrat (Kate Winslet) and a steerage-class passenger (Leonardo DiCaprio) aboard the ill-fated ocean-liner, won 11 Oscars out of the 14 it was nominated for. It was not only a huge hit at the box office, but the first film to reach the billion-dollar mark at the time. Director James Cameron projected a $200 billion budget for the movie, making it the most expensive film ever made at the time.

  • #2. Bambi (1942)
    50/ Walt Disney Productions

    #2. Bambi (1942)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $4,118,650,307

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $1,579,794,387

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $2,538,855,920

    The 1942 animated Disney classic “Bambi” comes in second for the inflation-adjusted highest-grossing film of all time, pulling in over $4 billion at the box office. The movie won three Academy Awards and was added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress as of December 2011.

  • #1. Gone with the Wind (1939)
    51/ Selznick International Pictures

    #1. Gone with the Wind (1939)

    Total box office (inflation-adjusted): $7,037,882,057

    Domestic box office (inflation-adjusted): $3,580,536,528

    International box office (inflation-adjusted): $3,457,345,530

    Margaret Mitchell’s saga of Scarlett O’ Hara (Vivien Leigh), Rhett Butler (Clark Gable), and the Tara plantation come to life in David O. Selznick’s “Gone with the Wind,” widely considered the greatest film of all time. It is the most successful film in box office history.


     

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