Every year, the film industry rakes in billions at the box office. In 2019, the global movie ticket sales amounted to $42.2 billion, according to a report by the Motion Picture Association. In the United States, Hollywood studios including Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and 20th Century Fox are responsible for some of the biggest box office hits (as well as, it must be said, some of the biggest box office bombs of all time.)
To identify the 100 top-grossing movies of all time, 24/7 Tempo reviewed gross box office revenue and estimated ticket sales for major motion pictures released in the United States as reported by The Numbers, an online movie database owned by Nash Information Services. Revenue is adjusted for inflation based on the value of the dollar in 2020.
Action and adventure films — including superhero movies — dominate the list, with 10 movies from the Star Wars franchise and three Lord of the Rings titles appearing in the top 100. Also represented are a number of animated children’s films — many from Disney — such as “The Lion King” and “One Hundred and One Dalmatians.” Here are the biggest Disney box office hits of all time.
Romances, musicals, dramas, and comedies are equally represented in the mix. Films date back to the 1930s, with “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937) being the earliest top-grossing movie on the list, having brought in over $1 billion when adjusted for inflation. Although “Avatar” is often referred to as the highest-grossing film ever, it comes in at only No. 15 when ticket sales are adjusted for inflation.