Special Report

100 Top Grossing Movies of All Time

Charles Stockdale

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

30. Jurassic World (2015)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $685,731,128
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $652,270,625
> Estimated tickets sold: 76.8 million
> Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins

“Jurassic World” was released 14 years after the previous film in the franchise, “Jurassic Park III.” The movie covered its $150 million production budget already in its opening weekend, when it grossed more than $208 million. With a 72% Freshness rating, “Jurassic World” is the second best rated film in the franchise by critics on Rotten Tomatoes, behind the original “Jurassic Park.”

Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

29. The Avengers (2012)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $686,549,116
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $623,357,910
> Estimated tickets sold: 76.9 million
> Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson

“The Avengers” — the sixth entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — was the top grossing movie of 2012, taking in $175 million more than the second highest grossing movie that year, “The Dark Knight Rises.” The superhero flick has a 91% approval rating from both critics and audience members on Rotten Tomatoes.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

28. Grease (1978)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $688,490,498
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $189,969,103
> Estimated tickets sold: 77.1 million
> Starring: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing

Actor John Travolta followed up his successful role in “Saturday Night Fever” (1977) with another smash hit, “Grease,” in which he starred alongside Australian sensation Olivia Newton-John. The musical romance about a 1950s greaser and a goody-two-shoes outgrossed all movies in 1978, including “National Lampoon’s Animal House” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Distribution Company

27. Mary Poppins (1965)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $698,163,474
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $102,272,727
> Estimated tickets sold: 78.2 million
> Starring: Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson

“Mary Poppins” won five Oscars (out of 13 nominations), including Best Actress for lead Julie Andrews. The musical, which combines animated sequences with live-action, was a smash hit for Disney, selling an estimated 78.2 million tickets since its release.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

26. Forrest Gump (1994)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $702,229,303
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $330,455,270
> Estimated tickets sold: 78.6 million
> Starring: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise

The movie about a dim-witted, though well-intentioned, man whose life is entangled with bits of American history won six Oscars, including Best Picture. The movie grossed in 1994 more at the domestic box office than all other movies but one. Disney’s “The Lion King,” which was released two weeks after “Forrest Gump,” grossed slightly over $1 million more that year.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

25. The Godfather (1972)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $704,777,925
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $134,966,411
> Estimated tickets sold: 78.9 million
> Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan

Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” is not only considered to be one of the greatest films of all time but it is also one of the top grossing movies ever. The Best Picture-winner about a New York City crime family was the most financially successful movie of the year at the domestic box office and also grossed more than its two sequels combined.

Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Productions

24. Fantasia (1941)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $741,578,455
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $76,408,097
> Estimated tickets sold: 83.0 million
> Starring: Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor, Corey Burton

Disney’s “Fantasia” is a collection of animated vignettes set to classical music by noted composers such as Bach and Tchaikovsky. The movie’s production budget of more than $2 million was especially costly at the time. Thanks to multiple releases, the movie has made that money back in spades. It was re-released in the U.S. in both 1985 and 1990.

Source: Courtesy of Embassy Pictures

23. The Graduate (1967)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $764,200,824
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $104,945,305
> Estimated tickets sold: 85.6 million
> Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross

The movie about a college grad (played by Dustin Hoffman), who finds himself romantically involved with an older woman and her daughter is a staple of 1960s youth culture. The influential drama grossed nearly $105 million ($764 million when adjusted for inflation) on an estimated budget of only $3 million. Director Mike Nichols won an Oscar for his work on the film.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

22. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $790,692,562
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $248,159,971
> Estimated tickets sold: 88.5 million
> Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman

Steven Spielberg’s “Raiders of the Lost Ark” has a 95% Freshness rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and 96% approval rating from audiences. The beloved adventure film grossed more than twice the amount of its sequel “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (2008), after adjusting for inflation, despite the latter film being shown in more than four times as many theaters at both movies’ widest release.

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

21. The Sting (1973)
> Domestic gross (adj. for inflation): $796,046,097
> Domestic gross (unadjusted): $156,000,000
> Estimated tickets sold: 89.1 million
> Starring: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw

Paul Newman and Robert Redford — whose earlier collaboration “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969) appears at No. 40 on this list — star in this comedy-drama about two con men out to score big. In addition to its box office success, the movie won seven Oscars, including Best Picture.