Special Report

100 Top Grossing Movies of All Time

Charles Stockdale

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

100. Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $477,473,705
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $310,676,740
> Estimated tickets sold: 53.5 million
> Starring: Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor

The fifth Star Wars film released failed to perform as well as many others in the franchise, yet it still managed to rank among the 100 top grossing movies of all time. It is also one of the lower rated films in the saga, with a 65% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, beating only “Episode I – The Phantom Menace” and the recent “The Rise of Skywalker.”

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

99. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $478,047,904
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $179,870,271
> Estimated tickets sold: 53.5 million
> Starring: Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Ke Huy Quan

The sequel to “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981) proved a financial success, grossing the second largest amount at the domestic box office of all movies in 1984, behind only “Ghostbusters.” The Steven Spielberg-directed flick won one Oscar for Best Visual Effects in 1985.

Source: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

98. M*A*S*H (1970)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $479,399,906
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $81,600,000
> Estimated tickets sold: 53.7 million
> Starring: Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt

Robert Altman’s film about those working in a military field hospital during the Korean War is the director’s highest grossing movie to date. It won a single Oscar for writing and went on to inspire the exceptionally popular television series.

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

97. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $479,410,622
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $108,981,275
> Estimated tickets sold: 53.7 million
> Starring: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Will Sampson

Director Milos Forman’s counterculture staple “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” was both a financial and critical success. In addition to selling an estimated 53.7 million tickets in the U.S. and Canada since its release, the movie won five Oscars, including Best Picture. The movie, which stars Jack Nicholson as the manic free spirit who is checked into an insane asylum, maintains a 93% critic and 96% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Distribution Company

96. Swiss Family Robinson (1960)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $480,505,440
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $40,356,000
> Estimated tickets sold: 53.8 million
> Starring: John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, James MacArthur

This Walt Disney production follows a shipwrecked family whose self-built island hideaway is invaded by pirates. The movie was the top grossing film of 1960, outperforming movies such as “Psycho” and “Spartacus.”

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

95. It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $481,107,322
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $46,332,858
> Estimated tickets sold: 53.9 million
> Starring: Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Ethel Merman

The comedy about an eclectic group of motorists racing to claim a stash of stolen cash was the first comedy feature directed by Stanley Kramer, who is also known for movies including “Judgment at Nuremberg” (1961) and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967). “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” won one Oscar and two Golden Globe awards, including Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

94. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $481,335,037
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $402,111,870
> Estimated tickets sold: 53.9 million
> Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel

“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” grossed what amounts to more than $481 million in today’s dollars upon release, making it the top grossing movie of 2009. Like the first Transformers film, released in 2007, director Michael Bay helmed this sequel and brought back lead actors Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, and Josh Duhamel. Only 20% of critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave it a positive review, compared with 57% of audiences.

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

93. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $485,792,000
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $27,200,000
> Estimated tickets sold: 54.4 million
> Starring: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins

Director David Lean’s movie about British prisoners being forced to build a railway bridge for their Japanese captors during World War II is the top grossing movie released in 1957. It swept the Academy Awards the following year, winning seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor in a Leading Role for Alec Guinness.

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

92. Men in Black (1997)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $487,727,131
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $250,690,539
> Estimated tickets sold: 54.6 million
> Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino

The comedy about a secret government agency that tracks extraterrestrials on Earth grossed more than any other movie in 1997. The flick spawned three sequels, each of which did worse than the prior one at the box office.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

91. Twister (1996)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $488,364,733
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $241,721,524
> Estimated tickets sold: 54.7 million
> Starring: Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Cary Elwes

Two years after the release of his action hit “Speed,” director Jan de Bont followed with “Twister” — a story about two storm chasers, played by Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton. The movie grossed nearly twice as much as “Speed.”