Before COVID-19 devastated the motion picture industry, movies were making more money at the box office than ever. It was not unusual for blockbuster films to gross more than $100 million domestically. Among the big hits in 2019 was the action film “Avengers: Endgame,” which had the most successful opening weekend ever at the domestic box office, grossing $357.1 million the weekend of April 26.
Many of these box-office smashes belong to franchises that audiences crave, including Star Wars, Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Lord of the Rings. Other film hits, like “Forrest Gump” and “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” were singular successes that captured the hearts and minds of the movie-going public.
When adjusting for the rising price of movie tickets, however, “Endgame” doesn’t even crack the top 10 top-grossing movies ever. 24/7 Tempo has identified the top 100 grossing movies of all time based on domestic box office data provided by box office reporting service Box Office Mojo. In a few cases, movies have had more than one theatrical release, which contributed to their total gross. All dollar amounts have been adjusted for inflation for a fairer comparison.
Hollywood has a long history of producing hugely entertaining — and successful — movies that draw audiences to theaters nationwide, and that is reflected in our list of the top-grossing films of all time. Of the top 10 in our list, the most recent film is from 2015, “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” (2015). Disney films such as “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937) and “The Jungle Book” build on their decades of success through re-releases and DVD sales. Disney first re-released “Snow White” in 1944 and has released the classic repeatedly since then. Disney released a digital restoration of the film in 1993.
Many of the top-grossing movies on our list have received high praise from critics and audiences alike and are among the 100 best movies of all time.