5. Titanic (1997)
> Total adjusted gross: $1.22 billion
> Unadjusted gross: $659.4 million
> Studio: Paramount Pictures
Over a decade before the release of “Avatar,” director James Cameron proved himself a master of the visually stunning blockbuster. The fusion of romance and tragedy in “Titanic” proved a massive financial success upon its release in 1997. Its 3D release five years later only added to its total gross.
4. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
> Total adjusted gross: $1.28 billion
> Unadjusted gross: $435.1 million
> Studio: Universal
Among Spielberg’s many blockbuster successes, “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” is the highest grossing when adjusted for inflation. The movie has been nearly universally embraced by critics and currently has a 98% positive rating on movie review site Rotten Tomatoes.
3. The Sound of Music (1965)
> Total adjusted gross: $1.29 billion
> Unadjusted gross: $159.3 million
> Studio: 20th Century Fox
“The Sound of Music” portrayed a world that audiences loved to be a part of. The nearly 3-hour musical grossed nearly all of its domestic take upon its initial release in 1965. The film also won five Academy Awards, including the Oscar for Best Picture.
2. Star Wars (1977)
> Total adjusted gross: $1.61 billion
> Unadjusted gross: $461.0 million
> Studio: 20th Century Fox
The original “Star Wars” — reportedly made for only $11 million — has grossed $1.6 billion when adjusted for inflation. Not only did the movie kick off one of the most successful film franchises of all time, but also it greatly progressed the blockbuster trend started by the release of “Jaws” two years prior. In certain areas, “Star Wars” ran for more than a year following its initial release.
1. Gone with the Wind (1939)
> Total adjusted gross: $1.82 billion
> Unadjusted gross: $198.7 million
> Studio: MGM
The Civil War-era epic “Gone With the Wind” was the longest and most expensive Hollywood sound film ever made at the time of its release (it runs almost 4 hours). The investment paid off, and the movie has become one of the most popular – and the highest grossing – ever. It also received a record 13 Oscar nominations, of which it won eight awards, including Best Picture.
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