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Friday, June 4, 2010

Top Grossing Films of All Time

At the Box Office...
What makes a movie successful? If you'll ask me, my answer is the quality of the film, the promise it made and kept to the viewer, and ultimately the impact it made on us...

Now back to planet Earth, the correct answer to what makes a movie successful is $$$, at least that's what you'll likely hear from Hollywood. After all, it takes money to get a movie made. And the box office gross of a film is what determines the trending of what other producers will want to make. For instance, the recent success of "Avatar" made a lot of Tinseltown bigwigs look into 3D as a mainstream offering...and i'm sure we'll be seeing more of that soon.

But for now, let's take a look at the official tally of the Top Grossing Films of All-Time, these movies have made the most amount of money ever in film history, and here they are:

RankTitleWorldwide Box Office
1.Avatar (2009)$2,733,073,100
2.Titanic (1997)$1,835,300,000
3.The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)$1,129,219,252
4.Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest(2006)$1,060,332,628
5.The Dark Knight (2008)$1,001,921,825
6.Alice in Wonderland (2010)$996,960,345
7.Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone(2001)$968,657,891
8.Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End(2007)$958,404,152
9.Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix(2007)$937,000,866
10.Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince(2009)$933,956,980
11.Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)$922,379,000
12.The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers(2002)$921,600,000
13.Jurassic Park (1993)$919,700,000
14.Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)$892,194,397
15.Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)$887,773,705

Interesting to note that worldwide:
Huzzah! I'm RICH!
- Only 3 of the top 15 movies were released outside of this decade. 
- Most of the movies on this list were also part of a movie series (sequel, trilogy, etc.). So expect that trend to be followed...
- ALL of the movies here (except Titanic), are based on Fantasy and Fiction! So it shows that people do like to dream, and would stray more to imagination rather than reality, when going to the cinema.
- Family and children-friendly movies do pay off much better.
- Hogwarts is a money machine.

Now lets look at the old red white and blue's Top Grossing Box office hits of all time:


RankTitleStudioLifetime GrossYear
3The Dark KnightWB$533,345,3582008
4Star WarsFox$460,998,0071977
5Shrek 2DW$441,226,2472004
6E.T.: The Extra-TerrestrialUni.$435,110,5541982
7Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom MenaceFox$431,088,3011999
8Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's ChestBV$423,315,8122006
10Transformers: Revenge of the FallenP/DW$402,111,8702009
11Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the SithFox$380,270,5772005
12The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingNL$377,027,3252003
13Spider-Man 2Sony$373,585,8252004
14The Passion of the ChristNM$370,782,9302004
15Jurassic ParkUni.$357,067,9471993

The US is still a major cultural influence on the world, and a huge market for the arts (in this case, the motion picture arts). They represent the single biggest chunk of the pie from the Worldwide box office numbers.
Some differences in the US vs. the Worldwide gross:
- Americans prefer Jedi, Jesus, and Spidey over rabbits, hobbits, and hogwarts.
- Shrek and ET (!)

There were also now 5 movies in the top 15 that were released before this decade. 
So you might be clever, and say that: "Of course, the newer movies will make more money....tickets are more expensive these days!". Good Point.

Below is the list of the Top Grossing US Films of all time, with Price inflation factored in:

United States

RankTitle (click to view)StudioAdjusted GrossUnadjusted GrossYear^
1Gone with the WindMGM$1,606,254,800$198,676,4591939^
2Star WarsFox$1,416,050,800$460,998,0071977^
3The Sound of MusicFox$1,132,202,200$158,671,3681965
4E.T.: The Extra-TerrestrialUni.$1,127,742,000$435,110,5541982^
5The Ten CommandmentsPar.$1,041,450,000$65,500,0001956
8Doctor ZhivagoMGM$986,876,900$111,721,9101965
9The ExorcistWB$879,020,900$232,671,0111973^
10Snow White and the Seven DwarfsDis.$866,550,000$184,925,4861937^
11101 DalmatiansDis.$794,342,100$144,880,0141961^
12The Empire Strikes BackFox$780,536,100$290,475,0671980^
15Return of the JediFox$747,772,300$309,306,1771983^

Wow...Now we see the "reel" picture. Once you factor the inflation of ticket prices, from then and now, only ONE movie made in the last decade enters the Top 15. 
The big guns start to come in: Gone with the Wind, Ten Commandments, Sound of Music, Dr. Zhivago, Ben Hur, The Star Wars Trilogy, Disney and ET again.
Now that's a list I feel more comfortable with :)

Note: There is no consolidated data available for inflation-adjusted worldwide gross, due of course to the nature of inflation from the different currencies worldwide.
Sources: http://boxofficemojo.com/http://www.imdb.com/

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