Special Report

100 Top Grossing Movies of All Time

Charles Stockdale

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

40. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $630,082,047
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $102,308,889
> Estimated tickets sold: 70.6 million
> Starring: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross

This revisionist Western helped jolt the careers of its two leading actors, Paul Newman and Robert Redford. The anti-hero Oscar-winner won over critics and audiences, and it currently has 90% positive reviews from the former and 92% from the latter on Rotten Tomatoes.

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures Corporation

39. Spider-Man (2002)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $630,692,859
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $407,022,860
> Estimated tickets sold: 70.6 million
> Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Willem Dafoe

“Spider-Man,” starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, was both the top grossing film of 2002 and the most successful of the franchise. At the time, the movie was the most successful superhero movie ever, though that’s no longer the case. Director Sam Raimi followed the blockbuster with two Spider-Man sequels that both did well at the box office.

Source: Courtesy of DreamWorks Distribution

38. Shrek 2 (2004)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $634,484,537
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $441,226,247
> Estimated tickets sold: 71.1 million
> Starring: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz

Of the five Shrek films released to date — including “Puss in Boots” — “Shrek 2” leads with regards to total domestic box office gross. The movie had the biggest opening weekend ever for an animated film, grossing more than $108 million. This record would later be topped by “Shrek the Third.”

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

37. Ghostbusters (1984)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $635,950,843
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $242,582,079
> Estimated tickets sold: 71.2 million
> Starring: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver

“Ghostbusters” dominated the domestic box office in 1984, besting such films as “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” “Gremlins,” and “The Karate Kid.” The movie, about a group of New York City ghost exterminators, has an exceptionally high Rotten Tomatoes Freshness score of 97%.

Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

36. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $646,707,921
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $678,815,482
> Estimated tickets sold: 72.4 million
> Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo

The superhero blockbuster pits the Avengers and allies in an epic battle against Thanos, who is set on destruction of the universe. The movie, which cost an estimated $321 million to make, grossed more than a quarter billion dollars over its opening weekend. The movie is the 19th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise.

Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Film Distribution Company

35. Sleeping Beauty (1959)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $648,996,680
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $51,600,000
> Estimated tickets sold: 72.7 million
> Starring: Mary Costa, Bill Shirley, Eleanor Audley

Disney’s 16th animated feature tells the story of Princess Aurora, who is put to sleep by a spell cast by the evil fairy Maleficent. The movie was the last Disney produced that was based on a fairy tale until “The Little Mermaid” was released 30 years later.

Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Distribution Company

34. The Jungle Book (1967)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $657,961,507
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $141,843,612
> Estimated tickets sold: 73.7 million
> Starring: Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, Louis Prima

Based on the writings of English author Rudyard Kipling, “The Jungle Book” tells the story of a feral boy living among animals in nature. The movie’s unadjusted total domestic box office gross is the result of three theatrical releases: the original release in 1967, a re-release in 1984, and another in 1990.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

33. The Dark Knight (2008)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $665,338,580
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $535,234,033
> Estimated tickets sold: 74.5 million
> Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart

Director Christopher Nolan’s second Batman movie is the top-grossing Batman film ever. The gritty superhero flick is notable in part due to the performance of Heath Ledger as Joker. Ledger died soon after completing filming and posthumously received an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

32. Thunderball (1965)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $667,964,000
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $63,595,658
> Estimated tickets sold: 74.8 million
> Starring: Sean Connery, Claudine Auger, Adolfo Celi

This James Bond movie finds 007 in the Bahamas as he seeks to retrieve multiple nuclear warheads. The movie’s production budget was $9 million, and its domestic gross in 1965 was $63.6 million. Adjusted for inflation, the movie grossed nearly $668 million — the most of any Bond film.

Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

31. Black Panther (2018)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $681,111,639
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $700,059,566
> Estimated tickets sold: 76.3 million
> Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o

“Black Panther” led the domestic box office in 2018, outgrossing blockbusters such as “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Incredibles 2.” The movie was the first from Marvel to feature a black superhero as the title character. It received seven Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, and won three.